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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Twins Newsbeat

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Twins to interview Chaim Bloom of Tampa Bay Rays

“Chaim is great,” says one longtime baseball man and former department head. “Unlike a lot of those analytics guys, he can actually carry on a conversation.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 16, 2016 at 05:06 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Miguel Sano to have back injury examined |

Back injuries are the new rage.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 15, 2016 at 03:24 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: injuries, miguel sano, twins

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Minnesota Twins set to interview Cubs exec Jason McLeod

The search expands.

A few hours before Dozier connected off a Daniel Norris fastball in the third inning, the Twins formally requested permission to interview Chicago Cubs executive Jason McLeod for their top baseball operations job. Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer confirmed the request, telling reporters he expected the interview to take place.

“There’s probably not a better scouting and player-development guy out there,” Hoyer told the Chicago Tribune. “He has all the skills to do every other part of the job. He’s got a great way about him as a person. He manages people very easily. They love working for him. He deserves a shot at some point soon.”

Jim Furtado Posted: September 13, 2016 at 12:01 PM | 32 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, twins

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Bunting continues to vex Minnesota Twins hitters

Their problem has been identified.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2016 at 10:29 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Friday, September 09, 2016

Experience could be key in Minnesota Twins search

Breaking down a few potential candidates for the Twins job.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 09, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, twins

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Monday, August 29, 2016

Blue Jays’ MVP Josh Donaldson hits 3 home runs |

Josh Donaldson brought the rain with his first career three-homer game, and the Blue Jays brought the brooms, completing a sweep of the Twins, 9-6, and handing Minnesota its season-high 10th straight loss on Sunday afternoon at Rogers Centre.

Toronto’s third come from behind victory of the series was fueled by the reigning American league MVP. Donaldson’s two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh put the Blue Jays in front for good, and his second solo home run of the day in the eighth put the icing on the cake.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 29, 2016 at 06:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, twins

Friday, August 26, 2016

Minnesota Twins’ Byung Ho Park has wrist pain examined

Disappointing so far.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 26, 2016 at 06:14 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: byung-ho park, twins

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Minnesota Twins using village to help struggling Jose Berrios

The Berrios Project.

For a rookie pitcher with an astronomical earned-run average, Jose Berrios seems remarkably upbeat.

“The numbers don’t look good, but I feel great,” the Twins’ young right-hander said. “I’m trying to keep working every day, keep learning from the veteran guys. That’s the most important thing right now.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 16, 2016 at 10:10 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: jose berrios, twins

Saturday, August 06, 2016

Reusse: Mishandling of Sano more of his making than the Twins’ -

Miguel’s main problem is not that he’s been mishandled by the Twins. Miguel’s main problem continues to be mishandling himself, by not preparing for today’s game – today’s one of 162—at anything close to the maximum of his abilities.

And those abilities remain immense, if he ever chooses to exploit them to the fullest.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 06, 2016 at 07:35 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

Thursday, August 04, 2016

Twins consider sending Miguel Sano to Triple-A |

“I think it goes along the lines with young players who get to the big leagues and they either subconsciously, or their agents, someone’s telling them they’ve got everything figured out and go enjoy the life,” Molitor said. “It’s contrary to what’s real in terms of you don’t want to ever get too comfortable. And there are other guys we’ve had discussions with as young players to keep their focus on how they got here, why they’re here and [doing] what they need to do to stay here.”

Molitor said he’s continued to talk with Sano this year to help him get better, and that though sometimes he has the right intentions—like when he tried to advance to third as the trail runner during a rundown on Wednesday, only to make the inning’s final out—he needs to improve his decision-making.

“We’ve had a lot of conversations this year,” Molitor said. “He’s trying to make the changes he needs to make so he can walk out of here knowing he did what he could do to be a better player. It doesn’t happen every day.”

Jim Furtado Posted: August 04, 2016 at 01:28 PM | 31 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, paul molitor, twins

Monday, August 01, 2016

Red Sox acquire Fernando Abad from Twins - Todays Knuckleball

The Boston Red Sox have acquired left-handed pitcher Fernando Abad from the Minnesota Twins in exchange for Pat Light, a right-handed reliever and the 14th-ranked prospect in the Red Sox system.

Jim Furtado Posted: August 01, 2016 at 01:44 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: fernando abad, pat light, red sox, trade, trade deadline, twins

Friday, July 29, 2016

Eduardo Nunez deal win-win for Minnesota Twins, San Francisco Giants - SweetSpot- ESPN

This is exactly the kind of trade an organization like the Minnesota Twins has to make: Cash in on a veteran player having a career year and obtain a prospect who should be able to help in the future.

