What the Twins saw out of Perkins in this latest performance Thursday was a pitcher that could be an asset either in a starting role or as a reliever. With an improved curveball and a new diving sinker, Perkins now has a look of a pitcher that can be used to get lefties out. And it certainly left an impression on the Twins coaching staff."Perkins was yowzer," Gardenhire said, as his eyes grew a bit wide talking about it. "If we ever got where we were beating the heck out of [lefty reliever Dennys Reyes] and Perkins wasn't with us at the time [as a starter], he could be a guy you could really count on to come in and do that for awhile. That breaking ball he's starting to throw and the ball diving in on lefties, he can probably be a pretty good complement if you really wanted to go that way." There could be temptation to go that way with just one lefty currently in the Twins bullpen but right now the club views Perkins as a starter and that's the role he will continue to pitch in for the rest of spring. It's hard to discount Perkins from the starting race either, considering the way that he's been throwing this spring. After a bit of a shaky start, Perkins has rebounded to establish a 2.00 ERA over his four outings. One of those included a strong start against a talent-laden Blue Jays lineup where he gave up just one unearned run on two hits over three innings. But even if Perkins does not end up on the 25-man roster, he knows that his opportunity could be just on the horizon. That's why he's willing to take whatever assignment the Twins send his way, keeping in mind the lessons he's learned over the past year. "They used 10 starters last year and though they'll break camp with five, the chances are they'll use 10 if not more this year," Perkins said. "There is going to be guys that have a chance and if I end up in Triple-A, I want to pitch as well as I can and be that first guy when they need someone."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less