Elizabethton Twins doing well…..again

Nick Gordon

Nick Gordon

Felix Jorge

Felix Jorge

A recent issue of Twins Game Notes stated that the Rookie-level Appalachian League named its 2014 All-Star Team Friday night. Nick Gordon was named the shortstop, Max Murphy was named an outfielder, Felix Jorge was named right-handed pitcher and Ray Smith was named Manager.

Ray Smith

Ray Smith

Gordon is hitting .282 (59-for-209) with six doubles and three triples in 51 games. Minnesota-native Max Murphy (currently with Cedar Rapids) hit .378 (45-for-119) with 10 home runs and 26 RBI in 35 games and also earned Appy League Player of the Year honors. Felix Jorge (currently with Cedar Rapids) went 4-2, 2.29 ERA (63.0 IP, 16 ER) with 13 walks and 56 strikeouts in 11 starts and also earned Appy League Pitcher of the Year honors. lastly, manager Ray Smith has led the E-Twins to a record of 34-27 and in first place of the Apply League West Division. Smith is in his 21st year of managing the E-Twins and his team has won the league championship on seven occasions and lost in the championship game five more times. His team has failed to make the playoffs in only seven of his 21 seasons at the helm.

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This Day in Twins History – August 25

Dean Chance8/25/1967Dean Chance pitches the second no-hitter in Twins history and defeats the Indians  2-1 in the second game of a double-header at Cleveland Stadium. The Indians actually scored first in this game when Chance walked Lee Maye and Vic Davalillo in the bottom of the first. Chance then struck out Chuck Hinton but Tony Horton reached on an error by SS Jackie Hernandez to load the bases. With Max Alvis batting, Chance threw a wild pitch and Maye scored the Indians first and only run. Chance then struck out Alvis and Joe Azcue flew out to end the threat. Chance then completed the game without allowing an Indian hit while striking out eight and walking a total of five batters. The Twins went on to score two runs and win this unusual no-hitter. Box Score

8/25/1970 – A bomb scare at Met Stadium delayed the Boston Red Sox vs. Minnesota Twins game forty-three (43) minutes. According to the Sporting News, a bomb scare forced a 43-minute delay in the fourth inning, but the only bomb that exploded was the homer by Tony Conigliaro off of Tom Hall in the eighth giving Red Sox 1-0 victory over Twins. A crowd of 17,697 evacuated the stands after announcement over public address system stated that a telephoned warning had been received that bomb was due to go off. The evacuation was orderly and without panic with about 2,000 fans, players, police and vendors gathered in the center-field area. The rest milled about in the parking lot. The bomb was supposed to go off at 10:30 PM so after a 27 minute wait, the game was resumed at 10:57 PM. The Sox end the game with a double play, the first out is a force at second base on a ball hit by Jim Holt and then Tony Oliva is caught in a rundown (6-5-2-5) trying to score from third. Ken Brett is the winner in relief over Tom Hall. Box Score

Bob Casey

Bob Casey

Bob Casey who was the Twins public address announcer for a long time and a Minnesota legend was at times a curmudgeon. One of the best anecdotes about him occurred during this bomb threat. “Bob,” a team official told Casey, “there’s a bomb threat, and we need to clear the stadium. So could you make some sort of announcement for people to calmly leave the stadium.” Casey assured them that it would be no problem. Moments later, he grabbed the microphone and shouted, “Ladies and gentlemen, please don’t panic but there’s going to be an EXPLOSION in 15 minutes!”

Jerry Zimmerman

Jerry Zimmerman

8/25/1978 – Major League umpires stage a one-day strike in defiance of their union contract. Semipro and amateur umps are pressed into service until a restraining order forces the strikers to return.  At Toronto at Exhibition Stadium, the Blue Jays beat the Twins 7 – 3, with two amateur umpires and two coaches officiating: Toronto coach Don Leppert was at 2B and Twins coach Jerry Zimmerman was at 3B. Since 1910, this was just the 5th time this century, and the first time since 1941, that active players or coaches have acted as umpires. The umpires will walk out again at the beginning of the 1979 season

8/25/1998 – The Twins like many teams before them, send pitcher Mike Morgan packing, this time to the Cubs and pitcher Scott Downs heads to Minnesota. Morgan pitched for 12 different ML teams (13 if you count that he was traded to the Cubs twice) between 1978 and 2002 before he finally calls it quits.

8/25/2008 – The Twins make a deal with the Texas Rangers and reacquire relief pitcher Eddie Guardado and send pitcher Mark Hamburger to Texas. Hamburger resigned with the Twins as a free agent in September 2013.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Jake Reed

Jake Reed

Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A) pitcher Jake Reed is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Reed, a 6’2″ right-hander made three appearances for the Kernels, tossing 4.0 shutout innings with no hits allowed no walks and six strikeouts while earning two saves. The Twins fifth round pick in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft has made 18 appearances for Cedar Rapids and Elizabethton combined, going 3-0, 0.32 ERA (28.0 IP, 1 ER) with two walks and 37 strikeouts.

