Perkins takes a step toward the majors

Former Gophers pitcher Glen Perkins was called up from Single-A to Double-A by the Twins last week.

Matt Perkins

Glen Perkins’ boyhood dream was to play for the Minnesota Twins. But he never expected that dream to develop so quickly.

After being drafted with the 22nd pick in the first round of the 2004 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Twins, Perkins took one step in the direction of his ultimate goal. And last week he took one more.

The Twins organization made its first significant move with Perkins, calling him up from the Single-A Ft. Myers Miracle to the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats.

And it was no showcase move. Two days after the call-up, Perkins made his first start for the team Friday.

“I wasn’t really nervous at all. The way I would put it is that I was tense,” Perkins said. “I walked three guys all with two outs, and I never really had an easy 1-2-3 inning.”

But he pitched well, allowing two runs on six hits and striking out six during six innings, taking a no-decision in the Rock Cats’ 4-3 win over Altoona.

Minnesota baseball coach John Anderson said everything Perkins does spawns from one simple word – confidence.

And that confidence is a standard for Anderson’s players.

“He pitched at a consistently high level during his career here,” Anderson said. “I expected him to climb the ladder and climb it fairly quickly if he stayed healthy. I’m not completely surprised, and it reflects somewhat on his background and some of the development that went on in his three years here.”

Perkins said his development with the Gophers prepared him for the process he is currently involved in, and ultimately it will make him a better person and player at the next level.

Sam Steidl, a former teammate and current minor leaguer with the Ogden Raptors in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, said he feels Perkins is on a perfect pace to make it to the major leagues sometime soon, and much of it has to do with Anderson’s coaching.

“(Anderson) prepares you in a lot of ways; he teaches you baseball for one,” Steidl said. “But he gets you ready for a lot of life lessons as well – dealing with adversity, being responsible, learning how to be on your own. He gets you ready to be a man.”

Steidl and Perkins are two of the many Gophers trying to reach their goal of making it to the majors. But Perkins’ goal is coming into focus so much that he said a September call-up isn’t out of the question.

In September, major league teams are allowed to expand their roster size from 25 players to 40 players, but then playoff teams must narrow their rosters back down to 25 for the postseason.

“You definitely feel like you’re getting closer,” Perkins said. “I’m just getting more excited than anything.”