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Twins Newsbeat

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Twins’ Byron Buxton remembers the fun part of baseball

I’m buying in.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2017 at 10:12 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Twins pitcher Gibson tossing out traditional training methods - StarTribune.com

The drills are meant to retrain Gibson and alter his throwing motion, so he holds the ball more upright, at an angle of less than 90 degrees, which enables him to reach his release point more directly. That, combined with a de-emphasis on extending his arm after releasing the ball, has dramatically reduced the amount of stress on his pitching shoulder.

And so almost every morning before training camp workouts, Gibson goes through a series of unusual throwing exercises, using a balloon-sized rubber ball, an oversized glove that looks like a stocking cap covering his right hand, and a set of hardballs of varying weights. Keeping pressure on the large ball insures his arm doesn’t extend outward too far. The ball he releases into the giant glove acclimates his shoulder to a shorter post-release extension.

“I know how it looks. I hear about it from the guys,” Gibson said. “It’s not easy, because I’ve pitched the same way for 20 years. But I can feel a huge difference in my shoulder and my back.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2017 at 06:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: kyle gibson, pitching mechanics, twins

Monday, February 20, 2017

Manny Ramirez gave hitting lessons to Twins’ Kennys Vargas

Now Vargas needs to execute on Manny’s tips.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 20, 2017 at 11:11 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: kennys vargas, manny ramirez, twins

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Berrios believes ‘16 struggles can help development with Twins - StarTribune.com

Berrios had never been hit like that before, so it tested his confidence.

“You see what the big difference is between the major league and the minor leagues,” Berrios said. “So now I feel more comfortable and more confident with myself. I feel better. You have to stay mentally strong. Sometimes I feel rushed and it can be tough. But everyone knows I work hard every day. So I go out and do my stuff, the things I can control.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:49 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jose berrios, twins

Meet baseball’s latest boy genius – the son of a pile driver operator

A boy genius for you. A boy genius for you. Boy geniuses for EVERYBODY!!

Jim Furtado Posted: February 18, 2017 at 08:24 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: derek falvey, general managers, twins

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Twins catcher Jason Castro masters pitch-framing art

How did Castro do it?

“Just a lot of work and a lot of understanding of angles and what it takes to be a good receiver,” said Astros manager A.J. Hinch, a fellow Stanford catching product. “Like most smart players, he found a deficiency where he was being criticized a little bit or he wasn’t being ranked as much.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 14, 2017 at 09:26 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: jason castro, pitch framing, twins

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reusse: Park holds onto dream despite baseball’s humbling snubs - StarTribune.com

“This is the path I have chosen. I am going to work hard and stay positive. That is why I am here early. Maybe that is why the pitching coach, Stew Cliburn, said good things.

“I still have my dream, to succeed in major league baseball.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: February 10, 2017 at 02:22 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Byung Ho Park clears waivers, will battle for spot with Twins - StarTribune.com

I thought someone would take a flyer on him.

Designated hitter Byung Ho Park has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Class AAA Rochester.

Park was designated for assignment last week as the Twins made room to add free agent righthander Matt Belisle. It was a gamble that no team would claim Park, considering he batted .191 in 62 games for the Twins last season

Any team that claimed him would have to pick up the $9 million remaining on his contract. And, at this time of year, most teams already have a full 40-man roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 09, 2017 at 02:21 PM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

The Twins should be more aggressive on waivers - Twinkie Town

When claiming Ehire Adrianza makes someone happy…

It’s still early to figure out the organizational strategy that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine are pursuing, but I feel that utilizing the waiver wire will be an easy way to cheaply improve the Twins roster. With five of the past six years being utter disasters, the Twins shouldn’t be shunning the ability to make any improvements, no matter how small they may be.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 08, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: ehire adrianza, twins

Friday, February 03, 2017

Minnesota Twins designate Byung Ho Park for assignment

To make room on their 40-man roster for newly signed reliever Matt Belisle, the Twins took the somewhat surprising step Friday of designating Park for assignment or release.

Still owed $9.25 million over the next three seasons, including a buyout on a club option for 2020, the South Korean slugger could clear waivers as he works back from August hand surgery and a disappointing debut season in the majors.

Dock Ellis Posted: February 03, 2017 at 05:02 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, dfa, minnesota twins, twins

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Hector Santiago is Not to be Trusted

“Hector Santiago is walking more batters and missing fewer bats than ever — and when he doesn’t miss bats, opposing hitters are wailing on the ball.”

