Changes or additions to the site

  • Updated running 2016 attendance number on Attendance page. 6/23/2016
  • Salaries page with updated with 2016 Forbes team valuation data. 6/10/2016
  • If you are not checking out the Linksville page regularly you are making a big mistake, some great stories there. 4/9/2016
  • Updated Twins Ticket Price History Page to include 2016. 2/24/2016
  • Added early edition of Twins 2016 Media Guide. 2/22/2016
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Former Twins pitcher Duensing on opt-outs

Brian Duensing

Brian Duensing

Pitcher Brian Duensing was a 2005 Minnesota Twins third round compensation selection for the Twins losing free agent shortstop Cristian Guzman to the Washington Nationals. Duensing signed with Minnesota for a reported bonus of $400,000 and began his ascent to the big leagues with the Elizabethton Twins and debuted in relief with the Twins on April 10th, 2009 in a 12-5 Twins victory at US Cellular Field. Originally a starting pitcher, the Twins used him as a spot starter and reliever from 2009-2012 before moving him to the bullpen full-time late in 2012.

After appearing in 354 Twins games from 2009-2015 and posting a 41-37 record with 2 saves and a 4.13 ERA it became time for the Twins and the 32 year-old left-handed Duensing to part ways. I recently ran across a Q&A that Duensing did with FanGraphs discussing the opt out and how he used it during his free agency which was a first for him in his baseball career. It shows how baseball isn’t always a bowl of cherries for everyone.

Brian Duensing Ponders Opt Outs and Home

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This Day in Twins History – Twins beat WSOX in Milwaukee

Bud Selig

Bud Selig

June 24, 1968 – In a one game series, the Twins beat the Chicago White Sox 1-0 in County Stadium in Milwaukee in a game called after 5 innings due to rain. The reason the game was played in Milwaukee was that in 1968, Bud Selig, a former minority owner of the Milwaukee Braves who had been unable to stop the relocation of his team three years earlier, contracted with the Allyn brothers who owned the White Sox to host nine home games (one against each of the other American League clubs) at Milwaukee County Stadium as part of an attempt to attract an expansion franchise to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Box score

To read more please see “A short history of the Milwaukee White Sox

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According to ELIAS

Suzuki takes lessons from Mauer

Kurt Suzuki 2016

Kurt Suzuki went 4-for-5 with six RBIs in the Twins’ 14-10 victory over the Phillies on Tuesday. Suzuki is only the second catcher in the Twins’ franchise history to produce at least four hits and six RBIs in a game, joining Joe Mauer, who had five hits and seven RBIs on July 26, 2010.

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Things can always be worse

Terry FeltonEveryone is upset with the Twins poor play this season but at this stage of the season the 1982 Twins were worse. On this date in 1982 the Twins were in Chicago where they lost 5-4 to the White Sox when Harold Baines hit a double off reliever Terry Felton and knocked in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Sounds just like 2016 doesn’t it? The Twins record dropped to 16-53 and 25 games behind the division leaders. Felton’s 1982 season wasn’t a good one, he finished 0-13.  Box score.

The Twins of today stand at 21-48 and 18 games out of first as they prepare to take on the Phillies tonight.

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According to ELIAS

Santana gets back on track


Santana, Ervin 2016Ervin Santana
was charged with two earned runs in 7 1/3 innings to earn the victory in the Twins’ 7-4 win over the Yankees at Target Field yesterday. Santana was coming off perhaps the worst five-start stretch of his major-league career (0-5 with a 7.71 ERA). He had never before lost five consecutive starts while producing an ERA that high. Santana also snapped his personal eight-game losing streak against the Yankees, which spanned 11 starts since September 2008 and was the longest current losing streak against the Bombers for any major-league pitcher entering play on Sunday. That distinction now belongs to CC Sabathia, who has lost his last seven decisions against his current team (2001 to 2008).

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Twins minor league player of the week – Felix Jorge

TWINS MINOR LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Felix JorgeFt. Myers Miracle (High A) right-handed pitcher Felix Jorge is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Jorge made one start for the Miracle, allowing one run on six hits in 7.2 innings pitched, with no walks and six strikeouts against Lakeland on Wednesday.

The 22 year-old Jorge has made 11 starts for the Miracle this season, going 6-3, 1.59 ERA (73.2 IP, 13 ER) with 10 walks and 61 strikeouts.

Jorge has described by a Twins source as a poor man’s Ervin Santana. He has a thin body and doesn’t throw hard, but he has a good mix of pitches and throws strikes, lending hope that he can stick as a starter. Signed by the Minnesota Twins as a non-drafted free agent on Feb. 21, 2011 for $250,000.

Twins sign Dominican right-hander Felix Jorge

Twins Minor League Report June 19, 2016

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According to ELIAS – and we thought our SP was bad

Shields sets mark for futility

I am thinking that the beard is the problem.

