Glen Perkins retires

Glen Perkins announced his retirement yesterday after spending his entire 12 year big league career in a Minnesota Twins uniform. Perkins was born in St. Paul and attended Stillwater High School before moving on to the University of Minnesota. In 2004 the Twins drafted Perkins in the first round with their 22nd pick,  two picks after Trevor Plouffe and three picks before Kyle Waldrop. Perkins selection was a compensatory selection from the Seattle Mariners for them having signed Twins close Eddie Guardado as a free agent.

Perk made his major league debut on September 21, 2006 at Fenway Park with 1.1 innings of scoreless relief. Perkins was drafted as a starter but he struggled in that role in 2008-2009 and was turned into a full-time reliever in 2010. The Twins moved Perkins into the closer role in 2012 and he flourished there until injuries started talking their toll in 2016.

In his 12 season in Minnesota the three-time All-Star posted a 35-25 record with a 3.88 ERA and 120 saves. The 120 saves by Perkins puts him third on the all-time Twins save list behind Joe Nathan with 260 and Rick Aguilera with 254.

My memories of Glen Perkins will be that he was a good closer but that he had a kind of Jekyll and Hyde attitude problem, I always saw Perkins as a “me first, team second” kind of guy and over the years he had his share of issues with the Twins front office. I saw his interactions with fans in spring training on a number of occasions where he could be a real jerk at times. I am surprised that Perkins lasted in Minnesota as long as he did, as a matter of fact I had selected Perkins as my very first Twins Turkey of the Year back in 2009. 

I see Glen Perkins departure from the Twins as plus through subtraction and I really won’t miss him as a Twins player, I hope he doesn’t get a chance to spread his attitude in a Twins front office job. There is more to life than just baseball.

 

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“Disposed Of” sounds so harsh

Apparently back in 1964 the Twins were tougher on the players that they felt were no longer of service. The clipping on the left appeared in the May 25, 1964 Star Tribune and stated that former Twins pitcher Bill Fischer, just 33 years old, will be “disposed of” and I found that interesting so I looked up Mr. Fischer and come to find out, he never pitched in the big leagues again. What did “disposed of” really mean back then? The guy did have a bad leg. First thought in my mind was what they do to horses with bad legs. It is a good thing that MLB teams don’t let pitchers with 7.31 ERA’s bother them any more.

Turns out being disposed of was not as bad as I thought, Fischer pitched in AAA for the White Sox for the next four years before hanging up his spikes for good. What about Garland Shifflett you ask? He appeared in 10 games for Minnesota in June of 1964 and he too never pitched in the big leagues again spending his next 8 season in the minors waiting for his call-up that never came. Baseball can be a wicked game!

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Johan Santana elected to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Johan Santana on his election to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame even though he is not officially retired. Santana’s induction will take place on August 4 at Target Field.

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Minnesota Twins Top 10 Shortstops

I did some of these top 10 rating for catchers, second basemen, and center fielders last off-season so we will continue the series. Here are the Minnesota Twins top 10 shortstops based on the WAR numbers from Baseball-Reference.  To qualify a player must have played at least 51% of his games at shortstop. The list kind of shows how weak the Twins shortstops have been over the years. The best season by a Twins shortstop goes back to 1965 when Zoilo Versalles had his American League MVP season, that year he had a WAR of 7.2 .

Results
Rk Player WAR/pos From To G AB H HR RBI BB SB BA OPS
1 Roy Smalley 20.8 1976 1987 1148 3997 1046 110 485 549 15 .262 .750
2 Greg Gagne 17.9 1983 1992 1140 3386 844 69 335 188 79 .249 .677
3 Zoilo Versalles 15.2 1961 1967 1065 4148 1046 86 401 251 84 .252 .686
4 Leo Cardenas 11.1 1969 1971 473 1720 453 39 210 159 10 .263 .719
5 Jason Bartlett 8.9 2004 2014 324 1082 293 10 92 94 39 .271 .702
6 Cristian Guzman 7.5 1999 2004 841 3277 871 39 289 166 102 .266 .685
7 Pat Meares 6.0 1993 1998 742 2464 653 41 303 95 42 .265 .682
8 Eduardo Escobar 4.2 2012 2017 574 1860 474 48 221 119 10 .255 .704
9 Jorge Polanco 3.1 2014 2017 211 749 199 17 105 62 18 .266 .739
10 Pedro Florimon 2.7 2012 2014 210 616 126 10 55 51 24 .205 .567
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 1/18/2018.

It seems like the Minnesota Twins love drafting shortstops in the June free agent draft, since the draft started in 1965 they have drafted 13 shortstops in the first round, none of those draftees are on this top 10 list. That is not to say they never played for Minnesota, they just never played 51% or more of their games at short, I am talking about players like Trevor Plouffe, Michael Cuddyer, and Chuck Knoblauch.

There are no players on the above list drafted by Minnesota, Zoilo Versalles and Jorge Polanco were signed by Minnesota as amateur free agents. You can add shortstops as another position that the Twins don’t seem to draft well.

Twins Top 10 Catchers

Twins Top 10 Second Basemen

Twins Top 10 Center Fielders

 

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Hrbek strikes again?

In Minnesota we work together. Go Vikings!

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Twins walk-off wins – 1961-2017

Twins walk-off King

Harmon Killebrew

In the past 57 seasons the Minnesota Twins have walked off their opponents 403 times. Kirby Puckett leads the Minnesota Twins in career walk-off’s wins by delivering the winning run in some manner 11 times, it might have been on a hit, walk, HBP, error or a sacrifice. Second on the list is Harmon Killebrew. I guess that is why these guys are Hall of Fame players.

