Perkins clears hurdle with throwing session

Twins lefty reliever tests his surgically-repaired labrum

Perkins clears hurdle with throwing session

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left-hander Glen Perkins, coming off left shoulder labrum surgery last June, faced hitters for the first time in nearly 14 months on Tuesday, throwing roughly 25 pitches to teammates Chris Gimenez and Ehire Adrianza at Target Field.

The three-time All-Star, who hasn't pitched for the Twins since April 10, 2016, was encouraged by his outing that saw him throw only two-seam, and four-seam fastballs. Perkins will head to the club's Spring Training complex in Fort Myers, Fla., on Wednesday to continue his rehab with another throwing session scheduled for Friday.

"I felt better coming out of it than I anticipated," Perkins said. "The biggest positive is that I threw in total probably 40 pitches between the bullpen and the mound. It hadn't been that high and obviously it hadn't been at that intensity level. So to be able to do those things and come out, probably feeling the best I've had, since the surgery."

Perkins said he wasn't quite at full intensity, as he believes there's another level he needs to get to as he continues his throwing program against hitters. Gimenez, though, still liked what he saw from Perkins, as he noted he's made a big leap in velocity since Spring Training.

"I was very happy for him," Gimenez said. "I immediately went up to him after and told him I was impressed with the way the ball was coming out of his hand. The last time I saw him throw a 'pen, I caught it in Spring Training. He was at like 65 mph, working through some things, but this time he was at like 84-86 [mph], but that's more of a guess."

Perkins, when healthy, averaged around 93 mph with his fastball, so he still has to build up his arm strength. He's also planning to incorporate his slider during his warmup session Friday, and has been throwing it on flat ground with no issues.

The plan is for him to throw to hitters three to five more times before seeing action in simulated games in Florida. Once he clears those hurdles, he'd then begin a Minor League rehab assignment.

"It was good to see him on the mound," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "We'll get him a few more situations of doing similar things before we get him into some game situations where he's gotta run around, cover bases and hold runners. And then we can get into some games eventually. But today was a good step."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Phil Hughes, who has been on the disabled list since May 22, received a second opinion on his right shoulder that found there are no issues related to his surgery last June to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. But there could be some scar tissue he's working through that's affecting a nerve, Molitor said.

• Left-hander Buddy Boshers officially rejoined the Twins on Tuesday, getting recalled from Triple-A Rochester with Drew Rucinski being optioned after Monday's game. Boshers has a 4.38 ERA in 14 appearances at Rochester, and a 3.00 ERA in two appearances with Minnesota.

• Third baseman Miguel Sano was originally in Tuesday's starting lineup but was a late scratch due to an illness, the Twins said. Adrianza started in his place.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. 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.