Suspended pitcher Ervin Santana would be ineligible for the postseason should the resurgent Twins make it that far for the first time since 2010.
The Joint Drug Agreement added that provision in 2014 after Nelson Cruz and Jhonny Peralta went from 50-game suspensions to postseason appearances the previous October.
According to Section 7-H-2 on page 41 of the 60-page document, any player suspended for performance-enhancing drugs “shall be barred from participating in the postseason (including, without limitation, being in uniform during his club’s postseason games) during the season in which his suspension commenced even after completion of his suspension.”
Dave Letterman had been hosting The Late Show for only four years in 1985 when he came up with “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival”. The idea was that Dave asked a number of notable figures to make short films, and he played them on the show.
Letterman grew up as a baseball fan in Indianapolis. Because Indiana doesn’t have a MLB team, and Indianapolis sounds like “Minneapolis”, Dave adopted Harmon Killebrew as one of his favorite players. So when “The First Annual Holiday Film Festival” idea came about, Dave called Harm and asked him to make one of the videos.
Harmon said no.
Harmon said, “No, thanks.”
But David insisted, and flew a camera crew out to Idaho along with $10,000 to cover production costs. Harmon gave in, and made a video for the show. The only problem was, Dave’s show went long, and after showing the videos by Bette Midler, Michael Keaton, Catherine O’Hara, Andrea Martin and Harry Shearer, Harmon’s video got cut.
Letterman was mortified.
Dave called up Harmon and apologized, and promised to dedicate an entire show to Killebrew. Harmon was at this point even more reluctant than he had been earlier, but when Dave promised he would get Harmon’s favorite singer, Charley Pride, to sing for him, Harmon agreed.
On February 26, 1986, Dave Letterman had “Harmon Killebrew Night”.
While today’s Twins-Tigers game was in a rain delay, former Twins pitcher and current analyst Bert Blyleven updated his Twitter followers with photos of the field, and took some cracks at Detroit’s expense in the process.
Guess I ruffled some feathers with my last tweet about download Detroit! Guess all you that responded haven’t seen how ugly your downtown is
The Minnesota Twins introduced the $19 “College Daze Bloody Mary,” which comes garnished with a cold slice of pepperoni pizza in addition to many of the usual fixings one might be accustomed to.
And here’s the full description, courtesy of Hrbeks’.
This Bloody Mary will bring back the memories (or not)! This cool Bloody Mary gets a cold slice of Pepperoni Pizza which is just what you need with a Bloody Mary! If that wasn’t enough you also get all the other fixings! Beef Stick, Pepper Jack and Cheddar Cheese Cubes, Pepperoncini, Olive, Celery, & a Pickle Spear. Served with a Bud Light Beer Back.
Worst Offseason Move: None. Seriously, the Pale Hose didn’t put a foot wrong this winter. Although, when we spoke a few weeks ago, Hahn getting fired up about a minor league deal for 36-year-old Brad Penny might’ve been a bit much.
I think it would have been fair to place the David Robertson deal here.
the Twins are giving away possibly the best bobblehead introduced thus far this season. The bobblehead will feature pitcher Phil Hughes dressed in jedi robes and holding a green lightsaber. The best part of the whole thing is that the team is using the hashtag #HughesTheForce to promote the event.
Pinto left Saturday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles after Adam Jones hit him three times on the follow-through of his swing. All three swings came during the Orioles’ four-run second inning, with the last one striking Pinto on the top of his helmet.
If his sinker was hitting 94, what was his four-seamer hitting?
Gibson, making his second start of the spring, saw his sinker reach as high as 94 mph on the stadium radar gun and he believes he can pitch with increased velocity this season.
Gibson, who posted a 4.47 ERA in 179 1/3 innings in his first full year in the Majors last season, saw his fastball average 91.3 mph last year, according to Fangraphs.com.
“I think [throughout] the year I’d like to stay right around there,” Gibson said of reaching 94 mph. “I think I can if I just maintain my body and keep a good workout regimen in between. There’s no reason why I shouldn’t be able to hold that strength throughout the year.”
“(Twins manager Paul Molitor) told me I’m going to start in Double-A,” Sano said. “I’m fine. I’m OK. I’ll go to the other side for work. I’ll have the same plan I had over here. I’m feeling normal and happy. I want to have a good season. I’m really excited to go to the other side. Everything is good.”
How long would Sano, who turns 22 on May 11, expect to be at Double-A, which is where he finished the year in 2013?
