Emotional Perkins reflects on Twins tenure

Emotional Perkins reflects on Twins tenure

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins left-hander Glen Perkins couldn't contain his emotions after making perhaps his final appearance with the Twins in the ninth inning of Saturday's 3-2 loss to the Tigers at Target Field.

Perkins, a three-time All-Star who will be a free agent this offseason after the Twins decline his $6.5 million option, was brought in for the final out of the ninth inning. He came in to his closer walk-up music of Johnny Cash's "God's Gonna Cut You Down" and retired Andrew Romine on a popup to first. Kennys Vargas gave Perkins the ball after the play, and Perkins was emotional upon returning to the dugout.

"That was a cool moment," Perkins said. "And if that's it, I'll remember it for the rest of my life."

Perkins, 34, returned in mid-August after missing 16 months because of surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. Perkins posted a 9.53 ERA in eight outings, and while there's a chance he could return as a Minor League free agent next season, he has indicated he'd only like to play with the Twins and would consider retirement otherwise. He's not expected to be on Minnesota's postseason roster.

Perkins on emotional outing

"I'm sure there's a lot going through his head, everything he's been though, everything he's accomplished," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "Emotion is good. It tells you you've experienced a lot. And when it floods out, those are moments that are special. It shows the humanization of the game. I'm proud of him. He did a lot of work to get himself back in position to take a Major League mound."

If this is it for Perkins, he compiled a 3.88 ERA with 504 strikeouts and 158 walks in 624 1/3 innings in parts of 12 seasons with the Twins. He was an All-Star from 2013-15, and he racked up 120 career saves. Perkins is the second-longest tenured Twin after Joe Mauer, but he said the 2017 club is the most special team he has been on.

"They've continued to support me and make me feel I'm a part of it even though I haven't been," Perkins said. "This is the best team I've ever been on as far as how much they care for each other. This is a family in the truest sense. I appreciate it, but I wasn't surprised."

Worth noting

• Molitor isn't under contract for next year, but he said he hasn't thought much about his future, as it's something that'll be addressed once the season is over. It would be a surprise, however, if Molitor isn't retained.

"If circumstances were different, and we weren't playing Tuesday, I might have spent more time thinking about it, to be honest with you," Molitor said. "Whenever we are done, and hopefully it's not for a while, I'm sure that will be pushed to the forefront."

• Sunday marked the last day for long-time Twins trainer Dave Pruemer, who is set to retire after the season. Pruemer spent 24 years in the organization, including 13 years in the Majors. He has been the club's head athletic trainer since 2013, but he wants to spend more time with his wife, Tina, and their three children.

• The Twins are hosting a free American League Wild Card Game watch party on Tuesday at Target Field with Gates 6 and 29 opening at 6 p.m. CT for the 7:09 p.m. first pitch at Yankee Stadium.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.