The 21 year-old La Mesa, California native attended the University of Oregon from 2012-14 and switched from starter to closer in his final season. Reed went 4-1 with a 1.95 ERA and 13 saves in 31 games in his first season as a reliever for the Ducks. He started 17 games in each of his first two seasons with the Ducks and went 8-4 with a 2.92 ERA as a freshman and 6-6 with a 3.50 ERA as a sophomore. Reed was a Chicago White Sox 40th round pick in 2011 but chose not to sign. The Twins reportedly gave Reed a $350,000 signing bonus, slightly under slot.

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According to Elias

Kennys Vargas

Kennys Vargas

Kennys Vargas‘s five-RBI game in Saturday’s opener was the fourth by a Twins rookie over the last two seasons, joining Oswaldo Arcia (2013), Chris Colabello (2013) and Danny Santana (June 7). No other team has more than two five-RBI games by a rookie since the start of last season.

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Twins score 20

The Twins beat up on the Detroit Tigers 20-6 last night at Target Field in front of 29,394 fans that had to watch 3 hours and 59 minutes of baseball if they wanted to see the games final pitch. The Twins are the first AL team this season to score 20 runs in a game and this is the most runs ever scored by the Twins in a game at Target Field.

This is the 13th time in franchise history and the eighth time in Twins team history that the team has scored 20 or more runs in a game. The Detroit Tigers have been the unlucky victims of the Twins/Senators 20 or more runs parade on five occasions, four times by the Twins and once by the Washington Senators.

The Twins previous high for runs scored in a game at Target field occurred on July 16, 2012 when they out-scored the Baltimore Orioles 19-7. The Twins have had 20 runs scored against them just three times and always on the road. The Twins lost to the Kansas City A’s 20-2 on April 25, 1961, they lost 23-6 to the Kansas City Royals on April 6, 1974 and they lost a 20-6 game to the Texas Rangers on July 25, 2011.

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H HR BB LOB Attendance GmLen
1 1996-04-24 MIN DET W 24-11 60 46 24 19 3 12 9 12,189 223
2 2002-06-04 MIN CLE W 23-2 57 50 23 25 3 7 10 14,029 194
3 1994-06-04 MIN DET W 21-7 57 49 21 24 4 5 9 23,780 194
4 1994-05-20 MIN BOS W 21-2 54 44 21 22 1 7 9 20,766 188
5 1929-08-05 WSH DET W 21-5 51 41 21 21 1 6 6 132
6 2014-08-22 MIN DET W 20-6 55 46 20 20 4 9 11 29,394 239
7 2009-05-21 MIN CHW W 20-1 54 46 20 20 4 5 7 23,048 178
8 2007-07-06 (1) MIN CHW W 20-14 57 47 20 21 2 8 10 31,543 222
9 1980-04-27 MIN OAK W 20-11 52 41 20 20 0 8 8 19,859 197
10 1943-08-01 (2) WSH SLB W 20-6 56 41 20 19 0 12 12 15,579 136
11 1925-08-22 WSH DET W 20-5 55 44 20 19 3 10 8 162
12 1923-08-24 WSH CLE W 20-8 59 42 20 22 0 14 12 150
13 1915-09-29 (2) WSH PHA W 20-5 52 43 20 23 0 4 8 110
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/23/2014.

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Here is what ELIAS had to say about the game: Eduardo Escobar led the Twins’ 20-hit attack, going 5-for-6 from the eighth slot in the lineup, in their 20-6 victory over the Tigers. He was the first major-league player to collect five hits, including a home run, in a game from either the eighth or ninth slot in the lineup since Detroit’s Carlos Pena generated six hits, including a pair of homers, at Kansas City back in 2004.

Eduardo Escobar

Eduardo Escobar

Escobar’s night began with a second-inning homer off Robbie Ray, and he followed with a single off Blaine Hardy, a triple off Jim Johnson, a single off Joba Chamberlain and another single off pitcher-for-a-day infielder Andrew Romine. Escobar became the second Twins player this month to get hits off five different pitchers in the same game – Danny Santana did it against the White Sox on August 3 – something no other big-leaguer has done this season.

And just to complete the story, we note that Escobar also made a pair of errors at shortstop on Friday night. The last major-leaguer with at least five hits and at least two errors in the same game was Kansas City’s Angel Berroa, who did it in a game at Cleveland in September 2003.