I am thinking that the beard is the problem.

James Shields allowed eight runs while recording only five outs in the White Sox 13-2 loss to the Indians yesterday. Shields has now allowed seven or more runs before the end of the third inning in each of his last four starts. That is the longest streak of its kind for any pitcher in major-league history.

I guess it just goes to show that anyone can have a bad game, a bad month, a bad streak, or a bad year!

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Twins inside-the-park home runs are a rarity

From the time the Twins started play in 1961 through yesterday June 14 (2016) the Minnesota Twins have hit 7,462 home runs, 3,746 have been hit on the road and 3,716 have been hit at home. The Twins hit 1,872 home runs at the Metrodome, 1,424 at Met Stadium and 420 at Target Field. The most home runs the Twins have hit on the road have been at the Angels home park where they have hit 257.

Eduardo Nunez 2016Of the Twins 7,462 round-trippers only 50 of them have been inside-the-park home runs. Inside-the-park home runs are relatively rare so I am a bit surprised that when Eduardo Nunez hit the latest one back on June 2 that no one mentioned that it was number 50 in Minnesota Twins history. How rare are they? Only .0067% of Twins home runs are of the inside-the-park variety. So what Twins have hit IPHR’s? We have put together a complete list here for you with the help of Baseball-Reference.

 

Twins inside-the-park home runs from 1961-June 2, 2016

Date Batter Opp Pitcher Play Description
1961-07-04 (2) Harmon Killebrew CHW Cal McLish Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1962-04-27 Zoilo Versalles @CLE Dick Donovan Home Run
1963-09-22 Jimmie Hall @BOS Bob Heffner Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1963-09-28 Vic Power @NYY Whitey Ford Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1964-07-04 (1) Tony Oliva @NYY Jim Bouton Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1964-08-04 Rich Rollins BOS Bill Monbouquette Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1964-09-04 Tony Oliva BOS Dave Gray Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1965-04-22 Zoilo Versalles @NYY Pedro Ramos Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1965-06-04 Jimmie Hall WSA Howie Koplitz Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1965-06-18 Rich Rollins @NYY Bill Stafford Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1966-06-04 Tony Oliva CLE Tom Kelley Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1967-05-08 Ted Uhlaender WSA Phil Ortega Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1969-05-13 Rod Carew BAL Mike Cuellar Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1971-07-22 Jim Nettles @NYY Fritz Peterson Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1972-10-04 Eric Soderholm CHW Ken Frailing Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1974-06-24 Danny Thompson @TEX David Clyde Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1975-06-17 (1) Dan Ford OAK Vida Blue Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1975-09-07 Steve Brye @CHW Claude Osteen Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1979-05-08 Ken Landreaux TOR Balor Moore Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1979-05-15 John Castino TEX Sparky Lyle Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1980-07-11 Rick Sofield @SEA Glenn Abbott Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1980-08-20 Mike Cubbage TOR Jackson Todd Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1982-05-28 Tom Brunansky NYY Ron Guidry Home Run
1982-07-19 Tom Brunansky MIL Jerry Augustine Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1982-09-10 Gary Ward @KCR Larry Gura Home Run
1982-09-30 Kent Hrbek @TOR Luis Leal Home Run
1983-09-25 Tom Brunansky @KCR Keith Creel Inside-the-park Home Run
1984-06-23 Randy Bush CHW Tom Seaver Home Run
1984-06-24 Tim Teufel CHW Richard Dotson *WALK-OFF*:*ENDED GAME*:Home Run
1984-09-11 Kent Hrbek KCR Charlie Leibrandt Home Run
1985-07-03 Dave Engle CLE Neal Heaton Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1986-07-03 Ron Washington BAL Mike Boddicker Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1986-10-04 Greg Gagne CHW Floyd Bannister Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1986-10-04 Greg Gagne CHW Floyd Bannister Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1987-05-31 (1) Gary Gaetti @DET Jeff Robinson Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1987-09-24 Greg Gagne TEX Charlie Hough Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1988-07-08 Steve Lombardozzi MIL Bill Wegman Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1988-09-28 Steve Lombardozzi OAK Todd Burns Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1990-05-26 Gene Larkin BOS Mike Boddicker Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1991-05-19 Mike Pagliarulo @DET Dan Petry Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
1994-05-17 Shane Mack NYY Jimmy Key Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
1997-04-26 Rich Becker TEX Bobby Witt Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1997-05-25 Pat Meares OAK Ariel Prieto Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1997-08-08 Roberto Kelly NYY Dwight Gooden Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
1999-09-05 Todd Walker @TBD Ryan Rupe Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
2000-07-29 Chad Moeller NYY Ramiro Mendoza Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
2001-07-26 Torii Hunter @OAK Mark Guthrie Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
2007-07-21 Joe Mauer LAA Scot Shields Inside-the-park Home Run to LF
2014-05-20 Kurt Suzuki @SDP Nick Vincent Inside-the-park Home Run to CF
2016-06-02 Eduardo Nunez TBR Matt Moore Inside-the-park Home Run to RF
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 6/14/2016.

