Closer by committee with Capps sidelined
JUN 25, 2012 9:02a ET
If Capps does indeed land on the DL with a shoulder injury, it will mean Minnesota will have to mix and match in ninth-inning situations. Since Capps has been dealing with his shoulder issue, the Twins have turned to left-hander Glen Perkins and right-hander Jared Burton to take over in the ninth inning.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire used Burton for the first time in Sunday’s 4-3 come-from-behind win against Cincinnati, as the Reds sent up several right-handed bats to start the ninth inning. Burton was by no means perfect — he walked two batters and had a runner on third with one out — but he escaped without a run to earn his first career save in 195 appearances.
"I had confidence I could get the next two guys, and it worked out," Burton said of the ninth inning Sunday. "… You try to say it’s not (different pitching in the ninth), but it is. You’ve kind of got to keep it in your mind that the pressure’s on them. They’re the ones behind. They’re the one that have got to come through against you, and you’ve just got to have confidence and execute and know that you’ve got the upper hand."
Burton earned his first career save against the team he pitched five seasons with. He spent the 2007-11 seasons with the Reds, appearing in 164 total games. But he pitched in just six games at the major league level last year and four games in 2010 as he dealt with injuries.
Before the Twins turned to Burton on Sunday, they called upon Glen Perkins for a pair of saves earlier in the road trip. Perkins picked up his first save of the year on Wednesday in Minnesota’s 2-1 win at Pittsburgh. A few days later, Perkins saved the first game of the series against Cincinnati, a 5-4 Twins win on Friday. The second save was a bit more interesting, as Perkins allowed two hits in the inning. But he struck out to batters in each of his two saves this season.
His only other saves in his seven-year career came last year. He now has four saves for his career.
"In the eighth inning, you’re still trying to get them out the same as you are in the ninth," Perkins said after his first save of the year. "The difference is the game ends when the inning ends. It’s a good feeling, but at the same time, you can’t make it more than it is. It’s still about getting three outs with as little blood pressure raising for Gardy as you can."
With Capps potentially sidelined for a while, there’s a chance both Perkins and Burton could be called upon with a lead in the ninth inning. And they’ll both try to keep their manager’s blood pressure at a reasonable level.
Arcia named to 2012 MLB Futures Game: Twins minor league outfielder Oswaldo Arcia will be participating in this year’s MLB Futures Game as part of the World Team.
Arcia was recently promoted to Double-A New Britain, where he is batting .174 with three RBI in six games with the Rock Cats. Prior to his promotion, Arcia hit .309 with seven homers, 31 RBI and 22 runs in 55 games.
This year’s Futures Game will take place at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on July 8 as Arcia and the World Team will take on the U.S. Team. The 21-year-old Arcia is the only Twins minor leaguer participating in the event.
Current Twins players who competed in the Futures Game include catcher Joe Mauer and outfielder Ben Revere for the U.S. Team, and first baseman Justin Morneau and pitchers Francisco Liriano and Liam Hendriks for the World Team.
Bigley is Minor League Player of the Week: Outfielder Evan Bigley, currently playing for Double-A New Britain, is the Twins’ Minor League Player of the Week for the week of June 16-22. During that stretch, Bigley batted .550 (11-for-20) with two homers and six RBI.
A 10th-round pick of the Twins in 2008, Bigley is currently batting .265 with nine homers, 48 RBI and 30 runs in 68 games with the Rock Cats.
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