Does Brian Dozier have a 20/20 vision?

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier, 27, hit his 19th home run yesterday and he has 16 stolen bases giving him a real shot at becoming just the sixth Twins player (Torii Hunter did it twice) to join the exclusive 20/20 club with 20 or more home runs and 20 or more stolen bases. With about a third of the season left to play, he has an outside shot at becoming the Twins first 30/30 player. No Washington Senators player between 1901-1960 ever accomplished a 20/20 season.

Previous Twins players with 20/20 seasons

Rk Player HR SB Year Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB SO BA OPS Pos
1 Kirby Puckett 31 20 1986 26 161 723 680 119 223 37 6 96 34 99 .328 .903 *8/H
2 Torii Hunter 29 23 2002 26 148 604 561 89 162 37 4 94 35 118 .289 .859 *8/HD
3 Larry Hisle 28 21 1977 30 141 620 546 95 165 36 3 119 56 106 .302 .902 *78/D9H
4 Corey Koskie 26 27 2001 28 153 649 562 100 155 37 2 103 68 118 .276 .850 *5/HD
5 Marty Cordova 24 20 1995 25 137 579 512 81 142 27 4 84 52 111 .277 .839 *78
6 Torii Hunter 23 21 2004 28 138 569 520 79 141 37 0 81 40 101 .271 .805 *8D/H
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/23/2014.

A 20/20 season does not seem that difficult but in the last 10 seasons in the American League  only 17 players have accomplished this feat (Grady Sizemore did it four times) and there are some pretty good players on this list. Hopefully the slick fielding Twins second baseman Brian Dozier can join this list this season, it would be a pretty nice feather in his hat. I have no clue why the Twins haven’t signed Dozier to an extension as yet, the price keeps going up.

AL players with 20/20 or better seasons between 2005-2014

Rk Player HR SB Year ? Age Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B RBI BB SO BA OPS Pos
1 Mike Trout 27 33 2013 21 LAA 157 716 589 109 190 39 9 97 110 136 .323 .988 *87/D
2 Coco Crisp 22 21 2013 33 OAK 131 584 513 93 134 22 3 66 61 65 .261 .779 *8D/H
3 Mike Trout 30 49 2012 20 LAA 139 639 559 129 182 27 8 83 67 139 .326 .963 *87/9H
4 Alex Rios 25 23 2012 31 CHW 157 640 605 93 184 37 8 91 26 92 .304 .850 *9/H
5 B.J. Upton 28 31 2012 27 TBR 146 633 573 79 141 29 3 78 45 169 .246 .752 *8/DH
6 Jacoby Ellsbury 32 39 2011 27 BOS 158 732 660 119 212 46 5 105 52 98 .321 .928 *8/HD
7 Dustin Pedroia 21 26 2011 27 BOS 159 731 635 102 195 37 3 91 86 85 .307 .861 *4/H
8 Jeff Francoeur 20 22 2011 27 KCR 153 656 601 77 171 47 4 87 37 123 .285 .805 *9/H
9 Curtis Granderson 41 25 2011 30 NYY 156 691 583 136 153 26 10 119 85 169 .262 .916 *8/HD
10 Ian Kinsler 32 30 2011 29 TEX 155 723 620 121 158 34 4 77 89 71 .255 .832 *4D/H
11 B.J. Upton 23 36 2011 26 TBR 153 640 560 82 136 27 4 81 71 161 .243 .759 *8/H
12 Shin-Soo Choo 22 22 2010 27 CLE 144 646 550 81 165 31 2 90 83 118 .300 .885 *9/D
13 Alex Rios 21 34 2010 29 CHW 147 617 567 89 161 29 3 88 38 93 .284 .791 *8/HD7
14 Bobby Abreu 20 24 2010 36 LAA 154 667 573 88 146 41 1 78 87 132 .255 .787 *97D/H
15 Shin-Soo Choo 20 21 2009 26 CLE 156 685 583 87 175 38 6 86 78 151 .300 .883 *97D/H8
16 Nelson Cruz 33 20 2009 28 TEX 128 515 462 75 120 21 1 76 49 118 .260 .856 *9/DH7
17 Ian Kinsler 31 31 2009 27 TEX 144 640 566 101 143 32 4 86 59 77 .253 .814 *4
18 Curtis Granderson 30 20 2009 28 DET 160 710 631 91 157 23 8 71 72 141 .249 .780 *8/H
19 Bobby Abreu 20 22 2008 34 NYY 156 684 609 100 180 39 4 100 73 109 .296 .843 *9/HD
20 Grady Sizemore 33 38 2008 25 CLE 157 745 634 101 170 39 5 90 98 130 .268 .876 *8/D
21 Alex Rodriguez 54 24 2007 31 NYY 158 708 583 143 183 31 0 156 95 120 .314 1.067 *5/D
22 Curtis Granderson 23 26 2007 26 DET 158 676 612 122 185 38 23 74 52 141 .302 .913 *8/H7
23 B.J. Upton 24 22 2007 22 TBD 129 548 474 86 142 25 1 82 65 154 .300 .894 *84/DH
24 Grady Sizemore 24 33 2007 24 CLE 162 748 628 118 174 34 5 78 101 155 .277 .852 *8/HD
25 Gary Sheffield 25 22 2007 38 DET 133 593 494 107 131 20 1 75 84 71 .265 .839 *D/79H
26 Ian Kinsler 20 23 2007 25 TEX 130 566 483 96 127 22 2 61 62 83 .263 .796 *4/H
27 Grady Sizemore 28 22 2006 23 CLE 162 751 655 134 190 53 11 76 78 153 .290 .907 *8/HD
28 Johnny Damon 24 25 2006 32 NYY 149 671 593 115 169 35 5 80 67 85 .285 .841 *8D/H3
29 Alex Rodriguez 48 21 2005 29 NYY 162 715 605 124 194 29 1 130 91 139 .321 1.031 *5/6D
30 Grady Sizemore 22 22 2005 22 CLE 158 706 640 111 185 37 11 81 52 132 .289 .832 *8/H
31 Alfonso Soriano 36 30 2005 29 TEX 156 682 637 102 171 43 2 104 33 125 .268 .821 *4/DH
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/23/2014.
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According to Elias

 

Kurt Suzuki

Kurt Suzuki

Kurt Suzuki produced three hits, including a two-run double that opened the scoring in the Twins’ 4-3 win over the Indians. Suzuki now has nine games with at least three hits this season, the highest total by any catcher in the majors this season (only including hits when a player was in his team’s lineup as a catcher, of course). Suzuki entered the day tied with Salvador Perez of the Royals and Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers, each of whom has eight (Lucroy also has had a pair of three-hit games while in the lineup at first base). This could become the first season since Kurt Suzuki reached the major leagues that he produces more games of three-or-more hits than does his more famous namesake, Ichiro Suzuki. Through Monday night’s games, Kurt possesses a 9-to-3 lead in that category.

The question is how long the Twins best trade chip will remain in a Minnesota uniform.

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According to Elias

Joe Maddon

Joe Maddon

Ray’s manager Joe Maddon, never a slave to convention, slotted his DH Sean Rodriguez in the ninth spot in his batting order, but S-Rod was the right man at the right time, producing a home run and three RBIs to help David Price to a 5-1 win over the Twins on Saturday evening at Target Field. In all major-league batting orders that have included a DH since the rule was adopted in the American League 41 years ago, not even one percent of all starting DHs have batted ninth in the lineup. (The most common slots: 29 percent of starting DHs have batted fourth, 21 percent fifth, 16 percent third and 14 percent sixth.)