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This Day in Twins History – has it already been 19 years?

AstrodomeFriday the 13th, June 1997.  The Twins play their very first interleague game and beat the Houston Astros 8-1 in the infamous Astrodome. Chuck Knoblauch leads off the game with a single for the Twins getting their first hit and Brad Radke goes 8 innings for the win. Who hits the Minnesota Twins first interleague home run? That would be current Twins skipper Paul Molitor. Box score

Classic SI photo’s of the Astrodome

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According to ELIAS

Kepler, Max walkoff 061216Max Kepler‘s first career home run–a 10th-inning three-run blast over the centerfield wall and off the batters-eye at Target Field gave the Twins a dramatic 7-4 win over the Boston Red Sox yesterday afternoon. Among the 138 players in major-league history to hit 300 career home runs, only two had their first one come as a walkoff shot in extra innings: Miguel Cabrera (in his major-league debut) and Alfonso Soriano.

Congratulations Max!

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Twins minor league player of the week (again) – Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka

Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) outfielder Daniel Palka is the Twins minor league Player of the Week for the second time this season. Palka played in seven games for the Lookouts, hitting .320 (8-for-25) with two triples, four home runs, 11 RBI, six walks and eight runs scored. Palka was acquired this off-season from Arizona, in exchange for catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann. Palka has played in 58 games this season, hitting .273 (60-for-220) with nine doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and 48 RBI.

The write-up for the first time he won the award in 2016 can be seen here.

Twins Minor League Report June 12, 2016

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Things are not getting any better over at Target Field

MoneyI was updating the “Salaries” page with 2016 Forbes team valuation data and decided to see how some of the Minnesota Twins numbers stack up going back to 2010 when the team last made the playoffs. But first here is what the Forbes Twins profile states for 2016:

“Minnesota’s home attendance has fallen every season since the team moved into Target Field in 2010. During the ballpark’s inaugural season, average attendance was 34,287. Only 27,408 per game paid to come through the turnstiles last season. Likely reason: the Twins have the third-highest non-premium average ticket price ($33) in the American League, yet have posted only two winning seasons (2010, 2015) since moving into Target Field. Meanwhile, the team failed to win more than 70 games during each of the other four seasons at Target Field. The team’s relatively quiet off-season was highlighted by a four-year, $24.85 million investment in Korean slugger Byung Ho Park.”

YEAR TEAM VALUE /REVENUE PLAYER EXPENSES PLAYER EXP % of REVENUE
2016 $910/$240 $125 52.08%
2015 $895/$223 $106 47.53%
2014 $605/$221 $97 43.89%
2013 $578/$214 $122 57.00%
2012 $511/$213 $121 56.80%
2011 $490/$213 $112 52.58%
2010 $405/$162 $83 51.23%

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

(Team value, revenue and player expenses are in millions)

The Twins team value  has gone up every year, more than doubling from 2010 when they moved into Target Field, team revenue has also gone up every year but one when it stayed stagnant. From 2010-2016 the team has brought in $1.486 billion in revenue and the player expense for that time period comes out to $766 million which means that over these seven years the Twins spent 51.55% on player expenses.

But what does that really mean? Not much in my opinion because it depends on how the money is spent, you can spent 75% of your revenue on player expenses but if you are not getting good value for your money and you are paying for players not longer with the team, or for pitchers that can’t pitch or $23 million for an average player than the numbers mean nothing. But yet lots of people are interested in what ownership is spending on player salaries and expenses. It is not totally clear in the Forbes report what all falls in the player expenses category other than player salaries.

Bottom line of course is how many games you win and if you get in the playoffs where anything can happen. Since 2010 the Twins have appeared in the playoffs just once and their record between 2010 and today stands at 460 wins and 572 losses for a winning percentage of 44.57%.

Team owner Jim Pohlad, President Dave St. Peter and GM Terry Ryan have each said over and over again that it is not about the money and I truly do believe that. Jim Pohlad wants a championship on his ownership resume badly but that doesn’t mean that he wants to spend money foolishly either. So the question is, if it is not about the money then what is left in the equation? There are always the players, the coaching staff, and of course the management. We have changed players over and over again trying the old and the young but no luck there. The manager and the coaching staff were changed and yet the Twins team is marching straight towards a record-breaking bad season. That leaves the management, the President and the GM, the glue that keeps the organization headed forward or are they? One problem solving technique used over the years by many of us is if all else fails than change out one part at a time until the engine starts. BUT, you can’t fix the problem until you admit that you have a problem. What a sorry situation we Twins fans find ourselves in, and it is only June 10.

