Remember when we thought that Glen Perkins could be a large part of a trade for San Diego closer Heath Bell?

Now, not so much.

Thanks to the emergence of Francisco Liriano, Perkins was forced to begin the season in Triple-A Rochester where the 27-year-old would hopefully build up his trade value. Through his first seven starts in the Twins’ minor league system, Perkins is 0-5 with a 10.08 ERA and a 1.988 WHIP.

With a career Major League ERA of 4.73 in 281.2 innings, Perkins is either still hurt or simply forgot how to pitch. Perkins made his last start on Saturday, where he gave up four earned runs in five innings. His ERA actually dropped .64 points.

Perkins hit the shelf late last season with tendinitis in his left shoulder. He missed 23 days on the disabled list, and the Twins’ failure to give Perkins service time during his rehab stint procured a Berlin Wall of ill feelings between the two parties.

Throwing a total of 12 innings in 2009 between Rookie-League and High-A, Perkins amassed an ERA of 2.25. He faced 45 batters and struck out nine while walking just one. Even if there were still concerns over Perkin’s shoulder, the Twins didn’t seem to be worried.

During Spring Training this year Perkins complained of lower back stiffness, which some dismissed as simply another cry for attention from a whiny pitcher who wasn’t very good in the first place. Could either his left shoulder or lower back be acting up again?

Some cite Perkins’ very high opinion of himself as problematic. Could the sharp drop in production due to injury have impacted Perkin’s confidence, resulting in horrid starts this year in Triple-A? Or is he as cocky as ever, but still hurt?

Either way, there is little chance Perkins sees Major League action with the Twins this season. He is quite a ways down the totem pole in Rochester. If the Twins’ starting rotation suffers a devastating series of injuries, Perkins may not even be the third player called up.

Perkins may be a hometown kid who grew up dreaming of a chance to play for the Twins, but any future Major League success will come with another franchise. For the sake of both the Rochester rotation and Perkins career, the Twins need to part ways with the 6’0″ lefty.

If they don’t, this Perkins Problem may develop into something even more distracting.

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