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Twins minor league player of the week

Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton

Ft. Myers outfielder Byron Buxton is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. In six games for the Miracle, he hit .500 (12-for-24) with two home runs, one triple, four RBI, eight runs scored and five walks. Buxton homered in back-to-back games July 17 & 18 at Daytona, including four hits on the 18th. The 20 year-old Buxton has played in just 13 games this season, missing time with an injured left wrist but is hitting .280 (14-for-50) with one double, one triple, three home runs, six RBI and five walks for the Miracles this season. You have to figure Buxton will be moved up to New Britain soon.

Not that long ago Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune did a nice piece on Buxton that you can view here. Depending on what site you choose to read, Buxton is either the number one or number two prospect in all of baseball. Will the Twins have the stones to put Buxton in  a Twins uniform later this season? If they do, they will have a sellout crowd on their hands, probably the only way they will get one this year.

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Post All-Star game thoughts, notes and links

2014-MLB-ASG-LogoHosted by the Minnesota Twins at Target Field the 85th MLB All-Star game and everything surrounding it is finally in our rear view mirror and to be honest, I am kind of glad to see it come to an end. Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun event and the Twins and the Twins Cities did a great job putting together all the festivities but the constant barrage of All-Star game hoopla on TV, the radio, the internet and newspapers was getting to me. This was a long-term project for the Twins and as a former project manager myself in a former life,  I know how tough and pressure-packed it can be, but when the project comes to a successful end it is nice to sit back like George Peppard, aka John “Hannibal” Smith used to do on the “A-Team” and say “I love it when a plan come together”. Great job Minnesota Twins!

All-Star Fan Fest was an interesting event and the only All-Star activity that I actually attended in person. I attended Fan Fest from about 11 AM to 5 PM on Friday and was shocked at how few people were actually there. You could walk up to any activity or display and there were no lines at all for anything but some food concessions. There were many cool things to do and see. This place was baseball heaven for kids and I am sure the crowds picked up in ensuing days and many baseball fans were able to partake in this fun event. What I particularly liked at this Fan Fest was that once you paid your entry fee pretty much everything else inside the event including autographs from former Twins players and Hall of Famers were free unlike Twins Fest where you pay to get in and then still have to pay to get autographs from former Twins players. Maybe the Twins should consider this approach to TwinsFest too, I know the money goes to the Twins Community Fund and that is all well and fine but don’t price yourself out of the range of the average fan.

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

What about the Home Run Derby? Yep, I watched it on TV and for the most part it was pretty boring. They say the Home Run Derby is better in person but on a cool windy evening with a 90 or so minute rain delay I think sitting at home in front of the TV served me just fine. Twins second baseman Brian Dozier participated in the derby with his older brother Clay pitching and I thing Dozier knocked three balls into the stands but not enough to move on to the next phase. Colorado Rockies first baseman and former Twin Justin Morneau was also a participant but he too was eliminated fairly early in the competition that ended about 11 PM local time when Oakland A’s outfielder Yoenis Cespedes hoisted the Home Run Derby Trophy and what looked like a professional wrestling belt high into the air claiming his second Home Run Derby championship in a row. What’s with the weird belt?

Jacobson, Jacob supposedly injured handYou can’t talk about the 2014 Home Run Derby and fail to mention foolish local lad Jacob Jacobson, 19,  who tweeted a picture of his “injured” hand that supposedly he hurt trying to catch one of derby participant Giancarlo Stanton’s home run balls. Stanton caught wind of the tweet and responded that he would give Jacobson one of his gloves and a Home Run Derby ball. The next day the teen’s father, Jeff Jacobson, told the Star Tribune the appearance of his son’s hand is actually from a birth defect, and that he’s “learning that social media is not necessarily the venue to use to make fun of situations.” Jacob Jacobson ended up apologizing and said that what started out as a joke between friends ended up getting away from him. Hello – earth to Jacob!

I watched the All-Star game on TV and it held my interest for most of the night, not a great game but an interesting game for the most part. The “I grooved a pitch to Derek Jeter” comment from Cardinals hurler and National league starter Adam Wainwright and then shortly thereafter Wainwright recants and says he really didn’t mean to say what he said added some spice to the game. Pitchers having been grooving pitches to batters for a variety of reasons in MLB for as long as I can remember, they just don’t announce it to the general public 15 minutes after they did it. I could care less if Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter or not but the way he handled the situation was pretty dumb, an embarrassment for MLB, Jeter and himself.

 

Scott Diamond

Scott Diamond

The Twins thought that they had found a genuine diamond in the rough when they acquired Scott Diamond from the Atlanta Braves as a Rule 5 draftee back in 2010 but less then four years later found out they had cubic zirconium instead and threw their diamond back into the rock pile and wouldn’t you know it, the Cincinnati Reds came by and put Scott Diamond in their pocket hoping to hit it big. Diamond had started 58 games for the Twins over the span of three seasons (2011-2013) and posted a 19-27 record with a 4.43 ERA. A pitch to contact starter, Diamond allowed 398 hits in 343 innings. Diamond had his best season in 2012 when he went 12-9 with a 3.53 ERA for a team that won a total of 66 games.

 

Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales who the Twins signed a month or so ago and are paying roughly $7.4 million dollars has been sending out feelers recently that he wouldn’t mind staying in Minnesota on a longer deal. I sure hope that the Twins don’t bite on that hook and resign Morales, actually their best move would be to send him packing at the trade deadline for whatever they get offered. In 34 games todate this supposed power hitting DH/1B has hit one home run and is hitting for a .230 average. Signed to be a full-time DH,  Morales has filled in at first base now and then since Joe Mauer has taken a vacation of yet undetermined length from his first base duties due to yet another injury just when he thought he was getting hot after his average dipped to .254 about a month ago. By the way, is there a slower runner in all of baseball then Kendrys Morales? Man, this guy can clog the bases like no one I have ever seen before, I think former Twins catcher Earl Battey who was not known for his speed could have run circles around Morales.

Former Twins pitcher Jim Kaat still has a web site at Kaat’s Korner where he does not blog that often but when he writes it is always worth reading. Recently he did a nice piece on his take on arm injuries that you can read at - http://jimkaat.mlblogs.com/2014/07/14/arm-injuries/ .

You hear the term that so and so was optioned to triple AAA and that he has no options left. What does that mean and how many options are there? Neil deMause did a nice blog about options and their history that you can check out by going to Sports on Earth.

GM Terry Ryan

GM Terry Ryan

The Twins dropped their first post All-Star game to the Tampa Rays yesterday at Target Field 6-2 and now stand seven games under .500 at 44 wins and 51 losses. Time for Terry Ryan and Rob Antony to raise the white flag and start listening to offers for a number of players on this team, too many to mention by name. Start bringing up some young players and let’s see if all those potential future stars in the minors can play big league baseball. You can’t keep selling the future forever and now is as good a time as any to see what you have under the covers. I know Byron Buxton has been hurt most of the season and he is currently in A ball but had he not been hurt he would have been at AA and maybe AAA by now. Your best coaches are here in the big leagues, why not just bring Buxton up and throw him in centerfield and see what the man can do? Centerfield has been a black hole for the Twins for some time now, how about putting Buxton out there now? Miguel Sano is injured but why not bring him up on September 1 to travel with the club, get acclimated to the big leagues and maybe even get an at bat at DH now and then? You have some young pitchers in Rochester like Trevor May, Alex Meyer, and Logan Darnell and others that can strut their stuff at Target Field so why not buy them a ticket to Minneapolis and show your diminishing group of Twins fans that you indeed have real players that can play baseball and are not just something called “potential”. Don’t forget that potential is defined as possible, as opposed to actual, expressing possibility, capable of being or becoming. OK Mr. Ryan, the fans are calling you, time to turn over your hold cards and show us what you really have in your hand.

