6/26/2014 9:55 P.M. ET
Perkins aims for All-Star bid at home ballpark
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Twins closer Glen Perkins got his first taste of what it's like to be an All-Star last year, and the Minnesota native remains hopeful he'll be able to represent the Twins in this year's Midsummer Classic at Target Field on July 15.
Perkins is off to another impressive season, as he ranks third in the American League with 19 saves and is also 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA. He's also struck out 42, walked six and given up two homers in 32 1/3 innings.
"As awesome as last year was being my first chance to go, playing at home would be something," Perkins said. "It would be a pretty neat feeling. Growing up in Minnesota and all those things, it would be really special."
Perkins didn't see any action last year in the All-Star Game at Citi Field, but he said it was still a great experience, and one he'd like to duplicate at his home park. But Perkins said he tries not to think about it too much, as it's out of his control.
"You try not to," Perkins said. "It's at the back of my mind. It's hard not to know that we're playing there and that I want to be there. Making it last year gives you a better chance of making it this year. So I've been to an All-Star Game and I know what it's like, so I know how fun it would be at Target Field. So it's hard not to think about it."
Pitchers aren't on the All-Star Game ballot, but Perkins believes second baseman Brian Dozier and Kurt Suzuki are both deserving of being first-time All-Stars. Both are ranked in the top five at their position in the latest ballot update released Sunday. Perkins also mentioned right-hander Phil Hughes as another worthy candidate to represent the Twins at Target Field.
"Phil, Zuk, Doz, and myself -- I think we're all deserving," Perkins said. "I'd hope that the coaching staff chooses some of our guys."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15 on FOX.
Polanco gets taste of bigs with Santana sidelined
ANAHEIM -- With rookie shortstop Danny Santana unavailable to play on Thursday after sustaining a bone bruise in his left knee, the Twins made a surprise move, recalling infielder Jorge Polanco all the way from Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Right-hander Yohan Pino, who started on Wednesday, was optioned to Triple-A Rochester to make room for Polanco.
Polanco made his Major League debut in the Twins' 6-4 loss on Thursday, drawing a four-pitch walk against Angels right-hander Ernesto Frieri. At 20 years and 356 days old, Polanco became the youngest Twins player to make a debut since Joe Mauer, who was four days younger when he debuted in 2004.
"I was excited -- I wanted to hit," said Polanco, who slept only one hour after finding out about the callup. "I wasn't worried too much. I just wanted to have a good at-bat and put the ball in play. But he didn't throw a strike, so I was just taking."
Polanco was hitting .289/.363/.404 with five homers, 12 doubles, three triples and eight stolen bases in 72 games with the Miracle. Polanco, ranked as the club's No. 8 prospect by MLB.com, is the first Twins player recalled from Class A to the Majors since Jim Eisenreich in 1982. He's also the second-youngest player in the Majors behind only Rangers infielder Rougned Odor, who is five months younger than Polanco.
"I saw him in Spring Training, and we all know he's very talented and one of our prospects," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He can swing it. He's a little loose defensively, which some young players happen to be. But he has a lot of really good skills. So it's exciting."
Polanco arrived at the airport at 11:30 a.m. PT and was available for Thursday's game against the Angels, but he wasn't in the lineup with Pedro Florimon getting the start at shortstop. Polanco has played 68 games at shortstop this year and one at second base, making 21 errors in 329 chances.
Gardenhire said he's not afraid to play Polanco, despite the fact he's yet to reach Double-A. But the move is expected to be temporary, as the Twins are still waiting to see how serious Santana's knee injury is.
"He's a nice player and he moves around well," Gardenhire said. "He can hit. Defensively, he can get a little loose, but he can pick it. He's a lot like Danny Santana was at the same age. A lot of talent, but can be a little loose in the field. But [former manager] Tom Kelly said he really likes him and the way he goes about. So if I have to play him, I'll play him. I'm not afraid to put him in there."
Pino gave up five runs in three innings against the Angels on Wednesday in his second big league start. The Twins still haven't decided who will start in his place on Monday, but a likely option would be Samuel Deduno moving from long relief back to the rotation for at least one spot start.
"They needed a spot and needed a player, so I'm fine," said Pino, who had a 1.92 ERA with Rochester. "I just want to go down there and pitch and come back."
Santana day to day with bone bruise after MRI
ANAHEIM -- Shortstop Danny Santana had an MRI exam on his left knee before Thursday's game that revealed a bone bruise, and he is listed as day to day.
Santana originally injured his knee while running between first and second base in the third inning of Wednesday's game against the Angels. He left the game because of the injury and tried testing it out before Thursday's game, but he still felt discomfort and was held out of the starting lineup.
It was encouraging news for the Twins, as Santana has been one of the club's most productive players offensively this season. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said there's still a chance Santana could be placed on the 15-day disabled list if it doesn't heal soon.
"We're still not sure which way we're going to go," Gardenhire said. "He's still not moving very well, so we have to see how long it'll take for him to get well. The decision now is to see where we go from here, whether it's DL time or we let him play through it."
The rookie is hitting .328/.366/.448 with two homers, 10 doubles, 16 RBIs and six stolen bases in 37 games this year. He said he's optimistic he won't need a DL stint, but he said he tried jogging before the game and still felt soreness in his knee.
"It's a little better," Santana said. "It's a little sore, but it's better."