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Saturday, May 25, 2019

Finally, Twins see White Sox, and bring memories of Jerome Holtzman: “The Dean”

The Chicago White Sox are the only team that has been in the same competitive grouping as the Twins throughout the 59-season existence of the Minnesota franchise.

The White Sox and the Twins were in the 10-team American League from 1961 to 1968, the six-team (and then seven) American League West from 1969 to 1993, and the five-team American League Central from 1994 to the present.

The Twins entered this season having played the White Sox a total of 920 games (including three ties), 65 more games than the second team – Detroit – on the list of games played.

The Twins also would see Chicago in spring training, what with the White Sox encamped in beautiful Sarasota from 1960 to 1997. Those March exhibitions were infrequent when the Twins were in Orlando, and then a regular occurrence when the Twins moved to Fort Myers in 1991.

A case of recollections, both of longtime competition and of a reporter now gone.

QLE Posted: May 25, 2019 at 06:04 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jerome holtzman, twins, white sox

Friday, May 24, 2019

MLB roundup: Twins hammer eight HRs in rout

The Minnesota Twins slammed eight home runs, including two each by Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop, on their way to a 16-7 rout over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday afternoon in Anaheim, Calif., completing a three-game sweep.

The game was originally scheduled to be played Wednesday, but a rainstorm made the field conditions unplayable. The wait was worth it for the Twins, whose eight home runs tied a single-game club record. It also tied an Angels record for most home runs allowed in a game.

The Twins have scored a major league-high 289 runs this season, and they battered Angels pitching Thursday for 17 hits and six walks. Former Angel C.J. Cron had five hits, including a home run and two doubles.

Besides Sano, Schoop and Cron, Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco and Eddie Rosario also homered.

 

QLE Posted: May 24, 2019 at 07:29 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, home run derby, twins

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

If this keeps up, the Twins can compete in the land of MLB behemoths

ANAHEIM, Calif. — It’s a fragile existence out where the money’s a bit tighter and the depth chart’s a bit thinner, where trying to win baseball games – today and tomorrow – feels like a bold and risky endeavor.

Maybe that’s why it’s so easy to admire the Minnesota Twins, who don’t always get it right, who’ve endured some ugly ones, who’ve earned their share of dark Octobers, and who are pretty determined to try anyway.

So some years they win 85 and one year recently they lost 103 and as of Tuesday night they had the second-best record in the American League, and sometimes it all seems to rest on the back of a butterfly in a windstorm, but that’s the life, right?

Some do it better. Some don’t. Others just refuse to show up. And if you’re thinking that’s the bare minimum, then look lower. Look under the Twins. There’s plenty down there.

A rather entertaining thing to watch this season- especially as it serves to teach the Indians a lesson….

 

QLE Posted: May 22, 2019 at 08:00 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Did Twins infielder trick his own teammates into committing a ridiculous error?

The Minnesota Twins committed one of the silliest errors you’ll ever see in a Major League Baseball game on Wednesday, and visual evidence suggests it was caused by an infielder who wasn’t even involved in the play.

It happened in the third inning of Minnesota’s 8-7 win against the Los Angeles Angels. Shohei Ohtani hit a sharp comebacker that Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi did well to field cleanly. But that’s precisely where the good defense on this play ended.

As Odorizzi gathered and flipped to first base, everyone in the ballpark was stunned when C.J. Cron whiffed on making the catch.

How could that happen?

So, is it just dumb luck that the Twins are dominating their competition, or just the natural result when half the teams are openly not trying?

 

QLE Posted: May 16, 2019 at 03:50 AM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: errors, twins

Friday, May 10, 2019

Twins figure out one weird trick to instantly increase attendance: $5 tickets

The Minnesota Twins are the biggest surprise in baseball. A year after winning 78 games, the Twins have jumped out to a hot 23-12 start. After being written off a little over a month ago, the Twins are legitimate contenders to win the American League Central.