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According to Elias – All-Star edition

Jeter flourishes in his final All-Star appearance

Derek jeter
Derek Jeter

 

Derek Jeter, as usual, rose to the occasion in his final All-Star game appearance, going 2-for-2 with a double and a run scored in the American League’s 5-3 win. Jeter finishes his career with a .481 (13-for-27) batting average in the All-Star game, which currently stands as the second highest for any of the 100 players with at least 15 All-Star at bats in major-league history, behind Charlie Gehringer, who went 10-for-20 (.500) in six appearances in the Mid Summer Classic.

Jeter became the second player in major-league history with multiple hits in the All-Star game in his final major-league season, joining George McQuinn, who had two hits representing the Yankees in the 1948 game. Jeter, at 40 years and 19 days old, also became the oldest player with at least two hits in an All-Star game. Only one player over the age of 38 had done that prior to Jeter: Carl Yastrzemski, who had two hits in the 1979 contest at age 39 years, 329 days.

Jeter’s first-inning double was his fifth career All-Star hit in the opening frame, tied with Wade Boggs and Stan Musial for the second most first-inning hits in All-Star history, behind Willie Mays (6).

Trout is the All-Star MVP

 

Mike Trout

Mike Trout

Mike Trout had two hits and two RBIs and was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2014 All-Star game on Tuesday night. Trout, 22 years and 342 days old, became the second youngest player to win the All-Star game MVP, behind Ken Griffey Jr., who captured the award in the 1992 game at 22 years, 236 days old.

Trout became the fourth Angels player to win the All-Star game MVP, joining Leon Wagner (1962), Fred Lynn (1983) and Garret Anderson (2003).

 

American League jumps on Wainwright in the first

The American League jumped on Adam Wainwright for three runs in the first inning in the All-Star game on Tuesday night. Derek Jeter led off with a double, Mike Trout followed with a triple and after Robinson Cano struck out, Miguel Cabrera unloaded a two run home run. It’s only the second time in major-league history that three of the first four batters had an extra-base hit for a team in the All-Star game. The only other time that happened in the Mid Summer Classic was in 2004, when Ichiro Suzuki led off the first inning with a double, Ivan Rodriguez followed with a triple, and then after a Vladimir Guerrero ground out, Manny Ramirez hit a two-run homer.

Wainwright allowed only four extra base hits (three doubles and a homer) in the first inning in the 19 starts he made prior to the All-Star break this season.

Cabrera goes deep out of the cleanup spot

Miguel Cabrera – the American League’s cleanup hitter – hit a two-run home run in the first inning to stake the A.L. to a 3-0 lead in their 5-3 win over the N.L. in Tuesday’s All-Star game. Cabrera’s 14 home runs this season are the fewest for the American League’s cleanup hitter in an All-Star Game since 1990, when Cal Ripken batted fourth for the A.L. with nine homers to that point.

Perkins saves it for the A.L. in his home ballpark

Glen Perkins

Glen Perkins

Minnesota’s Glen Perkins pitched a perfect ninth inning to record a save in the American League’s 5-3 win in the All-Star game at Target Field. Prior to Perkins, only two pitchers registered a save in the All-Star game in their home ballpark: Detroit’s Mickey Lolich (1971 at Tiger Stadium) and Seattle’s Kazuhiro Sasaki (2001 at Safeco Field).

A rough All-Star debut for Puig

Yasiel Puig had a rough night in his first All-Star appearance, striking out in each of his three trips to the plate. Only three other players in major-league history struck out in each of their plate appearances with at least three trips to the plate in an All-Star game: Jim Hegan (1950), John Roseboro (1961) and Johnny Bench (1970).

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According to Elias

Yoenis Cespedes entered the 2013 Home Run Derby, which he won, on a 71 at-bat home run drought, which was the longest entering the event for any of the participants. Cespedes entered the 2014 Home Run Derby, which he also won, homerless in his last 84 at-bats, the longest current home run drought for any of the participants in this year’s Derby and the third-longest of his major-league career. Cespedes went 95 at-bats without a homer in 2013 and 88 homerless at-bats in 2012.

Cespedes is the third player to win more than one Home Run Derby. Ken Griffey, Jr. won it three times (1994, 1998, 1999) and Prince Fielder won it twice (2009 and 2012).

Seven of the last eight Home Run Derby winners have come from an American League team: Vladimir Guerrero in 2007 (Angels), Justin Morneau in 2008 (Twins), David Ortiz in 2010 (Red Sox), Robinson Cano in 2011 (Yankees), Prince Fielder in 2012 (Tigers) and Yoenis Cespedes in 2013 and 2014 (A’s). The exception came in 2009 when the Brewers’ Prince Fielder won it.

 Jose Bautista‘s appearance in the Home Run Derby marked the 14th time the Blue Jays have been represented in the event, the most for any major-league team. The Blue Jays who’ve participated are Jesse Barfield (1986), George Bell (1987), Joe Carter (1991, 1992, 1996), Shawn Green (1999), Carlos Delgado (2000, 2003), Troy Glaus (2006), Alex Rios (2007), Vernon Wells (2010), and Jose Bautista (2011, 2012, 2014). None of the Blue Jays won the event!

 Mike Trout did not participate in the 2014 Home Run Derby, in part, because his manager, Mike Scioscia, advised him not to. Trout said, “Yeah, you’ve always got to respect your manager, and do what’s right for you and the team, and your body, for sure.” Four Angels participated in the Home Run Derby since Mike Scioscia became manager of the team in 1999. Two of those four players had a drastic decrease in their home run rate after the All-Star break when compared to their home run rate before the break. Garrett Anderson, who won the 2003 Home Run Derby, averaged one home run for every 16.8 at-bats before the All-Star break and one home run every 38.3 at-bats after the break. Mark Trumbo participated in the 2012 Derby. Trumbo’s home run rate before the break was one homer for every 13.1 at-bats, compared to one home run for every 25.6 at-bats after the event.

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According to Elias

 

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

 

Larry Hisle

Larry Hisle

Brian Dozier went 3-for-6 with two home runs, his 17th and 18th of the season, in the Twins’ 13-5 win at Colorado yesterday. Dozier, who has stolen 16 bases this season, is the first second baseman with at least 15 homers and 15 steals at the All-Star break since Ian Kinsler five years ago. But more impressive: Only other Twins player, regardless of position, ever accumulated at least 15 HR and 15 SB by the break: Larry Hisle in 1977.

Dozier, although not an All-Star will be part of the American League contingent participating in the All-Star Home Run Derby tonight at Target field.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Mike Kvasnicka trying to make a "circus" catch

Mike Kvasnicka trying to make a “circus” catch this past April (Photo by Derek Davis of Portland Press Herald)

New Britain (AA – Eastern League) outfielder Mike Kvasnicka (kwas-NIK-ah) is the Twins
Minor League Player of the Week. The Lakeville, MN native played in seven games for the Rock Cats, hitting .407 (11-for-27) with two doubles, one home run, five RBI and three runs scored. Mike was acquired by the Twins from the Astros for pitcher Gonzalo Sanudo on March 25, 2013.