Eduardo Nunez, a career utility guy who had become the Twins’ starting shortstop this season as much by default as anything, is hitting .296/.325/.439 with an AL-leading 27 steals and represented the Twins in the All-Star Game. He’s under team control through 2017, but the Twins traded him to the San Francisco Giants for left-handed pitcher Adalberto Mejia, who has reached Triple-A and is No. 91 on Baseball America’s midseason top 100 prospect list.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 29, 2016 at 10:43 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: eduardo nuñez, twins

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Souhan: Does Pohlad have enough savvy to hire the right GM? -

Souhan thinks Pohlad is a bumpkin.

Hiring the next big thing is an exercise in research and perceptiveness, and it is difficult. When MacPhail left the Twins after the 1994 season to run the Cubs as one of baseball’s most respected bosses, he wanted to hire a general manager to work below him. On the flight to Chicago, he showed me a list of potential candidates that included Sabean, who has won three of the past five World Series with the Giants. Then he hired Ed Lynch.

On Monday, Pohlad did not sound like someone who is ready to hire the next big thing. He sounded like someone who would need a lot of help to avoid hiring the next Ed Lynch.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 21, 2016 at 11:28 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Sources: Dodgers are open to trading struggling Yasiel Puig | FOX Sports

It’s easy to forget how young he still is.

Perhaps the Dodgers will keep Puig, buying into his latest surge and banking on the fact that he is only 25. Or perhaps they finally are at wit’s end with his performance if not his personality, and will try to sell relatively high, assuming Puig does not regress in the next two weeks.

Jim Furtado Posted: July 19, 2016 at 11:22 AM | 25 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, indians, nationals, notes, padres, twins, yankees, yasiel puig

Monday, July 18, 2016

Twins dismiss Terry Ryan |

Terry Ryan was relieved of his duties as Twins executive vice president and general manager on Monday, with assistant GM Rob Antony replacing him on an interim basis.

“Since joining our organization as a player in 1972, Terry has been a dedicated, loyal and respected member of the Minnesota Twins family,” Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad said in announcing the dismissal. “Terry has been a gifted leader of the baseball department for over 18 seasons. It is impossible to overstate his contribution to our game, our team and the Upper Midwest baseball community.
“The decision to part ways with Terry was difficult, painful and not obvious. We are extremely grateful and very thankful to Terry, his wife Karilyn and their family for being a part of the Minnesota Twins.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 18, 2016 at 01:29 PM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: general managers, terry ryan, twins

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Home groan: Twins have trouble drafting and developing starting pitchers -

The Twins are hopeful about their current group of prospects.

The Twins like their current stable of starting pitching prospects. Berrios had a rough baptism when called up in May but has made adjustments at Rochester and is close to a promotion.

Jay, a lefthander taken sixth overall last year; Kohl Stewart, a righthander drafted fourth overall in 2013; and lefthander Stephen Gonsalves, taken in the fourth round in 2013, all have been promoted to Class AA Chattanooga.

Internationally, righthander Felix Jorge recently was promoted to Chattanooga. Righthander Fernando Romero is at Class A Fort Myers and throws a mid-90s fastball with a good slider. Lefthander Randy Rosario hit 96 in spring training and is making progress at Fort Myers.

Australian lefthander Lewis Thorpe has a lot of promise but has been slowed by Tommy John elbow surgery last year and, more recently, mononucleosis.

Overall, it’s a group the Twins believe could make up the majority of the rotation in the coming years — a homegrown splash for which they are desperate.

“I think you’d probably have to go back to the Liriano, Garza, Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Anthony Swarzak group in 2005 for a good comparison [to the current class of minor leaguers],” Twins minor league director Brad Steil said. “I don’t know if we have anyone right now that has the pure stuff that Liriano had before his injury, but our depth might be a little better now than it was back then.’’

Jim Furtado Posted: July 14, 2016 at 07:18 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: twins

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

How a young Big Papi beat Griffey, A-Rod in the greatest home run derby you’ve never heard of |

It seems almost inconceivable now, given the risk of injury and the overall unwillingness of most big leaguers to give up a precious day off. Back then, though, two years after a players’ strike wiped out the World Series, in-season barnstorming trips to minor league affiliates weren’t uncommon.

