Monday, January 13, 2014

25-Man Roster Dissection: Glen Perkins

As the Twins get closer to heading to Fort Myers, there will be plenty of decisions to make in relation to the 25-man roster. Some positions are likely set in stone while others are still questionable. In this series called "25-Man Roster Dissection," I have selected the men I believe will spend the most time on the 25-man roster next season and I try to predict each player's 2014 performance.

Besides Joe Mauer, who was the first profile, Glen Perkins was the only other 2014 Twins All-Star. This year will mark his ninth year with time at the big league level and his second as the full-time closer. Minnesota's bullpen might be the strongest part of the roster and it starts and ends with their 9th inning man.

2013 Recap: 2.30 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 77 SO, 15 BB, 36 saves (62.2 IP)
Minnesota thrust Perkins into the full-time closer role for 2013 following a year where he split time with Matt Capps. Perkins' strong performance at the end of 2012 proved he was ready for a more important role. In 2013, Perkins would set many personal highs in his first All-Star season. His 2.30 ERA was a career low along with having a WHIP under 1.00 for the first time. He set a career high by striking out 11.1 batters per nine innings. In the first half of the season, batters hit .172/.221/.262 with 47 SO over 34.2 innings. His numbers could have looked even better if the Twins had been on the winning side of games on a more frequent basis.

Forecasting 2014: 2.70 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 75 SO, 20 BB, 31 saves (65.0 IP)
It would be tough for Perkins to match his numbers from 2013. His ERA was ridiculously low and batters averaged 6.2 hits per nine against him. In the second half of the season, batters seemed to catch up to Perkins a little as opponents batting average increased by 55 points and their OPS jumped over 175 points. All of those things could signal a couple steps back for Perkins in 2014. He will still be the anchor of the Twins bullpen, one of the team's biggest strengths. Perkins will still be one of the best relief arms in the American League and he could be one of the team's representatives when the All-Star Game is played at Target Field.

25-Man Roster Safety: Locked-In

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