Kvasnicka was the Astros supplemental first round pick in the 2010 MLB Draft. Kvasnicka is the highest drafted Golden Gopher player since Glen Perkins was selected with the 22nd overall pick by the Minnesota Twins in 2004 in the first round. He is also the highest selected Minnesota position player since Brent Gates, who was drafted by the Oakland Athletics with 26th overall pick in the first round of the 1991 Major League Baseball Draft. Kvasnicka is the first Golden Gopher to be drafted by the Houston Astros. Various reports had Kvasnicka receiving a $936,000 signing bonus.

Mike was drafted as a third baseman from the University of Minnesota despite having never played the position more than a handful of times. Kvasnicka was primarily a catcher in college but did occasionally mix in some starts as an outfielder. The Twins have been using the 25-year old switch-hitting Kvasnicka strictly as an outfielder in 2014 playing him in all three outfield positions.

In his fifth season of pro ball, Kvasnicka has a career batting average of .256 with 41 home runs in 1,585 at-bats.

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According to Elias

 

Kevin Correia

Kevin Correia

Kevin Correia allowed one run in six innings, and also drove in a run on a fourth-inning double in the Twins’ 9-3 win at Colorado. Correia is the first Minnesota pitcher to register an RBI in a game in which he also pitched at least six innings while allowing fewer than two runs since Bert Blyleven (9 IP, 1 run allowed, 1 RBI) against the Royals on September 16, 1972. In his 12th big league season Correia is hitting .115 with 33 hits in 288 at-bats with 13 RBI. Correia has also tried to steal twice but has been caught both times.

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According to Elias

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Twins starter Phil Hughes did not allow a run while pitching one out into the eighth inning and earned the win in the Twins’ 2-0 victory over the Mariners in Seattle last night. Hughes has allowed only two earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched at Safeco Field in his career. His 0.61 ERA at Safeco is the lowest among the 209 pitchers that have hurled at least 20 innings at that stadium.

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1965 All-Star game crossword puzzle

crossword imageThe excitement builds in Minnesota as the preparations continue for the 2014 All-Star game that will be played one week from today. The team hit the road for Seattle after Sunday’s loss to the New York Yankees and final preparations are being made at Target Field to host Minnesota’s third MLB summer classic. The Twins will be represented by closer Glen Perkins and catcher Kurt Suzuki in the game and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire will be one of the coaches.

The Twins have previously hosted MLB All-Star festivities in 1965 at Met Stadium and again in 1985 at the H.H.H. Metrodome. From 1961-2014 the Twins have had 51 different players represent them at the All-Star game. The first big league game I ever attended was the 1965 All-Star game. I was able to purchase a standing room only ticket the day of the game and watched the game from under the left-field bleachers. A memory that will stick with me for ever.

An amazing number of future Hall of Famers played in that 1965 game. So let’s see how well you remember that All-Star game. I have put together a crossword puzzle for that 1965 game and I think it will test your memory skills. Every player named an All-Star that year is mentioned in the puzzle in one fashion or another. If you enjoy Minnesota Twins or All-Star game history and like to do crossword puzzles then this might be just the thing for you.

Once you have brought the puzzle up and are ready to print the puzzle, do a right-click with your mouse and you might want to do a print preview first to get the puzzle the right size to fit on a single page by adjusting the margins. The clues for the puzzle will print on page 2.

1965 All-Star game puzzle

Answers? You want answers? Probably just to double-check your work because if you are checking out this site you are probably a big baseball fan and will not need to do any research to complete the puzzle. If you do need help answering some, checking the box score for the 1965 All-Star game might be the way to go. If you still need help, you can find them on the link below but only do so as a last resort. Thanks, I hope you enjoy it.

1965 All-Star game puzzle answers

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Self-serve beer stations make debut at Target Field

Courtesy Delaware North

Courtesy Delaware North

My goodness, what’s next? ESPN posted a story that self-serve beer stations have been installed at Target Field so that fans attending the All-Star game festivities next week can pay up front and decide what beer they want and even how much they want of it. The machines called DraftServ are a partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Anheuser-Busch. I wonder who checks the ID’s? You can see the story here.

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From 50-game suspension to All-Star

 

MLB president Bud Selig after finding out that Nelson Cruz was voted a starter for the AL All-Star team.

MLB president Bud Selig after finding out that Nelson Cruz was voted a starter for the AL All-Star team.

Is baseball sending another mixed message by naming Orioles outfielder Nelson Cruz to the American League All-Star team? I know, the fans elected Cruz to be the AL starting DH but Bud Selig and MLB could have stopped that dead in it tracks last season by simply stating that any player caught cheating and is suspended for any length of time is not allowed to participate in the All-Star game and is not eligible to win any post season awards for the next three years. A repeat offense and you are out for good. When is MLB going to get its act together?

I have heard former Twins manager Tom Kelly and other All-Star managers state that MLB has a lot more to say about who the make-up of the reserve players on the All-Star squads than what is generally believed. Is that why Brewer outfielder Ryan Braun is not an All-Star this year even though he was fifth in NL outfield voting? If so, score one for the good guys.

Nelso Cruz

Nelso Cruz

I won’t be in the stands at Target Field for the All-Star game but if I was, I would give a resounding “BOO” to Nelson Cruz when he stepped to the plate. I hope other baseball fans at the game don’t have a short memory.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Doug Bernier

Doug Bernier

Rochester (AAA – International League) infielder Doug Bernier is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. The 34-year old played in seven games for the Red Wings, hitting .370 (10-for-27) with one double, two home runs, 10 RBI, five runs scored and drew two walks. Bernier was acquired by the Twins as a minor league free agent February 1, 2013. He appeared in 33 games for the Twins last season, hitting .226 (12-for-53).

Bernier was originally signed by the Colorado Rockies as an undrafted free agent in 2002. Although Bernier has only seen big league action with the Rockies and Twins in a total of 35 games, he has also spent time with the Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Yankees organizations.

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This Day in Twins History – July 5, 2004 – Protests against Duke

GI Joe Twins give away item in 2004 - DukeThere is an old saying that goes something like this – “no good deed goes unpunished.” As gesture to honor local military personnel, the Twins give away a “Duke” G.I. Joe action figures to the first 5,000 children attending the Royals game at the Metrodome. A number of “Peace Groups” protest the idea as glorifying war. The team, in an effort to appease protesting peace groups, who see the promotion as glorifying war, asks Hasbro, the toy’s maker, to remove the customary gun from G.I. Joe’s side, but the hand grenades remain visible. Brad Radke pitches a 4 hit complete game shutout and the Twins “bomb” the Royals 9-0. Here is what CBS wrote about the GI Joe give-away and here is the Pioneer Press take on things.

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How rare is 4 XBH in a game?

In yesterday’s Minnesota Twins 6-5 loss to the New York Yankees at Target Field Yankee second baseman Brian Roberts went four for five with four extra base (three doubles and a triple) hits.

You don’t see that too often so it was time for me to see how often this feat has been done by a Twins player in a 9 inning game. Come to find out it has been done only six times by the Twins and the only player to do it twice was the late great Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett.