The Mariners, fresh off an appearance in the American League Championship Series in 1995 and contending again in ‘96, were set to play a doubleheader July 30 in Milwaukee. After wrapping up a homestand on July 28, they traveled to Appleton, where the Timber Rattlers had demonstrated their commitment to the Mariners by building a new ballpark two years earlier.


JOHN McLAREN, MARINERS THIRD-BASE COACH: The word was we weren’t going to be able to play but we’re going to try to give the fans something to grasp onto. Someone came up with the idea of doing a home run derby, so we went looking for hitters.


Rodriguez, who hit 14 homers in 248 at-bats in Appleton’s old ballpark in 1994, volunteered to participate. And by popular demand, Griffey was talked into competing, too. The Timber Rattlers countered with outfielder Luis Tinoco, hitting coach Joaquin Contreras and Ortiz, who was in the midst of a breakout season in which he batted .322 with 18 homers, 93 RBIs and a .901 OPS.


ORTIZ: I was hitting balls onto the highway, bro. Like, it was crazy. I could see they were impressed with what I was doing, and they were the guys in the big leagues. I was just playing A-ball. It was fun. I’ll never forget that.


[GARY HORCHER, TV REPORTER FOR WBAY, ABC AFFILIATE IN APPLETON]: Ken Griffey Jr. was standing by A-Rod when Ortiz started hitting his first couple shots. It was a different noise. Some guys, it sounds like a thunderclap, and other guys it doesn’t generate the same sound. This was like a hammer clattering against something really percussive. I remember everybody kind of winced. We looked over for Griffey’s reaction, and I remember Griffey kind of looking up and smiling. But A-Rod was going, “Oh my god!” I remember after one of Ortiz’s shots, A-Rod was like, “Look at that guy! I ain’t got a chance.”

RODRIGUEZ: I think we were all wondering why he wasn’t coming back with us to the Kingdome. We wanted to take him on the plane with us.


[MIKE GOFF, TIMBER RATTLERS MANAGER]: I can’t remember how many he hit, but I know he hit a bunch. He wasn’t just hitting them to right field. He was hitting them all over the ballpark, and it was a good-sized yard. It wasn’t a small yard. To hear that Alex said, “We should take him back to the Kingdome,” I think that’s bulls—- to be honest. I think some of [the Mariners] were embarrassed by what Davey did to them in that competition—and I loved every single minute of it.

Friday, July 01, 2016

Hartman: Pohlad affirms support for Molitor as Twins’ woes continue -

Last year’s team overperformed. It happens. Instead of recognizing it as such, some people thought the team had turned a corner. This led to unrealistic expectations for this season. With the team’s play this season, people are now talking about what a mess the team is when, in actuality, it’s probably underperforming. It’s true talent level is somewhere in between. From where I sit, the team is on an upward slope overall but still not progressing as quickly as its fans want. 

Pohlad added that he, along with a lot of other people in the organization and around baseball, didn’t expect a team that went 83-79 last year and challenged for a playoff spot to fall off so badly.

“No, nobody did,” he said. “I know that sounds trite to all the fans out there, and any time there’s a season that doesn’t go well you can always say that. But I think everybody would agree that we all had, certainly the organization had, high expectations for this year and they clearly have not come to pass.”

Jim Furtado Posted: July 01, 2016 at 10:46 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: paul molitor, twins

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Scoggins: Get Sano out of right field, trade Plouffe, give Kepler a long look -

Is he any better at third?

Sano’s defense has been worse than feared. He plays right field like contestants competing in a dizzy-bat race.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2016 at 09:17 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: miguel sano, twins

How Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton got his swing back

“Everything is starting to slow itself down a little bit more,” he said. “I’m starting to let the ball travel a little bit and putting the ball in play a little bit more.”

Turns out there’s much to be said for visualizing one-hop grounders to second.

“I’m exaggerating through the middle,” Buxton said, “which just allows me to envision where my hands and where my bat plane need to be. That way everything is in sync.”

Jim Furtado Posted: June 07, 2016 at 09:04 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: byron buxton, twins

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Twins suspend pitching coach Neil Allen after DWI arrest

Twins pitching coach Neil Allen has been suspended by the Twins after being arrested early Thursday morning under suspicion of driving while intoxicated.

Minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen will take over as major league pitching coach for the time being.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 26, 2016 at 05:53 PM | 20 comment(s)
  Beats: dui, neil allen, twins

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