Problem is, you wouldn’t know it by watching their games. The Twins have seen one of the largest attendance drops in baseball, according to USA Today. That’s not due to weather, either. Those figures are compared to last April, which featured more postponements and a lower average temperature around the country.

In an effort to reverse that trend, the Twins have come up with a bold, new strategy to get fans back to the ballpark: $5 tickets.

The Twins had a flash sale of $5 tickets that included the rest of the team’s home games in May. After the team sold 20,000 tickets with that plan, they made even more tickets available for those games.

Wonder how long before this hits other teams- my local team has had an attendance drop, and I’d like to take advantage of this.

QLE Posted: May 10, 2019 at 08:35 AM | 38 comment(s)
  Beats: cheap tickets, twins

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Willians Astudillo Is A Baseball Enigma

But there’s another thing that makes the 27-year-old rookie nicknamed La Tortuga is perhaps the most interesting man in baseball: his bat. No one in pro baseball hits quite like he does.

Among all major league hitters in history to record at least 100 plate appearances, Astudillo ranks first in batting average (.382). While he looks something like Bartolo Colon, he’s hitting like Ty Cobb.

Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: April 06, 2019 at 09:57 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Twins start fresh with rookie manager Baldelli in dugout

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Twins hired the youngest manager in the major leagues. They remade the right side of the infield. There will be a new closer, too, should rookie skipper Rocco Baldelli decide to designate a particular reliever for ninth-inning duty.

Starting fresh doesn’t necessarily mean starting over, though.

The Twins have quietly built a roster that, if their most important under-28 players either continue to progress or rebound from rough seasons, has the capability of at least pushing the defending AL Central champion Cleveland Indians for the division title. They made the playoffs just two years ago, after all.

That, and the fact that the Indians are inexplicably trying to somehow tank and win the divisional title at the same time….

 

QLE Posted: March 21, 2019 at 08:22 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: rocco baldelli, twins

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Brothers, friends and teammates: After 50 years, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva still going strong

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Every morning here Rod Carew pulls away from the hotel the Minnesota Twins put him up in, leaves wife Rhonda and cat Taz, bound for work. He drives the same route, the one that takes him by Tony Oliva’s place, timing it up so Tony is getting to the curb just as Rod eases to a stop. Every morning Tony waves, just in case, and smiles, of course.

Together, they cover the final few miles to the Twins spring training camp, park near the front door, say hello to the security guard, then walk to the clubhouse, where they will have their first meaningful conversation of the day.

Eat breakfast first? Or change into their uniforms first?

After the last couple of years, one is quite glad to hear that Carew is keeping on.

 

QLE Posted: March 16, 2019 at 08:24 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: rod carew, teammates, tony oliva, twins

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

New Hires, New Tech Might Give Twins One of MLB’s Best Player Development Systems - Minnesota Twins - Articles - Homepage - Twins Daily

Here, minor-league players will have almost every swing, pitch, throw and catch tracked.

The number of people gathering data has grown exponentially from the previous season. Then again, the number of tracking devices has also grown exponentially.

The Trackman units have been hanging on the fencing behind home plate at the three large fields for several seasons. The many Rapsodo 2.0 devices are new this year, as are the multiple high-speed cameras. Hitters have Blast motion sensors attached to their bats and will undergo a 4D body movement sensor session in the covered batting cages before the day’s activity starts.

Meanwhile, when live at-bats begin, standing behind the pitcher’s mound are Twins employees, protected by screens, charting everything on iPads. The Rapsodo devices in front of every home plate area are rapping along. Trackman, the all-seeing eye-in-the-sky, is tracking man.

The place is buzzing with data collection.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 12, 2019 at 08:12 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: player development, twins

Friday, February 22, 2019

Marwin Gonzalez, Twins

Versatile Marwin Gonzalez has agreed to a two-year, $21 million deal with the Minnesota Twins, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Passan on Friday.

The deal, which is worth $12 million this season and $9 million in 2020, is pending a physical.