Puckett 1987 Topps

Rk Player Date Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR XBH RBI Pos Summary
1 Michael Cuddyer 2005-09-21 OAK W 10-4 5 4 2 4 3 0 1 4 4 RF
2 Corey Koskie 2001-07-12 MIL W 13-5 5 5 3 4 2 0 2 4 3 3B
3 Rich Becker 1996-07-13 CLE L 11-19 6 6 3 4 1 1 2 4 6 CF
4 Kirby Puckett 1989-05-13 TOR W 10-8 5 5 1 4 4 0 0 4 3 CF
5 Kirby Puckett 1987-08-30 MIL W 10-6 6 6 4 6 2 0 2 4 4 CF
6 Cesar Tovar 1967-05-21 CAL W 12-3 6 6 3 4 2 0 2 4 4 2B CF
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/5/2014.

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The most XBH in a regulation nine inning game since 1961 stands at five. The players that accomplished this were Josh Hamilton (TEX) with four HR and a 2B in 2012, Shawn Green (LAD) with four HR and a 2B in 2002, Steve Garvey (LAD) with three 2B and 2 HR in 1977 and Willie Stargell (PIT) with three 2B and 2 HR in 1970. Catcher Kelly Shoppach (CLE) also had three doubles and a 2 HR in 2008 but it was in a 13 extra-inning game. As far as I can tell, no player has ever had more than five XBH in a game going back to 1914.

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According to Elias and a little extra

Zelous Wheeler, called up from the minors by the Yankees on Thursday when slumping Yangervis Solarte was sent down, made a big splash in his major-league debut when he hit a home run in the fifth inning against the Twins’ Phil Hughes. Wheeler is the eighth player to hit a home run for the Yankees is his first major-league game and the first since Marcus Thames in 2002. The most notable player to homer for the Yankees in his big-league debut is Yogi Berra, who did so against the Philadelphia A’s in the first game of a doubleheader in the Bronx on Sept. 22, 1946.

So how many Minnesota Twins players have hit a home run in their first game?

Rick Renick

Rick Renick

Rk Player Year ? PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI
1 Luke Hughes 2010 Ind. Games 4 4 1 0 0 1 1
2 Andre David 1984 Ind. Games 4 4 1 0 0 1 2
3 Gary Gaetti 1981 Ind. Games 3 3 1 0 0 1 2
4 Kent Hrbek 1981 Ind. Games 5 5 2 0 0 1 2
5 Tim Laudner 1981 Ind. Games 4 3 2 0 0 1 2
6 Dave McKay 1975 Ind. Games 3 3 1 0 0 1 1
7 Eric Soderholm 1971 Ind. Games 4 2 1 0 0 1 1
8 Hal Haydel 1970 Ind. Games 3 3 2 1 0 1 1
9 Rick Renick 1968 Ind. Games 4 4 1 0 0 1 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/4/2014.

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How about if we look to see who has hit a home run in his first game when the opponent was the Minnesota Twins?

Rk Player Year ? PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI Tm
1 Zelous Wheeler 2014 Ind. Games 4 4 2 0 0 1 1 NYY
2 Chris Richard 2000 Ind. Games 5 4 1 0 0 1 1 STL
3 Jay Bell 1986 Ind. Games 3 3 1 0 0 1 1 CLE
4 Dave Machemer 1978 Ind. Games 4 4 1 0 0 1 1 CAL
5 Bert Campaneris 1964 Ind. Games 5 4 3 0 0 2 3 KCA
6 John Kennedy 1962 Ind. Games 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 WSA
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 7/4/2014.
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Twinstrivia.com All-Star selections

2014-MLB-ASG-LogoThat time is here again, time to pick the Twinstrivia.com All-Star team. For me it is always fun to pick the players that I think deserve to play in MLB All-Star game.  Some of them might crash and burn and even find themselves in the minors before the season ends and some of them may be total jerks in how they play the game, interact with their fans or just have an “it is all about me attitude” but I like to reward the players that are having a very good season todate. So here are my All-Stars that I would like to see play at Target Field on July 15, 2014. If you like my picks, cool, if you don’t, I don’t care. I don’t rave about how stupid some of the fans voting is so I too am entitled to my opinion.

Sadly you won’t find any Minnesota Twins on this deserving All-Star starter list but I do think that closer Glen Perkins and catcher Kurt Suzuki deserve to be on the team.

American League

C – Derek Norris (A’s) – Runner-up is Salvador Perez (Royals) – Vote leader is Matt Wieters (Orioles)

1B – Jose Abreu (White Sox) – Runner-up is Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – Vote leader is Miguel Cabrera

2B – Jose Altuve (Astros) - Runner-up is Robinson Cano (Mariners) – Vote leader is Robinson Cano

SS – Alexei Ramirez (White Sox) - Runner-up is Alcides Escobar (Royals) – Vote leader is Derek Jeter (Yankees)

3B – Josh Donaldson (A’s) – Runner-up is Adrian Beltre (Rangers) – Vote leader is Josh Donaldson

DH – Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays) - Runner-up is Nelso Cruz (Orioles) – Vote leader is Nelso Cruz

OF – Mike Trout (Angels), Jose Bautista (Blue Jays), and Michael Brantley (Indians) - Runner-ups are Yoenis Cespedes (A’s), Adam Jones (Orioles), and Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays) – Vote leaders are Mike Trout, Jose Bautista and Yoenis Cespedes

P – Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees) – Runner-up is Felix Hernandez (Mariners)

 

National league

C – Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers) - Runner-up is Devin Mesoraco (Reds) – Vote leader is Yadier Molina (Cardinals)

1B – Justin Morneau (Rockies) – Runner-up is Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks) – Vote leader is Paul Goldschmidt

2B – Anthony Rendon (Nationals) - Runner-up is Chase Utley (Phillies) – Vote leadr is Chase Utley

SS – Troy Tulowitzki (Rockies) - Runner-up is Sterling Castro (Cubs) – Voye leader is Troy Tulowitzki

3B – Casey McGehee (Marlins) – Runner-up is Todd Frazier (Reds) – Vote leader is Aramis Ramirez (Brewers)

OF – Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates), and Carlos Gomez (Brewers) Runner-ups are Charlie Blackmon (Rockies), Yasiel Puig, and Ryan Braun – Vote leaders are Andrew McCutchen, Carlos Gomez, and Yasiel Puig.

P – Adam Wainwright (Cardinals) - Runner-up is Johnny Cueto (Reds)

 

MLB just announced that All-Stars will wear the same cap template which is modeled after the Minnesota Twins 1970 batting helmets.  you can see the article here.

 

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Former Twins pitcher Bobby Castillo passes away

Bobby Castillo who pitched for the Minnesota Twins and the Los Angeles Dodgers died on June 30th in a Los Angeles hospital after a battle with cancer. The 5’10″ right-handed pitching Castillo was originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in round 6 of the Jaanuary 1974 amateur draft. The Los Angeles Dodgers purchased Castillo from the Royals in June of 1977 and Castillo pitched for the Dodgers from 1977-1981 posting a 13-14 record with a 3.42 ERA in 138 games primarily in relief.