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Minnesota Twins draft trivia

The 2016 June amateur draft starts today and the Twins will have the number 15 selection. The Twins have picked 15th just once since the draft started in 1965 and that was way back in 1977 when they selected an outfielder from a high school in New Jersey by the name of Paul Croft. Croft spent four years in the Twins system and during that time advanced up to “A” ball before the Twins let him go.

Any player the Twins draft today or over the next few days has a small chance of ever wearing  a Minnesota Twins uniform at any point but even the ones that do get to the top of Twins mountain won’t arrive until 2020 or later so don’t get too excited about these draft picks just yet.

Interest in this years draft seems really down this year here in Minnesota, probably because of the apathy in Twins baseball due to the Twins miserable play in 2016 and Twins management refusal to accept what is going on around them. Pat Reusse did a piece on the Twins in today’s Star Tribune called “Dancing after victories? These Twins have no shame“.

I am here to “second” what Reusse said and push it a step farther. The Twins should start running ads now that a “huge” surprise for Twins fans is coming at the All-Star break and when the break arrives the Minnesota Twins should announce that they understand how bad the team has been and to show appreciation to Twins fans for supporting this historically bad team the rest of this season that they will cut ticket prices in half for all remaining home games. People that have tickets in hand for future games should be credited for half their ticket price for tickets in 2017. Seems to me that is the least they can do for their fans. Twins ownership should appreciate that Twins fans are mad as hell, at least that shows the team that there is still interest in Twins baseball versus the apathy that could and is building around this franchise very quickly. Remember, it costs less to keep fans than it does to get new fans.

But let’s have a little fun here versus crying in our milk about the Twins poor play. How much do you know about the Twins and their adventures in the MLB June amateur draft? Give these questions a try.

Don’t forget, all the players we are talking about here have had to be drafted by the Twins.

  1. What three Twins have the most extra-base-hits in a Twins uniform?
  2. The best player the Twins drafted in the first draft (1965) but then traded him and he went on to become a six-time all-star.
  3. I am the first player the Twins ever drafted to be named to the all-star team as a Minnesota Twin.
  4. I am the first Twins player selected in round 1 to make his debut with the Twins.
  5. I was a Twins first round pick but I chose not to sign with Minnesota and went on to win 123 big league games.
  6. I was the Twins first round selection and eleventh overall and went straight to the majors to pitch for the Twins without going to the minors first.
  7. No Minnesota Twins first round pick has played in more major league games than I, who am I?
  8. The Twins have selected (not necessarily signed) a catcher in the first round three times, can you name them?
  9. I was a Twins 3rd round pick in 1966 out of HS as a 3B but did not sign with Minnesota and I eventually became a 10 time all-star as a 1B.
  10. Only Minnesota native to be drafted by the Twins and win 20 games or more.
  11. I was a Twins 3rd round pick and am still active today.
  12. I am the highest drafted (round 1 and fifth overall) player by the Twins to never get a sniff of the big leagues.
  13. The 1989 draft netted the Twins two American league Rookie of the Year award winners, who were they?
  14. Who is the first native Minnesotan to be selected by the Twins in round 1?
  15. This Twins 2nd round selection won 176 big league games and a Cy Young award.
  16. This Twins 3rd round pick was drafted as a catcher but did not play that position in the majors but was good enough to win an MVP award for the Twins.
  17. I was a 7th round pick by the Twins but I pitched in 1,042 games over my 21 year big league career.
  18. This Twins 8th round pick won 148 big league games, all for the Minnesota Twins.
  19. A 10th round Twins pick and I was a wonderful utility man playing every position  in the big leagues except as a pitcher during my 12 years in the bigs.
  20. The 13th round was not unlucky for me, the Twins drafted me in round 13 as a second baseman and I went on to play in the majors as an outfielder for the Twins and six other teams for 12 years.

 

I will add the correct answers in a couple of days, feel free to put you answers in the comments.

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Did you know?

Question markPitching a complete game without striking out or walking a single batter is a rare feat and only one Minnesota Twins pitcher has ever done it, name him.

Three pitchers have done it against the Twins, Dick Donovan in 1962, Bud Black in 1989 but he lost the game, and Joel Pineiro in 2006. In the last 22 years it has only been done twice, Pinero in 2006 and Rick Porcello in 2014.

The answer is Allan Anderson on 8/4/1988 – boxscore

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Ron Henry – baseball player, singer and actor passes away

Henry, Ron 1Ronald Baxter Henry was born in Chester, Pennsylvania on August 7, 1936 and passed away on May 14, 2016 in Denver, Colorado at the age of 79 from cardiovascular disease and end stage renal disease. Ron Henry played professional baseball for 15 seasons between 1954 and 1968 but his only time in the big leagues was in 1961 and 1964 when he served as the teams third catcher.