Gonzalez, who played every position for the Houston Astros in 2018 except pitcher and catcher, was an invaluable sparkplug during the Astros’ rise to success, with manager A.J. Hinch calling him “my Swiss Army knife.”

The switch-hitting Venezuelan played a career-high 145 games this past season, hitting .247 with 16 home runs and 68 RBIs. He played mostly in left field and at the middle infield positions, with George Springer, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa all missing time this season due to injuries.

 

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 22, 2019 at 02:01 PM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: marwin gonzalez, twins

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Twins’ future still depends on Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano | Star Tribune

I’m in the ever-shrinking group of people who are still buying on Buxton. Granted, I’ll buy in a little lower this year, but I’m still buying.

In 2017, when the Twins captured an AL wild-card spot, Buxton played 140 games, won a Gold Glove in center field and hit .253 with 16 home runs. Sano was named an All-Star that season, hit .264, played in 114 games and had his second consecutive season with at least 25 home runs.

But in 2018, both had lost, injury-plagued seasons. Sano played in 71 games and Buxton only 28. They both hit under .200 (Sano .199, Buxton .156).

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2019 at 07:27 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Monday, January 28, 2019

Add Indians, Twins to list of teams defending payroll thriftiness

Jumping ahead to the most pointed section:

The AL Central is, bar none, the weakest division in baseball. The 91-71 Indians ran away with it last season, outpacing the Twins by 13 games. The Twins, in second place, finished six games below .500. The third-place Tigers were 34 games under .500. The Twins and White Sox have gotten marginally better this offseason by adding some players — C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz for the Twins; Ivan Nova and Yonder Alonso for the White Sox — while the Tigers and Royals have largely done nothing. There are no guarantees in baseball. The Indians no longer have Edwin Encarnacion, Michael Brantley, Cody Allen, and Andrew Miller. They’re a worse team now than they were on Opening Day last year, and as a result, they’re willingly leaving the division wide open, particularly for the Twins.

But the Twins aren’t interested in spending money, either. Per MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, Twins GM Thad Levine said about potentially acquiring a superstar like Bryce Harper or Manny Machado that those acquisitions would be best for the club if the Twins were favorites to win the division and trying to put the division down, not when they’re trying to overcome another team (the Indians).

So, does anyone actually want to win the AL Central?

QLE Posted: January 28, 2019 at 06:01 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: cheapskate, indians, twins

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton turns frustration into motivation and muscle

MINNEAPOLIS—Byron Buxton hasn’t forgotten his extended, unexpected stay in the minor leagues last summer.

The inconsistent Twins center fielder is eager to show the experience made him stronger. After an offseason in the weight room, one look is about all it takes.

“People tell you to take that frustration as fuel,” Buxton said. “And that’s something I did, as well, to help me do what I want to do.”

What, no fights on the Internet?

QLE Posted: January 27, 2019 at 08:25 AM | 41 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, byron buxton, muscle, twins

Friday, January 04, 2019

Willians Astudillo Is an MVP Candidate | FanGraphs Baseball

Willians Astudillo fascinates me.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 04, 2019 at 08:44 AM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: twins, willians astudillo

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Twitter: Jeff Passan: Twins Sign Nelson Cruz

 

Jim Furtado Posted: December 27, 2018 at 10:37 AM | 44 comment(s)
  Beats: nelson cruz, twins

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

The Minnesota Twins will retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7 jersey next season, moving swiftly to honor the six-time All-Star who retired after a 15-year major league career.

Chris Fluit Posted: December 18, 2018 at 02:58 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: jersey numbers, joe mauer, twins

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Orlando Cabrera To Retire From Baseball

OH NO, EXPO!