Bobby CastilloThe Twins acquired Castillo along with outfielder Bobby Mitchell from the Dodgers in a January 1982 trade for pitcher Paul Voigt and utility man Scotti Madison. The Twins turned Castillo into a starter in 1982 and the man who had never pitched more than 99 innings in a season for the Dodgers had a career season going 13-11 with 3.66 ERA in 25 starts. Castillo also pitched 15 games in relief and when the Twins dismal 60-102 season finally ended, Castillo had pitched 218.2 innings. In 1983 Castillo was 8-12 in 25 starts with a 4.77 ERA and in 1984 he pitched sparingly for the Twins mostly in relief (just 10 games) and had a 2-1 record with a 1.78 ERA. Castillo became a free agent after the 1984 season and resigned with the Dodgers where he pitched his final big league season in 1985. Castillo, who attended Lincoln High School, finished with a career record of 38-40 with a 3.94 ERA in 250 games, making 59 starts. He pitched for LA in the 1981 National League Championship Series, the World Series that same year and the 1985 NLCS. After his big league career had ended, Castillo pitched for the Monterrey Sultanes and the Mexican League in 1986 and the Chunichi Dragons in the Japanese Central League in 1987.

Castillo, also affectionately known as “Babo,” has often been credited with teaching former Dodger great Fernando Valenzuela his infamous screwball. “I was very saddened to hear about Bobby’s passing this morning,” Castillo’s former teammate Fernando Valenzuela said.”“He was a great teammate and friend. I’ll always be grateful for his influence on my pitching. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.”

Castillo has been dedicated member of the Dodger organization since his retirement, participating in events including hospital visits, autograph signings and kids holiday parties and baseball clinics.

He is survived by his mother, Nellie, daughters, Mellanie and Sara, son-in-law, Andrew Sanchez, son Robert III, and his sister, Lorraine, and her husband, Peter Gonzalez. Castillo had three nieces and nephews, nine grand nieces and nephews and two grandchildren, Jackson and Lila.

Bobby Castillo is the 65th former Minnesota Twins player to pass away. RIP Mr. Castillo and thank you for the memories!

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Welcome to pro baseball Nick Burdi

The Twins second round pick in this years June amateur draft was right-handed pitcher Nick Burdi. The 6 foot 4 inch 215-pound Burdi used primarily as a closer for the University of Louisville had a 0.49 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 37 innings as a junior for Louisville this past season. He recorded 18 saves in 32 games.

The Twins originally drafted Burdi in 2011 in the 24th round out of Downers Grove South High School in Illinois, outside of Chicago, but he went to school instead. Burdi’s fastball has been clocked above 100 miles per hour.

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal Burdi was upset that it took 46 picks to have his name called, telling reporters after the draft that he was “pissed” and would enter professional ball with a chip on his shoulder. Burdi signed with Minnesota on June 24th for $1.218 million (per Baseball America) and was assigned to the Twins Cedar Rapids Low-A team.

Nick Burdi

Nick Burdi

Burdi made his first appearance with the Kernels this past Sunday when he entered the game against the Clinton LumberKings in the top of the ninth with his home team leading 4 to 0. Burdi walked the first four batters he faced and was relieved by Jared Wilson who proceeded to give up four hits and a walk and when the smoke cleared the LumberKings had put a “7″ on the board and the shucked Kernels ended up losing the game 7-4.

Burdi’s line for the game? Zero innings pitched, four walks, four runs, all earned and an ERA of infinity. A game I am sure that Burdi will never forget. Hopefully the man with a chip on his shoulder will take this game for what it was, a learning experience. Good luck in the future Nick, your humble pie is on the way.

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A-ball to the big leagues

Jorge Polanco

Jorge Polanco

The 20-year old Jorge Polanco‘s stay in the big leagues with the Twins is expected to end today when the Twins are expected to send him back to the minor leagues. Polanco was called up from the Ft. Myers Miracle of the High A ball Florida State league on June 26th making Polanco the fifth Twins player to make the mammoth leap to the big leagues from class A ball.

Jim Manning

Jim Manning

The first player in this exclusive group was 18-year old right-handed pitcher Jim Manning who was called up very early in 1962 from the class A Charlotte Hornets in the Sally League. Manning was only in his second year of pro ball after having signed with Minnesota as a free agent in 1961 and pitching in just 12 games for the Wytheville Twins in the Appalachian League in 1961. Manning became the youngest Minnesota Twins player to appear in a big league game when he debuted in relief on April 15, 1962 at the age of 18 years and 268 days against the Los Angeles Angels at Met Stadium in a 6-3 Twins loss. Manning appeared in four more games for the Twins before being sent down to the minors and to never again put on a big league uniform.

Butch Wynegar

Butch Wynegar

The second Twins player to make the jump from class A to the majors was catcher Butch Wynegar. Wynegar was a Twins second round pick in 1974. Harold Wynegar, better known as Butch spent the 1975 season playing for the class A Reno Silver Sox and made the 1976 Twins team out of spring training and was a major leaguer from the day he made his big league debut on April 9, 1976 at Arlington Stadium at the age of 20 years and 26 days.

Kent Hrbek 1983 FleerPlayer number three was non other than Twins Hall of Fame and Minnesota native first baseman Kent Hrbek. Hrbek, a 17th round pick in the 1978 draft for the Twins was playing in his third season of pro ball for the class A Visalia Oaks after stops in Elizabethton in 1979 and Wisconsin Rapids in 1980 when the Twins called him up in August 1981 and he made his debut at Yankee Stadium at the age of 21 year and 95 days on August 24, 1981. Hrbek never returned to the minors again. SABR Bio on Hrbek.

Jim Eisenreich

Jim Eisenreich

Player number four was another Minnesota native, outfielder Jim Eisenreich who was drafted by the Twins as a 16th rounder in 1980. Eisenreich spent time in Elizabethton and Wisconsin Rapids in 1980 and 1981 before coming north with the Minnesota Twins after making the club in spring training in 1982. Jim debuted at the Metrodome on April 6, 1982 at the age of 22 years and 353 days. Eisenreich was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome and chose to retire causing him to miss all of the 1984 and 1985 seasons before making a comeback with the Kansas City Royals and going on to enjoy a very productive 15 year career with five major league teams although only 48 of his 1,422 big league games were spent in a Twins uniform. Eisenreich SABR Bio.

But getting back to Mr. Polanco, though he never had a chance to play in Target Field in front of home town fans during this call-up the switch-hitting shortstop garnered a loyal following among Twins fans that are looking to see him in the big leagues once again. Polanco appeared in four games getting seven plate appearances that included getting two walks and two hits and three RBI’s. His hits were a double and a triple. MLB ProspectWatch did a little blog on Polanco that you might want to check out. I think the most interesting part of the blog was the Baseball Prospectus scouting report on Polanco.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Taylor Rogers

Taylor Rogers

New Britain (AA – Eastern League) left-handed pitcher Taylor Rogers is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. The 23-year old lefty made one start for the Rock Cats June 25 vs. Altoona, tossing 8.0 innings allowing one run on six hits while striking out 11 but suffered the loss. In 15 starts this season, he has posted a 7-4 record with a 3.90 ERA. Rogers was drafted in the 11th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Kentucky and signed with the Twins for a reported $100,000 bonus.

Taylor Rogers was named a postseason Florida State League All-Star after compiling an 11-7 record and 2.88 ERA for the Ft. Myers Miracle in 2013. Rogers struck out 83 batters in 130.2 innings and posted a very nice 1.16 WHIP. He ranked second in the Florida State League in ERA and third in wins. His three complete games and two shutouts topped the league. Rogers throws a fastball which is clocked in the low 90′s, a change-up and a slider.

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Twins minor league player of the week

DJ Baxendale

DJ Baxendale

Ft. Myers (High A – Florida State League) pitcher D.J. Baxendale is the Twins Minor League  Player of the Week. The right-handed pitcher made one start for the Miracle June 18 vs. Bradenton, tossing 6.0 shutout innings with four hits allowed, no walks and five strikeouts, earning the win. DJ  (Douglas James) was drafted in the 10th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of University of Arkansas and signed for a reported $125,000.