In 1954 Henry was acquired by the Milwaukee Braves from the Boise Pilots in the Pioneer League in some fashion and played in their minor league system through the 1960 season but after that season ended he was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 1960 Rule 5 draft which required him to spend the 1961 season with the Twins or to be returned to Milwaukee. In 1961 Henry served as the teams third catcher behind Earl Battey and Hal Naragon and made his big league debut at the age of 24 on April 15 at Memorial Stadium against the Baltimore Orioles as a pinch-hitter for Ted Sadowski in the fifth inning with the Twins trailing 6-0. Henry faced Oriole starter Steve Barber and hit into a 1-6-3 double play. Henry only appeared in 20 games that season getting just 31 plate appearances and had 4 hits and 3 RBI. Henry spent the next two seasons learning his trade in the minors before he got another shot with the Twins in 1964 and again he was the third catcher behind Battey and Jerry Zimmerman. In 1964 Henry, who according to the 1964 Twins media guide was known as “Scratch” appeared in 22 games and in those 43 plate appearances he had a double, triple and two home runs.

Ron Henry

Ron Henry

Although his short stints in the majors did not show it, Henry was a very good hitter in the minor leagues where he played in 1,119 games and hit .260 with 126 home runs and 41 triples. Behind the plate Henry was a good catcher and one of the reasons the Twins selected him in the Rule 5 draft was his strong throwing arm. Henry played in the Twins minor league system until he was sent to the Houston Astro’s in mid 1967 in an unknown transaction. Henry played in the Astro’s system until he walked away from baseball after the 1968 season at the age of 31.

After his baseball career ended, which had been interspersed by a short stint in the U. S. Army, Ron settled in Denver, Colorado where he became a well-known and respected local singer and actor. Ron packed Denver nightclubs for 35 years. During his career he appeared in many of Denver’s hot spots. His acting career encompassed various venues, including Armando’s, Rodney’s and a turn at the Country Dinner Playhouse in “Damn Yankees”.

Ron henry

Ron Henry

During his life journey, Ron was married to Diane Chalmus, of Sicklerville, NJ;   Sarah Saunders of Denver, CO and Leslie Henry , Raleigh, NC.  After moving to Raleigh, he received a heart transplant at Duke University Hospital more than 10 years ago. Ron returned to his beloved Denver in 2008 where he lived for the remaining years of his life among family and close friends.

Ron had a larger than life personality that attracted numerous friends and fans. He had a gift for gab that included storytelling, putting smiles on faces and making people laugh. He was a fan of TV and talk radio and developed strong opinions on many subjects which he would debate and defend until the end.

Thank you for the memories Ron Henry and rest in peace.

 

Catcher turned crooner Henry to start anew in N.C.

Ron Henry, swingin’ Denver singer, dies at 79

 

Ronald Baxter Henry Obituary

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Twins minor league player of the week – Trevor Hildenberger

Trevor Hildenberger

Trevor Hildenberger

Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) right-handed pitcher Trevor Hildenberger is this weeks Twins minor league Player of the Week. The 6’2″ Hildenberger appeared in three games for the Lookouts, pitching 3.0 scoreless innings, with no hits allowed, no walks, two strikeouts and two saves. In 2016 Trevor has appeared in 20 games between Chattanooga and Ft. Myers Twins (High A) this season, posting a 1.32 ERA (27.1 IP, 3 ER) with three walks, 25 strikeouts and 10 saves.

The 25-year-old Hildenberger is in his third season of pro ball and has never finished a season with an ERA higher than 3.32 and has been used strictly as a reliever. Trevor has exceptional control and has a career WHIP of 0.856 and a SO/9  rate of 10.2.

He was drafted by the Twins in the 22nd round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Cal-Berkeley.

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According to ELIAS

Dozier bruised but not beaten

Brian Dozier  2015It was a painful game-winning RBI for Brian Dozier, who was hit with a pitch by Erasmo Ramirez with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to give the Twins the lead for good over the Rays last night. Dozier is the first Twins player in almost 10 years to collect a game-winning RBI by getting plunked with the bases full. On June 27, 2006,Jason Bartlett‘s hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded in the second inning gave the Twins a lead they would not relinquish against the Dodgers.

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Different strokes for different folks

Calvin Griffith

Calvin Griffith

Click on the article to make it larger and easier to read.

Click on the article to make it larger and easier to read.

After losing still another game on June 1, 1982 the Minnesota Twins found themselves with a 12-40 record and 20 games out of first place. How did Owner, President and GM all rolled into one Calvin Griffith react to the situation he found himself in? On May 28 he extended the contract of manager Billy Gardner when the Twins were 12-36 and had lost 9 games in a row and 14 out of the last 15. Here is what the June 7, 1982 Sporting News had to say. I’m pretty sure that owner Jim Pohlad will not take the same action 34 years later.