DL from MN Posted: February 02, 2017 at 05:40 PM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: hector santiago, minnesota twins, twins

Don’t Quit on Byung Ho Park | FanGraphs Baseball

I watched a lot of his AB last season. I still think he can be a quality major league hitter. I hope the Twins give him more AB to prove it.

We’re familiar with what Yoenis Cespedes and Jose Abreu have accomplished. Jung Ho Kang, when he’s on the field, has silenced questions about his ability to hit velocity. Dae-Ho Lee arrived with more modest expectations but was still a league-average bat (102 wRC+) last year in his first year in the majors, and Hyun Soo Kim posted a .382 on-base mark and 119 wRC+ in his first season in transitioning from the KBO to the majors.

Which brings us to Byung-ho Park. Park came advertised with 80-grade power, according to some evalutors, and he demonstrated last year that the power was very, very real.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 02, 2017 at 09:17 AM | 21 comment(s)
  Beats: byung ho park, twins

Monday, January 30, 2017

Twins looking to add veteran pitcher to roster | MLB.com

One of the major takeaways from TwinsFest over the weekend is that the Twins are still looking for outside help via free agency, and they are specifically targeting a veteran leader.

Although Minnesota reports for Spring Training in two weeks, it’s continuing to monitor the free-agent market, and it has been linked to veterans such as Justin Morneau, Mike Napoli and Craig Breslow. The fits for Morneau and Napoli are questionable, however, given the club’s depth at first base and designated hitter with Joe Mauer, Byungho Park and Kennys Vargas on the roster.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 30, 2017 at 02:47 PM | 12 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Twins haggling with Dodgers over potential Brian Dozier trade | FOX Sports

The never-ending trade discussion.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2017 at 06:38 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, dodgers, notes, twins

Friday, December 23, 2016

Twins have tough decision with Brian Dozier | MLB.com

Aren’t most trades of good players tough decisions?

Jim Furtado Posted: December 23, 2016 at 06:33 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, twins

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Twins satisified with Miguel Sano’s offseason program

“We hear good reports about his focus,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday. “You heard what he had to say at the end of the year about coming back and things that he wants to do, both in terms of being physically prepared as well as trying to undo some of the things that he found were a little bit humbling this year.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 08, 2016 at 06:21 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Twins must be “really inspired” to trade Brian Dozier

Kinsler has been the superior player but he’s six years older. Whether that age difference will show up in his play over the next two seasons is questionable.

While Dozier, 28, is signed for two more seasons at a combined $15 million, the 34-year-old Kinsler could be controlled through 2018 for just $6 million more if his option is exercised. Kinsler, a four-time all-star with superior defensive metrics to Dozier’s, can block trades to 10 teams, including the Dodgers, owners of perhaps the game’s deepest farm system but also reportedly in some danger of violating the sport’s debt regulations.
...
“I think we have to evaluate the players who are here and assess whether or not they’re going to be here when we’re vying for the Central title,” Levine said. “If the answer is yes, we’re going to do whatever we can to retain those players and build around them. If the (answer) is maybe, then we’re open-minded. If the (answer) is likely not, then I think what we owe the franchise and what we owe you guys is to do the best we can to accelerate this process of getting back to greatness by using those assets to improve the team.”

Jim Furtado Posted: December 04, 2016 at 07:41 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, ian kinsler, twins

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Can the Pirates find a trade partner for Josh Harrison? | FOX Sports

Team president Stan Kasten, however, said that the Dodgers are not facing any payroll restrictions or any pressure from baseball.

“There is no mandate. There is no problem with our debt,” Kasten said. “We are continuing to operate on the same program we have since the day we walked in here in 2012. That’s building through our minor-league system while continuing to aggressively put the best team on the field that we can each year.”

Baseball issued a statement:

“The Commissioner’s Office works with all clubs to monitor compliance with the Debt Service Rule. Non-compliant clubs are asked to submit a plan demonstrating a path to compliance. Clubs are evaluated on an ongoing basis relative to that plan.

“The rule is intended to ensure the financial health of clubs relative to their ability to service their indebtedness, not to influence decisions on the player market. There are various ways to achieve compliance and there is no mandate to cut payroll.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 29, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: diamondbacks, dodgers, notes, pirates, twins

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves, shortstop Nick Gordon lead Minnesota Twins Organization All-Stars | MiLB.com News | The Official Site of Minor League Baseball

Has Gonsalves really moved ahead of Berrios?