The 23 year-old Baxendale finds himself in Ft. Myers again after starting the season in AA – New Britain and struggling with 5.76 ERA and an 0-3 record. Baxendale was promoted to New Britain last season from Ft. Myers but also found tough going then with a 5.63 ERA and a 5-7 record.

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A hit, a hit, I would do anything for a hit

Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is quickly climbing up the leader board on a list he would rather not be a part of. Saying that Arcia is in a slump is an understatement as he battles through an 0 for his last 29 at bats streak. The last time Arcia had a knock that counted was back on June 5th when he had a double off Brewer reliever Rob Wooten at Target Field and that was almost three weeks ago. A couple of more “ofer” games and he could become the Twins (and franchise leader going back to 1914) in at bats without a hit for a position player.  The current leader on the Twins hitless at bats leader board is former catcher Butch Wynegar who had a pretty bad September himself back in 1978 when he went 0 for 38.

UPDATE – Arcia hit a home run in his first at bat against the Angels Garrett Richards on June 25th and his hitless streak finally came to an end at 29 at bats.

Twins position players with hitless streaks lasting 25 at bats or more

Rk Name Strk Start End Games AB ? R H SO BB
1 Butch Wynegar 1978-09-04 1978-09-23 12 38 1 0 8 6
2 Charlie Manuel 1969-07-20 1970-04-09 27 36 1 0 12 6
3 Jerry Zimmerman 1967-05-26 1967-06-11 12 35 0 0 10 2
4 Tom Nieto 1987-09-11 1988-04-13 11 32 1 0 8 4
5 Bobby Mitchell 1982-04-27 1982-05-10 12 31 0 0 3 7
6 Gene Larkin 1988-09-17 1988-09-28 10 30 0 0 5 5
7 Randy Bush 1984-08-17 1984-09-07 14 29 2 0 7 6
8 Oswaldo Arcia 2014-06-13 2014-06-22 8 29 1 0 12 2
9 Greg Gagne 1991-06-21 1991-07-02 9 28 1 0 7 1
10 Mike Ryan 2005-07-17 2005-08-13 10 27 1 0 7 3
11 Steve Lombardozzi 1988-08-27 1988-09-24 10 27 0 0 3 0
12 Greg Gagne 1987-09-01 1987-09-11 9 27 1 0 8 2
13 John Roseboro 1968-04-18 1968-04-28 9 27 1 0 3 4
14 Marty Cordova 1998-09-01 1998-09-12 8 27 1 0 5 4
15 Rich Becker 1996-04-07 1996-04-29 11 26 2 0 7 6
16 Jason Kubel 2014-05-20 2014-06-06 9 26 0 0 12 5
17 Torii Hunter 2000-05-20 2000-08-01 9 25 0 0 6 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/25/2014.

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"<strongTwins Hall of Fame shortstop Greg Gagne made the list twice, ouch. If you included pitchers on the list you would find the hitting challenged Twins starter Dean Chance sitting at number one on the list with a hitless 0 for 52 streak that lasted 23 games from April 13 to July 23, 1967.

Come on Oswaldo, get a hit because this is not a record I want to see get broken!

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According to Elias

The brooms were at the ready behind the Twins dugout as the Twins took on the White Sox looking for a rare four-game sweep.

The brooms were at the ready behind the Twins dugout as the Twins took on the White Sox on Sunday afternoon looking for a rare four-game sweep.

The Twins completed a four-game series sweep of the White Sox on Sunday in what was the first series sweep of four or more games in the majors this season. June 22 is the latest date on which a team completed the major leagues’ first series sweep of four or more games in a season since 1938. The White Sox were the first team to fashion such a sweep that year when they won all four games of a series against the St. Louis Browns at Sportsman’s Park from June 27-30.

The sweep of the White Sox was the first-four-game sweep that Twins have ever had at Target Field where the team began play in April of 2010. The last time the Twins completed a four-game sweep was June 2-5, 2011 in Kansas City and the last time they had a four-game sweep at home was at the Metrodome on July 12-15, 2007 against the Oakland A’s.

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Did you know?

  • When Minnesota Twins pitcher Yohan Pino will made his Major League debut Thursday night at 30 years, 175 days old at Target Field against the Chicago White Sox. He became the oldest Twin (since 1961) to make his big league debut. Yohan became the 49th starting pitcher in Major League history since at least 1914 to make his Major League debut at age 30-or-older, and just the 14th since 1982. Starters making their Major League debut at age 30-or-older have won each of their last three starts and four of the last five. Since 1982, teams are 7-6 in the 13 occurrences. The 13 pitchers have combined to go 6-4 with a 3.36 ERA (27 earned runs in 72.1 innings) with
    26 walks and 52 strikeouts.
  • Twins second baseman Brian Dozier has hit 15 home runs while swiping 15 bases this
    season, stealing his 15th earlier this week. It marks the 15th time in Club history and 12th different player with the previous ?ve being Torii Hunter in 2007 (28 homers/18 steals), Lew Ford in 2004 (15 homers/20 steals), Hunter in 2004 (23 homers/21 steals), Hunter in 2002 (29 homers/23 steals) and Corey Koskie in 2001 (26 homers/27 steals). Dozier accomplished the feat in his 68th game which is the fastest ever by a Twin and fastest in baseball since Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers did it in his 68th game.
  • Upon Further Review – Through 1,073 games played this season (through
    Wednesday), Major League Baseball has had 541 replay reviews, which have taken an average of one minute and fifty-one seconds.

*541 Replay Reviews
*130 Confirmed
*153 Stands
*251 Overturned
*7 Record Keeping
*1:51 Average Time

  • Through June 18th the American League has a 79-68 record in Interleague play and is hitting .255 and their pitchers have a 3.80 ERA. National League batters are hitting .254 and their pitchers have a 3.78 ERA.
  • The CWS (College World Series) Legends Team includes former Twins Todd Walker, Eddie Bane, and Dave Winfield (former Minnesota Gopher as well).
  • In baseball, a quality start is a statistic for a starting pitcher defined as a game in which the pitcher completes at least six innings and permits no more than three earned runs. The quality start was developed by sportswriter John Lowe in 1985 while writing for the Philadelphia Inquirer. The most quality starts in a season for a Twins pitcher since 2003 is 25 by Johan Santana in 2004. If you use the QS formula going back to 1961, then Bert Blyleven‘s 31 QS in 1972 would be the leader.