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Twins minor league player of the week – Byron Buxton

Byron Buxton  2015Rochester Red Wings (AAA) outfielder Byron Buxton is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Buxton played in six games for the Red Wings hitting .478 (11-for-23) with three doubles, three home runs, five RBI, eight runs scored and three walks with a 1.087 OPS. Buxton has played in 27 games for the Red Wings this season, hitting .345 (38-for-110) with nine doubles, two triples, six home runs and 13 RBI. The Twins recalled Buxton to Minnesota on May 31.

Previous 2016 winners of this award: infielder Nick Gordon, left-handed pitcher Stephen
Gonsalves, outfielder Daniel Palka, right-handed pitcher Yorman Landa, catcher A.J. Murray and infielder Kennys Vargas.

Twins Minor League Report May 29, 2016

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Should the Twins President, GM and Manager keep their jobs?

When the Minnesota Twins hired Hall of Famer Paul Molitor to manage the Twins starting with the 2015 season they had to know that they were swimming up-stream and that the baseball gods were against them. The list of “modern” MLB Hall of Fame players that tried their luck as managers is relatively short and none of them have turned out to be Hall of Fame managers.

Frank Robinson

Robinson, Frank ExposFrank Robinson may have been the best of the skippers that had Hall of Fame on his resume. Robinson managed four different teams (Indians, Giants, Orioles, Expos/Nationals) over 16 seasons from 1975-2006. Robinson took over the Orioles manager duties in 1988 after they had an 0-6 record and he managed them to 15 more consecutive losses before they won their first game of the season after an 0-21 start. The next season (1989) Frank Robinson was selected as the AL Manager of the year after leading his team to a second place finish and a 87-75 record. Although he may have been the best manager of the Hall of Fame group, he finished his managing career with zero playoff appearances. His career mark as a manager was 1,065-1,176 (.475).

Yogi Berra

Yogi Berra managed for all or parts of five season with two New York clubs, the Yankees and the Mets. Although his career managing record was 484-444, he did take both the Mets and Yankees to a pennant.

Bob Lemon

Bob Lemon managed for all or parts of eight seasons between 1970-1982 and had a lifetime managing record of 430 and 403 with the Royals, White Sox  and Yankees. He does have two pennants and a World Series championship on his resume but in both of these cases he took over the job during the season and never managed a team to a pennant from start to finish.

Ted Williams

Ted Williams managed the Washington Senators from 1969 through 1972 when he called it quits. He led the Senators to a 86-76 record in his first season (1969) as the Senators skipper but in 1970 his team was 70-92, in 1971 the team was 63-96, and in 1972 he was 54-100. Do you see a trend here? His career mark as a manager was 273-364 (.429) and zero play-off appearances.

Ryne Sandberg

Ryne Sandberg took over as skipper of the Phillies 44 games into the 2013 season and left after a 26-48 start to the 2015 season. Sandberg had a 119-159 mark as a skipper during his Phillies tenure.

Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor was hired to be the Twins manager prior to the 2015 season and todate his record as a manager stands at 94-113 (.454). Molitor took over a team that had not won more games than it lost since 2010 and in 2015 he led them to a 83-79 record. At first glance does not seem that bad over all, but, there is always that but.  In May of 2015 the Twins were 20-7, if you subtract that month Molitor managed the team to a 63-72 record. This year Molitor’s record is 15-35, the team is playing at a lousy .300 winning percentage but even that starts to look good when you look at their road record of 7-20 (.259). You want to see more? The Twins are 0-6 against the White Sox, 0-6 against the Tigers, and 1-5 against the Royals but on the positive side they are 4-2 against the Indians. A record of 5-19 in your own division does not cut it, it is totally unacceptable even if you are playing just for fun and the Twins are certainly not playing for the fun of it.

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According to ELIAS

Sano homers in fourth straight game

Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano cracked a fourth-inning round-tripper that extended his home-run streak to four consecutive games in the Twins’ 5-4 win at Seattle. Eighteen days after his 23rd birthday, Sano is the second-youngest player to fashion a four-game home-run streak for the Senators/Twins franchise. Kent Hrbek homered in four straight games for Minnesota at age 22 in 1982.

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Twins pitching coach Neil Allen charged with DWI and suspended

Twins pitching coach Neil Allen (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

Twins pitching coach Neil Allen (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

The Twins announced yesterday afternoon that pitching coach Neil Allen has been suspended indefinitely with pay after being arrested Thursday and charged with driving while impaired.

According to the incident report, three officers for the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office stopped Allen for visually impaired driving at 1:59 a.m. Thursday. The stop took place in downtown Minneapolis at 6th Street South and Park Avenue.

Eric Rasmussen

Eric Rasmussen

Allen refused a field sobriety test after being stopped in his 2009 Infiniti QX56 and was arrested for third-degree driving while impaired. He was taken into custody at 3:48 a.m. Thursday and released without bail at 10:32 a.m., pending a complaint.

Eric Rasmussen, in his eighth season as minor league pitching coordinator for the Twins, was named interim pitching coach.

