Minnesota Twins closer Glen Perkins will miss the rest of the season because of a persistent left shoulder injury that will require surgery.
Manager Paul Molitor confirmed Thursday before the Twins played the New York Yankees that Perkins won’t pitch again until 2017. The three-time All-Star appeared in only two games before landing on the disabled list because of what was diagnosed then as a posterior strain.
Perkins had several setbacks in his rehabilitation program, and he had a second opinion Tuesday with Los Angeles Dodgers team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a noted shoulder specialist.
Perkins has fraying and other ”abnormalities” in his labrum, general manager Terry Ryan said. The rotator cuff will also be examined during the procedure, which will be done by ElAttrache within the next 10 days.
”I don’t know if anything can surprise you in the sports world, but your hopes are that rehab will take care of it,” Ryan said. ”That’s why we went through the two months or so. You always want to avoid surgery if you can. Hopefully this won’t be too severe and we can get him going.”
The best-case scenario for Perkins to resume throwing is sometime in December, Ryan said.
”I’m not sure there was any course of action that was wrong here. It’s just we tried to rehab and it didn’t work,” Ryan said. ”That’s certainly the conservative approach. We just don’t go in and do a surgical procedure if we think you might be able to rehab.”
Kevin Jepsen has assumed the ninth-inning role for Perkins. He’s 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 28 games, having blown three of 10 save attempts.
”You lose your closer the first week of the season, and then faced with the fact that I’m not going to see him again until next spring training, a lot of things haven’t gone particularly well,” Molitor said. ”But losing Glen has been tough to swallow.”
The 33-year-old Perkins, who is making $6.3 million this season, is signed for 2017 at $6.5 million. The Twins have a $6.5 million option on his contract for 2018, with a $700,000 buyout.
Perkins converted all 28 save tries before the All-Star break last year, posting a 1.21 ERA. Bothered by back and neck trouble down the stretch, Perkins was limited to 22 appearances in the second half. He had a 7.32 ERA, blowing three of seven save chances.
Twins relievers entered Thursday with a collective 4.58 ERA, second-worst in the American League.
”The bullpen management has been challenging because of the fact that from early on we’ve had to make adjustments. It’s not what you would call an experienced pen, and so we’re kind of learning about people and how they respond in various situations,” Molitor said. ”But it’s also been an opportunity for guys to pitch in certain situations, maybe a little bit more when the game’s on the line. I hope it makes all these guys better in the long run.”