The Twins have walked off their opponent with a single a total of 196 times. Rod Carew  did it seven times and is the leader in this category and it has been done five times by Alexi Casilla, Harmon Killebrew, Brian Harper, Larry Hisle, Kent Hrbek and Jacque Jones.

The Twins have hit 108 walk-off home runs and Justin Morneau leads the pack here with five and is followed Gary Gaetti, Harmon Killebrew, Kirby Puckett, Tony Oliva and Kent Hrbek with four each. One was an inside the park job by Tim Teufel.

The Twins have walked off their opponents with doubles 35 times and Kirby Puckett did it 3 times, the following players each did it twice, Cristian Guzman, Rich Reese, Tony Oliva, Eduardo Escobar, Shannon Stewart, Glenn Borgmann  and Tom Brunansky.

The Sacrifice Fly has led to 25 Twins walk-off wins with only Zoilo Versalles and Cristian Guzman doing it more than once.

The Twins have walked-off opponents 12 times on an opposing team error.

The Twins have walked-off their opponent 11 times when they drew a bases-loaded walk. 

The Twins have had six walk-off triples and no one has more than one.

The Twins have celebrated a walk-off win six times after a simple ground out.

The Twins have two walk-off wins via getting hit by a pitch (Paul Molitor and Max Kepler).

The first player to deliver a walk-off win was Zoilo Versalles and the most recent to do it is Byron Buxton.

 

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Former Twins players that passed away in 2017

As we start a new year in 2018 I wanted to share a list of former Minnesota Twins players that passed away in 2017

 

Jerry Kindall

Danny Walton

 

RIP gentlemen and thank you for the great memories, you are a part of Minnesota Twins history forever.

A complete list of deceased former Minnesota Twins players can be found on our “Deceased Twins” page.

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Happy New Year!

May 2018 best the best year ever for you and your family.

Stay healthy my friends!

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Jerry Kindall dead at 82

Jerry Kindall

Jerry Kindall played major league baseball from 1956 through 1965 but it was not his baseball playing or coaching skills that he is most remembered for, it was his compassion for everyone off the field that brings back the best Jerry Kindall memories.

Gerald Donald Kindall was born in St. Paul Minnesota on May 27, 1935 and passed away in Tucson, Arizona on Christmas Eve 2017 after suffering a stroke on December 21st.

Kindall signed a $50,000 bonus contract with the Chicago Cubs soon after he led the Minnesota Gophers to the 1956 national championship. He did so, in part, because his parents needed the money. His stepmother, Isabel, incapacitated by multiple sclerosis, had been confined to a wheelchair since Jerry was 12. His father, Harold, drove a truck from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m., and then worked a shift at the railroad five nights a week.

Kindall, known as “Slim” played for the Cubs from 1956 through 1961 and then was traded to the Cleveland Indians. On June 11, 1964 he was part of a three-team trade and ended up in Minnesota along with Frank Kostro from the LA Angels. The Angels sent Billy Moran to the Indians and the Twins traded Lenny Green and Vic Power to the Angels.

Jerry Kindall played 62 games for the Twins in 1964 and 125 games for the AL pennant winning Twins in 1965. Kindall played mainly as a second baseman but also filled in at third and at shortstop. Kindall hit under. 200 both seasons but it wasn’t his bat that the Twins liked, it was his glove and passion. The Minnesota Twins released Kindall in April 1966 and Kindall walked away from the game of baseball as an active player and moved to the coaching side where he excelled and managed Arizona to three National championships. 

Kindall was elected to the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1991, the University of Minnesota Athletics Hall of Fame in 1995, and the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

I was lucky enough to interview Jerry Kindall in January 2011 and he spent over an hour on the phone with me. You can listen to his interview here.

Kindall is survived by his wife, Diane, and stepdaughter, Elise Sargent, as well as four children — Betsy, Doug, Bruce and Martha — from his first marriage to the late Georgia Kindall.

RIP Jerry Kindall and thank you for all the great memories.

 

SABR Bio Project

For Arizona legend Jerry Kindall, compassion for people always won out over baseball

Jerry Kindall, former MLB player and legendary Arizona coach, dead at 82

Former Cubs infielder Jerry Kindall dies at 82

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Ask and you shall receive

I know that a few days ago I blogged that I wanted to see the Twins do something for the here and now versus the future and the Twins must have been listening because they rushed right out and signed 34-year-old left-handed reliever Zach Duke, another former Tommy John surgery survivor for their collection. The Twins must be big believers that you need TJ surgery on your resume to be a big league pitcher or that once you have TJ surgery you can avoid arm injuries for a few years.

Zach Duke in 2016

I can’t be critical of the Twins signing Duke for a song (slightly over $2 million plus a possible additional $1.5 million in incentives) and who knows, he might be helpful. Zach Duke was a 20th round selection by the Pirates in 2001 and made his big league debut in 2005. Duke spent 2005-2010 with the Pirates and was used strictly as a starter before being moved to the bullpen by Arizona in 2011. Since then Duke has pitched for the Nationals, Reds, Brewers, White Sox and the Cardinals. Since Duke became a full-time relief pitcher, he is 13-11 with a 3.18 ERA in 287 games while striking out 248 batters in 243.2 innings.

So it just goes to show that you have to be careful what you wish for because they just might come true. Now I am hoping to find that the Twins have signed a legit starting pitcher but in my heart I know they will go out and sign a Jason Vargas type of starter.

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