Three pitches equaled one popup for the scoresheet, one memento for the display case and a few tears for the memory bank.

Saturday was almost certainly the end for Glen Perkins as a major league pitcher. The Twins will buy out his 2018 option, his reconstructed shoulder and diminished stuff will not attract serious interest in baseball's offseason meat market, and his career will be over.

We know that he knows. That's why he called for the ball from Kennys Vargas as they left the field at the end of the top of the ninth and shed tears in the dugout. A formal, definitive announcement would be redundant.

There was a sweet fantasy when Perkins was reactivated in late August: That there was enough life remaining in his left arm to contribute some key outs in the final weeks of the Twins playoff push. It didn't take long for reality to set in. Perkins made just eight appearances with the Twins, never with less than three days of rest, seldom effectively and, until the end, never in a game closer than four runs.

Saturday's outing did come in a one-run game. It also came in a game taken so seriously that the Detroit Tigers had utilityman Andrew Romine play all nine positions.

So no, Perkins didn't provide any key outs to the 2017 Twins. He did provide a case study in perseverance. He spent his summer sweating it out in Fort Myers, working his rebuilt shoulder and searching for the stuff that once made him one of baseball's best relievers.

That stuff is not there anymore. It was spent in the service of some truly bad Twins teams. But it was not wasted.

Sano or Sa-yes

The Twins and Yankees each get to drastically reshape their rosters for Tuesday's wild card game. Expect lots of relief pitchers, with most of the starting rotations sidelined.

Paul Molitor and company are using the weekend to make a rapid judgment on Miguel Sano. Is the big guy ready?

Molitor said after Saturday's game that he was "leaning" toward the notion that just having the threat of Sano's power bat made having him on the roster valuable.

I doubt that Sano would play third base Tuesday. If he's activated, it will be to serve as the designated hitter or as a pinch-hitter.

If he's the DH, that probably sidelines Robbie Grossman, who on Sunday made his first appearance in the outfield since returning from his thumb injury. 

Sano's power is obvious and dramatic. Grossman's strength — the avoidance of outs — is more subtle, less dramatic and at least as valuable.

I expect Sano will be the DH Tuesday. I doubt that's the right call.

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