Perkins out for remainder of season

Twins closer has been on DL with left shoulder injury since April

Perkins out for remainder of season

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins closer Glen Perkins will miss the rest of the season after suffering a labrum tear to his left shoulder, manager Paul Molitor confirmed before Thursday's game against the Yankees.

Perkins, who saw Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Southern California for a second opinion this week after undergoing an MRI exam on Monday, will undergo season-ending shoulder surgery to repair his labrum. The three-time American League All-Star made two appearances this season, coming on April 9-10, before going on the disabled list with a left shoulder strain. Perkins met with Twins physician Dr. John Steubs and general manager Terry Ryan on Thursday, and it was decided Perkins will have the surgery in the next seven to 10 days and it will be performed by Dr. ElAttrache.


"They called it labral abnormalities," Ryan said. "There was fraying. We're hoping this will take care of it and he'll be ready for Spring Training in 2017."

Perkins threw three bullpen sessions in hopes of making his return. But his last one on Friday didn't go well, as he had to shut it down early because of pain in his shoulder. Perkins said the injury only flares up when throwing off a mound and not when throwing from flat ground. Molitor said he was hoping Perkins would return, but braced himself for the possibility he'd be out for the year.

"I've been prepared," Molitor said. "I think that the fact that we kept seeing a little progress, back up a little bit, there were just signs that there was improvement but probably not enough to get too optimistic about it. So I'm not really surprised."

The Twins initially used right-hander Kevin Jepsen as a closer, but he struggled in that role, so Minnesota is using a combination of right-hander Brandon Kintzler and lefty Fernando Abad to close out games.

"The bullpen management has been challenging because of the fact that from early on we've had to make adjustments," Molitor said. "It's not what you would call an experienced 'pen, so we're learning about people and how they respond in various situations. It's also been an opportunity for guys to pitch in situations maybe a little more when the game's on the line."

Perkins has a career 3.83 ERA, including a 2.88 ERA with 343 strikeouts in 315 1/3 innings since being moved to relief in 2011. He was a perfect 28-for-28 in save opportunities in the first half of last year en route to his third straight All-Star Game appearance, but he struggled with back and neck problems in the second half of the year, posting a 7.32 ERA after the break.

"You lose your closer the first week in the season and then are faced with the fact that you're probably not going to see him again until the next Spring Training," Molitor said. "So a lot of things haven't gone particularly well, but losing Glen has been tough to swallow."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.