 

 

STATEMENT REGARDING PITCHING COACH NEIL ALLEN

 

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins issued the following statement on today’s arrest of Pitching Coach Neil Allen:

“The Minnesota Twins are aware of the pending DWI charge against Pitching Coach Neil Allen. Mr. Allen has been suspended, with pay, indefinitely and the matter will be handled in accordance with the policies and procedures of the Minnesota Twins Baseball Club.”

In addition, Twins have named Eric Rasmussen interim Pitching Coach.  Rasmussen has spent the last eight-plus seasons as the Twins Minor League Pitching Coordinator.

There will be no further comment at this time.

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This Day in Twins History – May 27

May 27 has not always been kind to the Twins over the years.

Jimmie Hall5/27/1964 – In the first game of a doubleheader at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Angels, Twins center fielder Jimmie Hall is beaned by Angel lefty Bo Belinsky as Hall leads off the top of the fifth inning. The Twins end up losing the game 4-1 but come back to win the second game 4-3. Hall ends up with a concussion and tries to come back on May 31st as a pinch-hitter but ends up striking out. Hall sits out several more games and gets back in the line-up on June 4th. Hall hit 33 home runs as a rookie in 1963 but is never really the same player after this beaning.  Star Tribune write-up 

Rick Lysander5/27/1983 – Twins reliever Rick Lysander becomes the first Twins pitcher to lose both games of a double-header at the Tigers beat the Twins 7-4 and 2-1 at Tiger Stadium. Box score Game 1, Game 2

Scott Baker

Scott Baker

5/27/2011 – Twins starter Scott Baker threw seven scoreless innings and left with a 5-0 lead at Target Field, but the Los Angeles Angels scored five in the eighth and one in the ninth against the bullpen and defeated the Twins, 6-5. Baker became the first major-league starter in 13 years to fashion a scoreless outing of at least seven innings and leave with a lead of at least five runs, only to see his team lose. As badly as things have gone for the Twins this season, who are now 16-33 and 14.5 games out of first, the loss set a new low. It was the only the second time since the team came to Minnesota in 1961 – and the first time in nearly 40 years – that the Twins have lost a game in which they led by five-or-more runs going into the eighth inning. Since their only previous such loss – 11-9 to the Yankees on July 30, 1971 – the Twins had gone 755-0 in games in which they took a lead of five-or-more runs into the eighth inning! That was the longest winning streak in major league history in games of that type. Box score

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According to ELIAS

Nunez and Dozier go back to back in the first inning

Lenny Green

Lenny Green

Vic Power

Vic Power

Eduardo Nunez led off the bottom of the first with a home run and Brian Dozier followed with a home run of his own staking the Twins to a 2-0 lead en route to the team’s 7-5 win over the Royals yesterday afternoon. It marked the fifth time that the first two hitters in the Twins’ lineup hit consecutive home runs in the first inning since the franchise moved to Minnesota in 1961. That also happened on May 10, 1962 (Lenny Green and Vic Power), July 18, 1986 (Kirby Puckett and Gary Gaetti), August 19, 2002 (Jacque Jones and Cristian Guzman) and June 9, 2014 (Danny Santana and Dozier).

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Kennys Vargas

Kennys Vargas 2016Rochester Red Wings (AAA) first baseman Kennys Vargas is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Vargas played in five games for the Red Wings hitting .440 (11-for-25) with two doubles, four home runs, 10 RBI, six runs scored and one walk. Vargas has played in 42 games for the Red Wings this season, hitting .252 (37-for-147) with six doubles, six home runs and 25 RBI. Kennys Vargas was signed by the Minnesota Twins as a non-drafted free agent on Feb. 25, 2009. Vargas has spent parts of 2014 and 2015 with the Twins but there does not appear to be a spot for him now which I think is kind of a shame.

 

Other news from the Twins minor league organization

Walker, Adam Brett 2016For the second time this week, Triple-A Rochester had a player accomplish something that hadn’t been done since 1990. Saturday night in Durham, Adam Walker became the first Red Wing to hit three home runs in a game since Leo Gomez did so on April 9, 1990 at Pawtucket. Walker set a career-high with the three homers, becoming just the second Rochester player (Gomez) to accomplish the feat in the last 40 years. Earlier this week, Kennys Vargas homered in four consecutive games, the first Red Wing to do so since Sam Horn in June, 1990.

Adam Brett Walker’s three home runs propel Wings to 12-2 win

There are some good stories at the end of the attached Twins minor league report PDF including an interesting look at Tommy John types of injuries.

Twins Minor League Report May 22, 2016

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According to ELIAS

dont-give-up-the-beginning-is-always-the-hardest-quote-1Two teams start the season with 30 losses in their first 40 games.