Twins career QS leaders from 1961 to present day

Rk Player QS From To G GS CG SHO W L W-L% SV IP SO ERA HR BF BA
1 Jim Kaat 253 1961 1973 468 422 133 23 189 152 .554 6 2959.1 1824 3.28 270 12385 .256
2 Bert Blyleven 218 1970 1988 348 345 141 29 149 138 .519 0 2566.2 2035 3.28 243 10542 .246
3 Brad Radke 208 1995 2006 378 377 37 10 148 139 .516 0 2451.0 1467 4.22 326 10244 .276
4 Jim Perry 156 1963 1972 376 249 61 17 128 90 .587 5 1883.1 1025 3.15 166 7791 .242
5 Frank Viola 144 1982 1989 260 259 54 10 112 93 .546 0 1772.2 1214 3.86 213 7450 .260
6 Dave Goltz 129 1972 1979 247 215 80 11 96 79 .549 3 1638.0 887 3.48 119 6887 .264
7 Johan Santana 112 2000 2007 251 175 6 4 93 44 .679 1 1308.2 1381 3.22 144 5281 .221
8 Camilo Pascual 101 1961 1966 184 179 72 18 88 57 .607 0 1284.2 994 3.31 123 5362 .233
9 Kevin Tapani 98 1989 1995 181 180 19 6 75 63 .543 0 1171.1 724 4.06 109 4897 .270
10 Eric Milton 83 1998 2003 166 165 10 4 57 51 .528 0 987.1 715 4.76 149 4196 .259
11 Scott Baker 76 2005 2011 163 159 4 2 63 48 .568 0 958.0 770 4.15 123 4004 .266
12 Dave Boswell 76 1964 1970 187 150 37 6 67 54 .554 0 1036.1 865 3.49 106 4344 .217
13 Scott Erickson 73 1990 1995 155 153 14 7 61 60 .504 0 979.1 527 4.22 83 4244 .275
14 Geoff Zahn 71 1977 1980 133 126 36 7 53 53 .500 0 852.0 348 3.90 68 3621 .289
15 Nick Blackburn 69 2007 2012 145 137 5 0 43 55 .439 0 818.2 388 4.85 117 3577 .303
16 Allan Anderson 69 1986 1991 148 128 15 3 49 54 .476 0 818.2 339 4.11 87 3474 .282
17 Francisco Liriano 68 2005 2012 156 130 1 1 50 52 .490 1 783.1 788 4.33 76 3341 .247
18 Kyle Lohse 67 2001 2006 172 152 4 3 51 57 .472 0 908.1 561 4.88 128 3982 .285
19 Mudcat Grant 67 1964 1967 129 111 36 10 50 35 .588 1 780.2 377 3.35 88 3227 .260
20 Joe Mays 66 1999 2005 193 146 10 6 48 65 .425 0 946.1 487 4.85 127 4110 .282
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/22/2014.

If you took the list from above and looked at QS%, the Twins career leader is Johan Santana with .640% followed by Bert Blyleven at .632%. Nick Blackburn was not always a fan favorite but his career QS% is .504%, 14th best in team history. Who has the best career QS% in the AL since 1961? That would be Pedro Martinez at .751%. How about the NL you say? That is non other than Sandy Koufax at .782%.

Check out the BA column on the list above, the best is an amazing .217 career BA allowed by the late great Dave Boswell, the man has not gotten his due here in Minnesota and should be in the Twins Hall of Fame. Aren’t statistics fun?

Baseball is such an amazing game, you never know what you will see next and how many times have you watched a game and told yourself, Geez, I have never seen that happen before. How about this one, Brewers score three on one wild pitch.

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According to Elias

 

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier‘s two-out single in the bottom of the ninth on Friday plated Eduardo Escobar with the winning run as the Twins pulled out a 5-4 win over the White Sox in walk-off manner. Even with his game-winning hit, Dozier carries the lowest batting average in the majors among the 117 players who had accumulated at least 40 plate appearances in Late-Inning Pressure Situations-those trips to the plate in the seventh inning or later with the score tied or the team at bat trailing by up to three runs (or, with two or more runners on base, by up to four runs). With his game-winning hit, Dozier raised his LIPS batting average from .081 to .105. (The highest such average among that group? Mike Trout‘s .447.)

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History indicates Yohan Pino’s tenure as a Twins starter will be short

Yohan Pino

Yohan Pino

A two-hour and 6 minute rain delay before last nights Twins game at Target Field started was no biggie for Twins starter Yohan Pino. After all, he has toiled in the minors for 10 years and waited 30 years and 175 days before making his Major League debut against the White Sox on Thursday.

The right-hander went seven innings, giving up two runs and five hits and one walk while striking out seven, but was lifted after 7 innings with the score knotted at 2-2. His seven strikeouts were the second most in franchise history in a debut, tying him with Darrell Jackson and Bert Blyleven, and trailing only Boof Bonser‘s eight strikeouts set in 2006.

Andrew Albers

Andrew Albers

Alex McColl

Alex McColl

Pino also became the oldest starting pitcher to make a big league debut in Twins history, passing Andrew Albers, who was 27 years and 304 days old when he made his debut with the Twins just last season. The Twins released Albers this past January allowing him to sign with a South Korean team. Albers ended up signing with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization. The oldest pitcher in franchise history to debut in the big leagues was Alex McColl who pitched in his first game for the Washington Senators in 1933 at the age of 39 years and 151 days.

Oldest Twins rookie pitchers to debut in big leagues and have at least one start

Rk Player G GS Year Age ? W L SV IP SO ERA
1 Yohan Pino 1 1 2014 30 0 0 0 7.0 7 2.57
2 Les Straker 31 26 1987 27 8 10 0 154.1 76 4.37
3 Jerry Crider 21 1 1969 27 1 0 1 28.2 16 4.71
4 Cole De Vries 17 16 2012 27 5 5 0 87.2 58 4.11
5 Mark Wiley 15 3 1975 27 1 3 2 38.2 15 6.05
6 Andrew Albers 10 10 2013 27 2 5 0 60.0 25 4.05
7 Tom Klawitter 7 2 1985 27 0 0 0 9.1 5 6.75
8 Dennis Burtt 5 2 1985 27 2 2 0 28.1 9 3.81
9 Matt Fox 1 1 2010 27 0 0 0 5.2 0 3.18
10 Ed Hodge 25 15 1984 26 4 3 0 100.0 59 4.77
11 Brian Duensing 24 9 2009 26 5 2 0 84.0 53 3.64
12 Albert Williams 18 9 1980 26 6 2 1 77.0 35 3.51
13 Francisco Oliveras 12 8 1989 26 3 4 0 55.2 24 4.53
14 Greg Brummett 5 5 1993 26 2 1 0 26.2 10 5.74
15 Jay Pettibone 4 4 1983 26 0 4 0 27.0 10 5.33
16 Dave Gassner 2 2 2005 26 1 0 0 7.2 2 5.87
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/20/2014.
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If you look at the list of pitchers on the list above you will see that none of them were a starter for the Minnesota Twins for very long and in most cases most of them did not pitch for the Twins or anyone else for any length o time. Les Straker did start two World Series games for the Twins in 1987. History seems to indicate that if you do not debut in the big leagues before your 26th birthday (at least with the Twins), the odds are very much against you. We can hope that Yohan Pino has better luck but don’t bet the farm on it. Kyle Gibson just missed being on this list because his big league debut occurred in 2013 at the age of 25 and 249 days.

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According to Elias – Fenway not a great place for the Twins

The Red Sox entered the bottom of the 10th inning trailing, 1-0, but David Ortiz tied the game with a home run and Mike Napoli followed that up with a game-ending blast in Boston’s 2-1 win over the Twins on Wednesday afternoon. That marked only the third time in the Red Sox franchise history that they hit consecutive home runs – with the first one tying the game, and the second one ending the game. That also happened on July 3, 1940 in a 12-11 win against the Philadelphia Athletics (Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx) and on June 14, 1999 in a 4-3 victory over the Twins (Darren Lewis and Jeff Frye). Come on, Lewis and Frye had 7,105 career plate appearances between them and they only hit 43 home runs. What are the odds?

It is the first time the Red Sox won a game at Fenway Park after being held without a run through nine innings since June 4, 1995 when they topped the Mariners by a score of 2-1 in ten innings.

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