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Perkins still having shoulder pain

MINNEAPOLIS -- Sunday marked the six-week point since Twins closer Glen Perkins last threw in a game.Judging from the latest development, it could still be a while before he's able to return.A bullpen session tentatively scheduled for Monday has ...

MINNEAPOLIS - Sunday marked the six-week point since Twins closer Glen Perkins last threw in a game.
Judging from the latest development, it could still be a while before he’s able to return.
A bullpen session tentatively scheduled for Monday has been canceled after the three-time all-star continued to feel discomfort in his ailing left shoulder during a long-toss session Thursday.
“When I go to throw, I don’t want to say it feels like a knife-stabbing pain but it’s a pain in the front of my shoulder,” Perkins said Sunday. “When I let the ball go, to me it feels like the joint opens up and then I throw and it slams shut. It’s not comfortable. It just doesn’t feel right. It doesn’t feel even close to right, to be honest with you.”
Perkins, 33, will take a week off from throwing before trying to ramp back up to the 120-foot mark on his long-toss range. Sometime during the next homestand, he hopes to try throwing off a mound for the first time since landing on the disabled list a week into the season.
If the discomfort persists, a follow-up orthopedic visit would likely be scheduled.
“I kept telling myself I was going to throw and throw and throw until that bullpen and then see how I felt in the bullpen,” Perkins said. “But I didn’t think it was a good decision to push it that far. For whatever reason, it’s not where it needs to be yet.”
Originally diagnosed with a strained shoulder and some fraying in the labrum, Perkins said the “burning” he felt in the back of his shoulder six weeks ago has gone away.
“Actually the back of my shoulder feels pretty good and strong,” Perkins said. “This is in the front. I think I’m in a better spot than I was six weeks ago. The disappointing thing is that was six weeks ago.”
Deconstructing Donaldson
Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki didn’t think he was hit on purpose in the bottom of the fifth inning Sunday, maybe because it happened on a 1-2 cutter from Marcus Stroman in a two-run game.
“I was happy he hit me with two strikes the way he was throwing today,” Suzuki said. “I took my base.”
In the top of the fifth, Blue Jays slugger Josh Donaldson was quite miffed when Phil Hughes threw two straight fastballs in his vicinity, the second one sailing behind him. Suzuki, who called those pitches, had an interesting viewpoint on the latest drama involving his former Oakland A’s teammate.
“I’ve known JD for a long time,” Suzuki said. “He’s a great guy. He’s a competitor. He plays the game the right way. He plays the game hard. He might do some stuff that annoys people, but he understands what he’s bringing upon himself and you respect him for that.”
Suzuki and Donaldson are friends and share an agent, Dan Lozano.
“I kind of make fun of him,” Suzuki said of Donaldson. “I say, ‘Why do you do that stuff to yourself?’ He’s a buddy of mine. Just one of those things where you’re in the heat of the moment and you do stuff you don’t think about.”
Despite what he called “all the extracurricular stuff,” Suzuki did his best to keep tempers from flaring again on Sunday.
“I’m here to play baseball,” Suzuki said. “I’m not here to do all that kind of fighting and all that stuff. You try to be the peacemaker. I’m not one of those guys that puff out their chest and act like they can fight the whole team. I try to calm it down and get back to playing baseball.”
Walker trots
Triple-A slugger Adam Brett Walker II homered three times on Saturday night, giving him five in a span of three games at Durham.
While it’s unknown if Walker managed to “Hit Bull, Win Steak” at the home of the Bulls, he has moved into a three-way tie for the International League home run lead. His .504 slugging percentage ranks sixth in the league, but he is striking out a whopping 43.6 percent of the time.
“He can hit balls over the fence when he gets a pitch,” Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. “If and when the time comes that he comes to the big leagues, people have the ability to carve hitters like that up pretty good. They’re going to get you to chase, they’re going to get you behind in the count, and then they’re going to make you chase again.”
Walker, placed on the 40-man roster last winter, remains “more of a DH type,” Ryan admitted. At 24 he still needs plenty of work on his defense and his throwing in left field.
Briefly
Right-hander Kyle Gibson (shoulder) threw 56 pitches (41 strikes) over 4⅓ scoreless innings for Class A Fort Myers on Sunday. Making his first rehab start, Gibson allowed three hits and a walk while fanning two and picking a runner off first. He is slated to increase his pitch count to 90 on Friday with Terry Ryan in attendance before potentially joining the Twins’ rotation early in the next homestand.
Shortstop Eduardo Escobar (groin) went 0-for-3 with a walk on Sunday in his third and possibly final rehab game for the Miracle. He is 4-for-11 with a double and a triple so far, and his return to the majors appears imminent.
Center fielder Byron Buxton (back spasms) returned to the lineup at Triple-A Rochester after missing a week. Buxton went 2-for-5 with a walk and two stolen bases on Saturday night in Durham.
Right-hander Jose Berrios walked five in five innings in his first start since being demoted to Triple-A. Berrios did strike out eight while improving to 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA in the minors.
The Pioneer Press is a Forum News Service media partner.

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