Perkins

Closer flying back to Minneapolis for MRI, possibly cortisone shot due to irritation

Perkins

NEW YORK -- Twins closer Glen Perkins received a cortisone shot in his neck in Minnesota on Wednesday, and is set to fly to Baltimore to rejoin the Twins on Thursday.

But Perkins, who also underwent an MRI exam on his neck, isn't expected to start playing catch again until Friday. In the meantime, Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's leaning toward using right-hander Kevin Jepsen as his closer in Perkins' absence.

The Twins aren't expected to get the results of the MRI exam until Thursday, but they're optimistic Perkins will be able to avoid the 15-day disabled list.

"I haven't heard anything official, but there's still small optimism there," Molitor said. "But again, it's about how he's going to respond to the treatment."

With Perkins -- a three-time All-Star -- out, Molitor said he'll likely go with Jepsen as his closer, as he has 10 career saves, including five this year with the Rays before he was acquired by the Twins.

"I would think Jepsen is somebody I'd lean more toward because of his experience and how he's throwing the ball right now," Molitor said. "But it can change day to day based on who is in the best shape. But as far as the most experience, he's the guy I'm leaning to right now."

Jepsen has posted a 2.35 ERA with six strikeouts and four walks in 7 2/3 innings since joining the Twins, and hasn't allowed a run since his Minnesota debut on Aug. 2. Right-handers Trevor May and Casey Fien will also be in consideration to close, as May was set up to be the closer on Tuesday with Jepsen unavailable, while Fien picked up a save last year.

"Casey's done it and Trevor hasn't," Molitor said. "We'll see how it goes."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.