“Conversely,” Molitor said, “if he’s not going to be here to start — IF he’s not going to be here to start — then he needs to prepare himself to go down and be extended when his season begins, wherever that might be.”
More than 11 months removed from Tommy John surgery that wiped out his 2014 season, Twins third-base prospect Miguel Sano remains on track to enjoy a normal big-league spring training.
“He’s doing pretty much everything,” said Brad Steil, Twins director of minor league operations. “I don’t know if (Twins trainers) are going to watch how much activity he has in the first few days. Sometimes guys get in there and air it out and overdo it.”
Due for a better year: Domonic Brown gets what is maybe his final chance to prove himself as a big league regular. An All-Star in 2013 when he hit 27 home runs, he fell apart in 2014 with a .235/.285/.349 line. There’s still some talent here, but how much?
Due for a worse year: Ruben Amaro Jr.
I’m just the messenger: Everyone has been predicting the decline of the Phillies for a few years and Amaro finally admitted that a rebuilding was in order. He’s been asking for a ransom for Hamels, understandably so because he’s really the only valuable commodity he has, unless Chase Utley agrees to a trade or Cliff Lee comes back and proves he’s healthy. The past two seasons were painful for Phillies fans, but 2015 could be their worst season since losing 97 games in 2000.
The final word: Hey, on the bright side the Phillies outperformed my prediction last year by seven wins .. and still won just 73 games. If there’s a bright spot, it’s the bullpen, led by closer-in-waiting Ken Giles (1.18 ERA as a rookie), which should be solid even if Papelbon is traded.
“I’m going, wait a minute. This is a baseball game,” Michaels told the host, NBC colleague Mike Florio. “Nobody is screaming like this when the fifth inning starts. ... To me, there was no question” that the crowd noise was not natural.
2014 was undoubtedly a breakout season for Hughes, and it doesn’t appear to be an anomaly. While sometimes a better-than-expected season can be explained by a fluky BABIP, that can’t be said about Hughes. Last season, his BABIP was an above-average .324, tied for the highest of his MLB career. The primary reason to believe in his future success is because of what changed in 2014. Things like movement and speed can inexplicably disappear during the course of an offseason, but pitch selection and overall strategy are much more controllable, and therefore sustainable.
In 2015, Steamer sees Hughes as a 2.5 win player, while ZiPS is much more confident, forecasting a 4.0 zWAR. As a former first round pick, Hughes has always had high expectations placed on him. However, not every pitcher matures at the projected rate, and in his case it took much longer to reach his prime. With the most successful season of his career under his belt, Hughes can look to build a future with still more upside. He can still make improvements by inducing more groundballs and tinkering with his new cutter.
Hughes, who won 16 games in his first season in Minnesota, has been rewarded with a three-year extension that will pay him an additional $42 million, the team announced Monday. The righthander’s $8 million salary in each of the next two seasons has been increased to $9.2 million, and he will earn $13.2 million per year from 2017-2019.
That makes the Twins’ total commitment to Hughes $58 million over the next five seasons. It’s the longest commitment the Twins have ever made to a starting pitcher.
The 28-year-old starting pitcher was considered a mild risk when the Twins signed him to a three-year, $24 million free agent contract one year ago, but he responded with one of the strongest seasons by a Twins starter in the past decade, posting a 3.52 ERA in 32 starts.
He struck out 186 batters and walked only 16, setting a major-league record with a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 11.63.
Hunter has to be better than Arcia and Willingham.
Just like I do all the time: As soon as you get somebody to explain (advanced metrics) …” said Ryan, who has Jack Goin on his staff for just that purpose. “When you look at the rankings of the defensive side of the game, you shake your head many times. I’m not saying a lot of them aren’t accurate, because some of them are, but a lot of them aren’t accurate either.
“You can use the metrics or you can use the eye, and you should use both. In this instance, I think we’ve seen (Hunter) play probably 30-35 games as an evaluation process this year, and for the most part the lowest grade we had on him was average range. That’s pretty good.”
Torii Hunter is going home. According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today and Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com, Hunter has reached a one-year, $10.5 million deal with the Twins.
Hunter has been linked to almost a dozen teams so far this winter, with the Rangers, Royals, Mariners and Orioles among the most aggressive in addition to Minnesota. As we reported in mid-November, the Royals and Twins were being most aggressive in their pursuits of Hunter once his last team, the Tigers, dropped out of the running, The Rangers were said to be making a push earlier today, but Rosenthal reports that the Twins made the higher offer and were able to agree to terms with Hunter.
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.
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.