Left-handed starting pitcher—Stephen Gonsalves, Fort Myers (11 games, 11 starts), Chattanooga (13 games, 13 starts): The 6-foot-5 southpaw followed a breakout season with an equally impressive 2016, holding opponents to a .179 average over 140 innings across two levels and going 13-5 with a 2.06 ERA.

“I think he’s progressing,” said Lookouts pitching coach Ivan Arteaga, who also worked with Gonsalves at Cedar Rapids in 2014 and Fort Myers in 2015 and is paired with him again in the Arizona Fall League. “He’s very competitive and he’s very deceptive. He’s always got a pitch in mind. He understands hitters and he knows himself and he knows how to get people out. He did everything we asked him to do and more.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 19, 2016 at 08:58 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: prospects, twins

Monday, November 14, 2016

Twins’ catching prospect Mitch Garver makes his case

With the Twins’ new regime in place, pitch framing should play a larger role than ever in the club’s evaluation of catchers. Here, again, Garver believes he’s making progress.

“I have a heat chart of pitches I missed or pitches I caught well and I stole,” he said. “That’s getting bigger and bigger. I like the heat maps more than percentages. I think those help me out a lot. It’s been a process because the strike zone’s changing.”

With Alford at the plate, Garver was able to present a fastball up in the zone well enough to earn a called second strike. One pitch later, the dangerous Alford swung through another elevated fastball to end the inning.

“The higher strike is becoming way more relevant this day and age, so we’re working on getting that one,” Garver said. “It’s just that the high strike’s not usual. If a ball’s up there, either a guy hits it or they don’t swing at it. Now it’s becoming more relevant and guys are starting to study it. That’s where a lot of guys are pitching these days. They’re pitching up in the zone.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 14, 2016 at 06:24 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: mitch garver, twins

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Scott Boras praises MN Twins’ new front-office combo

“I’ve met with them,” Boras said Wednesday at the general managers’ meetings. “As far as the brain trust part of it, I think they’re well intact.”

Boras has far more experience negotiating contracts with Twins GM Thad Levine from his days with the Texas Rangers than with fast-rising chief baseball officer Derek Falvey, formerly the assistant GM with the Cleveland Indians. But as a combination, they seemed to hit it off with Boras here this week.

“I think it’s going to be an exciting new process, a very different process than what’s been before,” Boras said. “I think they’re men that have a very clear idea of what they want to do.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 10, 2016 at 06:45 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, twins

Monday, November 07, 2016

Twins GM Thad Levine listens closely, acts ethically

Mike Berardino seems smitten.

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2016 at 06:27 PM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: thad levine, twins

Falvey: Twins’ goal is building ‘a sustainable, championship-caliber team’ - StarTribune.com

How will they be better than other front offices?

Falvey and Levine, who both got five-year contracts, were introduced at a news conference later Monday morning. The two are part of the wave of baseball executives who place an emphasis on analytics, but Falvey said, “We will have a commitment to understanding metrics but we’ll always be making human decisions.”

Said Levine: “In the healthiest decisionmaking cycles, analytics plays a meaningful role but not a decisive role … [analytics] will be infused in every decision we make. It’s something we will infuse throughout our organization. It’s a piece of the puzzle.”

Falvey added: “We want to be evidence based. It doesn’t just come from analytics or numbers … also scouting information, medical information … it’s a marriage of all that information.”

Jim Furtado Posted: November 07, 2016 at 02:15 PM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, twins

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Heyman: Twins’ hiring of Falvey raising eyebrows

Derek Falvey has a lot going for him as a well-regarded young executive with the Indians, but his impending hiring to lead the Minnesota Twins’ baseball ops department as its new chief baseball officer is raising eyebrows around the league.

Falvey is indeed the choice, with the Twins believed just to be doing final background checks. Keith Law of ESPN first reported the hiring. Of course no one should blame Falvey, a very bright exec by all accounts, but it’s questionable how qualified he is to run an entire baseball ops department when he’s never run any department and has only been an assistant GM for one year.

The Twins tried to interview a few GMs (word is Ben Cherington and David Forst turned them down, and they heard through back channel sources that Jed Hoyer also preferred to stay in Chicago) and may have gotten discouraged about their chances to find anyone qualified.

“They should have tried harder for Cherington or Hoyer,” one rival GM opined, and it’s hard to argue with that.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 29, 2016 at 02:36 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: ben cherington, derek falvey, jed hoyer, twins

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Will the Minnesota Twins trade Brian Dozier?

Everyone is available *in the right deal*.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 18, 2016 at 07:55 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: brian dozier, twins

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