The Minnesota Twins fell to 10-30 this season with their extra-inning loss to the Blue Jays, after the Atlanta Braves record dropped to 10-30 with their loss at Pittsburgh earlier on Thursday night. This is only the second season since 1900 in which two major-league teams each lost at least 30 of their first 40 decisions. That had not happened since 1904, when the Philadelphia Phillies started 9-31 and the Washington Senators (who would become the Minnesota Twins) began with a 7-33 mark.

Not to scare you but the 1904 Washington Senators finished the season with a 38-113 record while scoring 437 runs and giving up 743 runs.

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According to ELIAS

Zimmermann’s unusual performance a first since Grove

Jordan Zimmermann allowed eight runs over seven innings but still managed to earn the win over the Minnesota Twins last night. It’s been just over two years since a pitcher got the win in a game in which he allowed at least eight runs; the Phillies’Cliff Lee surrendered eight runs over five innings on March 31, 2014 against the Rangers in a 14-10 win.

What was even more unusual was that Zimmermann struck out nine batters in Monday’s matchup. The last pitcher to earn the win while allowing at least eight runs and recording nine or more strikeouts was the Athletics’ Lefty Grove on May 30, 1927 against the Yankees (9 IP, 8 R, 11 SO in a 9-8 victory); those Yankees went on to finish the season 110-44 and swept the Pirates in the World Series. Babe Ruth went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Lou Gehrig was 1-for-4 with two runs batted in off Grove that day.

Zimmermann (6-2, 2.45 ERA) is the first pitcher to win at least six of his first eight starts for Detroit with an ERA under 3.00 since Doyle Alexander in 1987 (7-0, 1.61 ERA). The Tigers traded John Smoltz to acquire Alexander that season.

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – A. J. Murray

A. J. Murray 2016Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A) catcher A.J. Murray is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. The 23-year-old Murray played in five games for the Kernels, hitting .565 (13-for-23) with three doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, eight runs scored, two walks and a .600 on-base percentage. On Friday, Murray, a right-handed batter went 5-for-5 at Wisconsin, hitting two home runs with five RBI, five runs scored and a walk.

Murray was originally drafted in 48th round of 2012 draft by Houston Astros but chose to attend Georgia Tech instead. A.J. was the team captain and third-team all-Atlantic Coast Conference last year as a senior. Murray’s late father, Michael, played minor-league ball in the Chicago White Sox system in 1984 as a 1B/3B. Murray was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. The Twins took Murray as a catcher, which is interesting because he didn’t catch a lot in college, mainly rotation between right field, first base, designated hitter and catcher.

Twins Minor League Report May 15, 2016

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According to ELIAS

Centeno homers off Kluber

Juan Centeno 2016Juan Centeno‘s first career home run, a two-run shot in the fifth inning off Corey Kluber, gave the Twins a lead they never relinquished in their win over the Indians yesterday. Centeno is the third player this season whose first career home run in the majors came off a former Cy Young Award winner. Colorado’s Trevor Story hit his first off Zack Greinke and Arizona’s Socrates Brito hit his off Jake Arrieta.

Centeno is the ninth player in Minnesota Twins history whose first career homer came off a former Cy Young Award winner. Some of the names on that list include Butch Wynegar, Lyman Bostock, John Castino and Steve Lombardozzi.

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Twins walk-off history

walk-offThe walk-off hit that gives your team the win is as exciting as it gets at your home ballpark and a walk-off loss on the road is frustrating and depressing. Let’s take a look at Minnesota Twins history from 1961-2015 and see how the Twins have fared.

Seasons with most walk-off wins

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 Seasons with most walk off losses

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Some interesting Twins walk-off tidbits

  • The Twins had 150 walk-off wins at Met Stadium, 213 walk-off wins at the Metrodome and 37 walk-off wins at Target Field.
  • Between 1961-1981 the Twins were walked off 165 times, between 1982-2009 they were walked off 206 times, and between 2010-2015 they have been walked off 33 times.
  • Between 1961-2015 the Twins have 400 walk-off wins and 404 walk-off loses.
  • Doug DeCinces and Johnny Damon have the most walk-off game winners against the Twins, four each.
  • Kirby Puckett has the most walk-off hits for Minnesota with 12.
  • The fewest walk-off losses for the Twins were three in 1993 and again in 2006.
  • The Twins have beaten the Chicago White Sox 47 times in walk-off fashion, more than any other team.
  • The Twins have been beaten in walk-off fashion the most times by the Chicago White Sox, a total of 41 times.
  • Since 2006 the Twins have walked off the Yankees just once and lost via the walk-off on four occasions.
  • Pitcher Bill Pleis was the winning pitcher in the first Twins walk-off win and the losing pitcher in the Twins first walk-off loss.
  • The Twins first walk-off win came courtesy of Zoilo Versalles when he hit a game winning SAC fly off Dave Sisler of the Washington Senators.
  • The Twins first ever walk-off home run was a pinch-hit home run by Julio Becquer against Orioles pitcher Jack Fisher.

 

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