Last season, Orlando Cabrera batted .238 with the Indians and Giants, posting a 61 OPS+. The season before that, he posted a 76 OPS+. The season before that, he posted an 85 OPS+. Orlando Cabrera has been declining, and just turned 37 years old. As a free agent, Cabrera didn’t drum up much interest, which I’m guessing is why he’s intending to hang ‘em up. Enrique Rojas:

  “Orlando Cabrera to retire from baseball, he said in Colombia radio station. Thanks for memories!”

Cabrera had a long career that’ll be difficult to forget. He debuted with the Expos in 1997, and remained there until the giant Nomar Garciaparra three-way trade in 2004. That year, with the Red Sox, Cabrera won a World Series. He wound up with the Angels, earning the unfortunate nickname “The Wizard of O.C.”, and then he wound up with the White Sox, and the A’s, and the Twins, and the Reds, and the Indians, and the Giants ... He remained a shortstop to the end, and collected 2,055 hits. He will always be remembered as a pest. An absolute pest.

Repoz Posted: January 18, 2012 at 09:06 PM | 23 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, athletics, expos, giants, indians, red sox, reds, twins, white sox

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Zumaya agrees to deal with Twins

Game on!

The Tigers could end up seeing a lot of Joel Zumaya this year after all. It’ll just be in a different uniform, albeit an awfully familiar one.

After throwing for teams in December and holding out for a roster spot and the right situation, Zumaya has agreed to terms with the Minnesota Twins, the reliever told MLB.com. The two sides spent Saturday putting together a deal that could pay him anywhere from $800,000 to $1.7 million if he reaches incentives.

A Twins official would neither confirm nor deny the deal to MLB.com, but said they’ve been in negotiations since December.

Zumaya weighed what he called “good offers” from three other clubs,  but the Twins included guaranteed money rather than a minor-league deal with a Spring Training invite. If he’s healthy, they’ll bring him to the same mound at Target Field where he last threw a Major League pitch. He fractured his elbow throwing for the Tigers against the Twins on June 28, 2010.

Repoz Posted: January 15, 2012 at 03:00 PM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: tigers, twins

MLB Trade Rumors: Bartolo Colon Agrees to Sign With Unknown Team

Bartolo Colon has agreed to a deal with an unknown club reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today (on Twitter). The right-hander wouldn’t divulge the team because he has not yet passed his physical.

Pretty sure it’s either the All-Stars or the Champs.


Friday, January 13, 2012

BBPro:  Heartburn Hardball - Jack Morris in Motion

Morris, who was the face of the Detroit Tigers’ pitching staff for the entirety of the eighties before spending the early nineties hopping between the Twins, Blue Jays, and Indians, has every right to be thrilled at the news. And the rest of us, especially those who were too young to see him pitch, have every right to ask…why Jack Morris? Why now?

To answer that question, I decide to watch the most famous performance of his career, the game that proved once and for all that he was a true ace and a true winner.

....

The Twins will win 1-0 in the bottom of the 10th, winning the second World Series title in franchise history and solidifying Jack Morris’s place in baseball history.

And when it’s over, I will be more convinced than ever that Jack Morris is not a Hall of Fame pitcher.

 

 

Completely Unbiased 3rd Party Lurker Posted: January 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM | 83 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, hall of fame, tigers, twins

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Goldman: Bernie Williams vs. Kirby Puckett

Let’s ask Erardi!...okay, maybe not.

I was watching the Hall of Fame announcement show on the MLB Network on Monday–congratulations to a very deserving Barry Larkin–and something Peter Gammons said as an aside in a discussion of Bernie Williams’ suitability for the Hall of Fame stuck with me: “He wasn’t as good as Kirby Puckett,” the Great Gammo almost muttered, as they cut to a commercial break.

I haven’t been able to put that comment out of my mind, because I’m not certain why Gammons is so sure. Both were excellent hitters with very different skills who nonetheless arrived at similar results. Puckett was short and stout, Williams long and lithe. Puckett reaped a huge benefit from his Metrodome home park, hitting .344/.388/.521 at home, .291/.331/.430 on the road. Williams was about the same hitter everywhere. Both were Gold Glove center fielders who won several of the defensive awards with their bats. Both won a single batting title. Puckett led the AL in hits four times; Williams walked too much to compete in that department.

