It took Kevin Jepsen several years to find his footing in the majors, but now in his ninth season, he's just a Glen Perkins back spasm away the closer role, actually filling it for the Twins over the final six weeks last season because of ... well, a Glen Perkins back spasm. They've become all too common for the 33-year-old left-hander, which is why if you draft Perkins in an AL-only league, handcuffing Jepsen to him is a must. In mixed leagues where saves are more plentiful, Jepsen probably isn't a middle reliever you need to draft since he lacks the big strikeout potential of some, but if he were to inherit the closer role, you could feel comfortable using him.
Jepsen agreed to a one-year, $5.3125 million deal with the Twins on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. Jepsen notched 15 saves between the Rays and Twins during the 2015 season, receiving an opportunity with the Twins following an injury to normal closer Glen Perkins. Jepsen should return to a setup role out of spring training, but would likely get the first shake at replacing Perkins should he falter or get injured.
Twins closer Glen Perkins (back) will be available Friday, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Perkins has not pitched since Sept. 1, as he's dealt with back spasms, but it appears the issue is now behind him. He figures to serve in more of a setup role upon his return, yielding to Kevin Jepsen as the closer.
Handed a 2-1 lead in the ninth inning, Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen suffered his fifth blown save of the season by giving up two runs on four hits in Wednesday's loss to Detroit. It was Jepsen's first blown save out of eight save attempts since being traded to Minnesota and moving to the closer role with Glen Perkins hurt. Perkins is making progress in his return from back injury, but Jepsen is still likely to remain the closer for the next week or so as Perkins will be used in a setup role initially. Perkins may never return to the closer role, given that he hasn't been able to stay healthy since receiving two cortisone shots for a bulging disc in his neck on Aug. 19.
Twins reliever Kevin Jepsen survived a dicey ninth inning to collect his 11th save of the season on Saturday. Jepsen, who continues to fill in for the injure Glen Perkins, entered the game in the ninth inning with the Twins leading the Astros 3-1. But the right-hander allowed a pair of hits and a pair of walks, leading to a run. But, with two outs and the bases loaded, a diving, tumbling catch by Byron Buxton allowed Jepsen and the Twins to escape with the win. Saturday snapped a string of 16 consecutive scorless outings for Jepsen. But he successfully converted his sixth straight save opportunity.
Twins closer Glen Perkins will not go on the team's nine-game road trip, which begins Friday at Houston, due to his lingering back injury. The Twins don't return home until Sept. 14 vs. Detroit. "I honestly don't know what happened. I pitched Tuesday. That day I would have said I felt 90-95 percent," Perkins said, per 1500ESPN.com. "Everything was good, everything was fine, I pitched, I didn't think anything of it after the game. Then when I woke up [Wednesday], I couldn't get out of bed. It completely blindsided me. "I don't feel any better today [Thursday]. It's going to take a little bit more time this time." Manager Paul Molitor said Kevin Jepsen will fill-in as closer in Perkins' absence. "It's a tough thing. Because you can't really inject it, it's not an injury that needs that type of attention," Molitor said of Perkins' injury. "There's not really anything you can do other than to try to find ways to calm it down and do what you can to see if you can get him back out there. "There's a chance, at least in my mind, that this could be something that lingers. Might have some good days, some bad days here on out."