Career-wise, Williams looks a little worse overall, but that’s because his peak isn’t quite so high and his career is a little longer. Due to glaucoma, Puckett’s career came to an abrupt end, depriving him of a decline phase, whereas Williams got to play until he was no longer useful. If you consider both through their age-35 seasons, it’s a virtual tie: Williams had hit .301/.388/.488 in 1804 games, while Puckett hit .318/.360/.477 in 1783 games.

Repoz Posted: January 12, 2012 at 05:52 AM | 68 comment(s)
  Beats: hall of fame, history, sabermetrics, twins, yankees

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

The Greatest Animated Sports .GIFs of 2011

32. Cliff Lee declines to run out his own grounder

I’m a firm opponent of the designated hitter rule, because just as I love to watch a punter try to scoop up a bad snap and try to throw it, or see a 7’1” center with no range try to chuck up a last-second three, I love watching pitchers hit.

Never will I come closer to seeing what it would be like if someone with my skill set tried to perform on a professional level. I mean, how nuts is this: in the National League, five to 10 percent of all at-bats are taken by men who, by everyone’s admission, are profoundly bad at it! It’s Dada performance art, and the ubiquity of such comical nonsense—over the course of a game, a season, and the history of baseball—is unrivaled by anything in any other sport.

This GIF features a delightful bonus: the catcher starts jogging to the dugout well before the play ends. It’s beautiful.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 04, 2012 at 09:33 PM | 33 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, online, phillies, twins

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Jason Marquis, Twins agree on deal

Marquis de Target Field?

Gamingboy Posted: December 22, 2011 at 08:46 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Mackey: Don’t laugh, but healthy Mauer, Morneau vault offense near top ?

Leapin’ Lavillenie’s! Good luck with that.

- The team run total projection was derived by using David Smyth’s base runs estimator formula—a formula that is generally accurate within 10-15 runs.

...- The biggest reason for the jump in runs, besides health, would be due to a massive injection of on-base percentage—specifically with Carroll and Willingham. Mauer and Morneau are on-base machines as well, when healthy.

- If any of these players performs better or worse than the numbers listed, the overall run total of the team will obviously be affected. In other words, if Morneau struggles like he did last season, all bets are off—and 771 runs could turn into 720 or fewer, and so on.

- Plate appearances for each player were rough estimates, and they may be optimistic in the cases of Span, Mauer and Morneau.

- It’s highly likely the Twins will use more than the 13 batters listed. In that case, the additional players will cut into the playing time of those listed above (Drew Butera and Joe Benson, for instance). Those additional players may or may not affect the overall end run total.

Scoring 771 runs would have ranked the Twins fourth in baseball last season behind the Red Sox (875), Yankees (867), Rangers (855) and Tigers (787).

But what are the chances Mauer and Morneau are healthy and productive for six months?

 

Repoz Posted: December 22, 2011 at 10:59 AM | 14 comment(s)
  Beats: history, projections, sabermetrics, twins

Monday, December 19, 2011

Kubel, D-backs reach two-year deal

Heyman says 2 years, $15 million. That is one expensive pinch hitter!

The D-backs have agreed to terms with free-agent outfielder Jason Kubel on a two-year contract with an option, a baseball source confirmed Monday.

The move is somewhat surprising in that the D-backs had not been linked in any rumors to Kubel, nor had they been rumored to be in the market for an outfielder.

Kubel, 29, hit .273 with 12 home runs and 58 RBIs for the Twins in 2011. He was originally drafted by Minnesota in the 12th round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft…

Over his career, Kubel has split his time between the outfield corners. With the D-backs, it would appear that he would become the starting left fielder with Gerardo Parra being shifted to a fourth outfield position, or used in a trade to acquire another position of need.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 19, 2011 at 03:10 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: arizona, twins

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