For the Twins, their 20-run, 20-hit performance marked just the eighth time in modern major-league history that a team had posted those exact numbers – and three of those eight games have been produced by the Twins. Minnesota went 20/20 against the Athletics in 1980 and against the White Sox in 2009.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Stephen Gonsalves

Stephen Gonsalves

Cedar Rapids (Low A ball)  pitcher Stephen Gonsalves is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. The 20 year-old Gonsalves made a start on Friday against Peoria, tossing 7.0 shutout innings with three hits allowed, no walks and five strikeouts, earning the win. The Twins fourth round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft has gone 2-2, 1.57 ERA (23.0 IP, 4 ER) in five starts for the Kernels this season. The 6’5″ left-handed Gonsalves was promoted from Rookie league Elizabethton in late July, where he was 2-0, 2.79 ERA (29.0 IP, 9 ER) in six starts.

Gonsalves was projected at one time to be the best left-handed pitcher in the 2013 draft but fell all the way to round four where he was selected by Minnesota. Why did he drop so dramatically? You can read the story here. The exact cost of Gonsalves’ suspension will never be known, but the 15th pick of this year’s (2013) first round earned a $2.25 million bonus, while the 33rd and final pick signed for $1.65 million. Kohl Stewart, the Twins’ pick at No. 4 overall, received a $4,544,400 signing bonus Wednesday. Gonsalves received $700,000, still far above his slot projection of $468,200.

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According to Elias +

 

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes struck out six without walking a batter over seven innings, earning a victory in the Twins’ 4-1 win over the Royals at Target Field last night. It was the 13th start this season in which Hughes didn’t issue a base on balls, the highest such total in the majors. The only other pitchers in double figures are Hisashi Iwakuma (11) and Tim Hudson (10).

Carlos SilvaThe Twins record for most starts in a season with no walks is held by Carlos Silva who had 18 games with no walks in 2005. That same season, Brad Radke had 17 starts with no walks. That same year Johan Santana and Joe Mays had seven games with walks and Kyle Lohse had six games with no bases on balls. Twins opponents had to hit their way on base back then. In 2005 Twins starters had a total of 58 games where they did not walk a batter and is an all time best. In 2014 Twins starters have 30 games todate with no walks. The Twins worst season for starters not allowing a walk was back in 1976 when they had only six games with zero walks.

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According to Elias

Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham

Josh Willingham knocked in three runs in his first game against his former team in the Royals’ win over the Twins last night. Willingham is the fifth former Twins player to drive in at least three runs in his first game against his former team and that game was played in Minnesota. The others to do that were Russ Nixon in 1968, Don Baylor in 1988, Darrin Jackson in 1997 and Carlos Gomez in 2010.

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Who am I?

who am I?In 14 years in the majors I pitched in 602 games but started just 69 of them. That in itself is kind of strange because when I started my big league career with the Giants my first two games in the big leagues were complete game shutouts. In the next three starts I gave up a total of four earned runs but lost all three games.

I pitched for the Minnesota Twins for six seasons. In those six seasons I pitched in 327 games and never started a single game. In those 327 games I pitched more innings and won more games than any pitcher in Twins history that had zero starts on his resume. Who am I?

Now that our mystery pitcher has been identified, you can learn more about him in a January 2010 interview I did with him.

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According to Elias

Joe MauerJoe Mauer‘s first-inning single was the 1,500th hit of his career and his sixth-inning homer gave the Twins a lead they never relinquished in a 3-1 win over the Astros yesterday. Mauer’s .320 career batting is the highest for any player at time of his 1,500th hit since Albert Pujols reached that milestone in 2008 with a .334 lifetime average. Aside from Pujols, the only player who entered the major leagues in the past 15 years and had a higher average than Mauer’s when he collected his 1500th hit was Ichiro Suzuki (.332).

Mauer become the sixth Twins player to reach the 1,500 hit pinnacle, can you name the other five? Pretty simple I would think for most Twins fans. Here is a table that shows how they compare.

 Players with 1,500 or more hits in a Minnesota Twins uniform

Rk Player H From To Age G AB R HR RBI SO BA OBP OPS
1 Kirby Puckett 2304 1984 1995 24-35 1783 7244 1071 207 1085 965 .318 .360 .837
2 Rod Carew 2085 1967 1978 21-32 1635 6235 950 74 733 716 .334 .393 .841
3 Tony Oliva 1917 1962 1976 23-37 1676 6301 870 220 947 645 .304 .353 .830
4 Kent Hrbek 1749 1981 1994 21-34 1747 6192 903 293 1086 798 .282 .367 .848
5 Harmon Killebrew 1713 1961 1974 25-38 1939 6593 1047 475 1325 1314 .260 .383 .901
6 Joe Mauer 1501 2004 2014 21-31 1257 4693 727 108 664 628 .320 .401 .863
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/14/2014.

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Harmon Killebrew and Rod Carew obviously had more hits than you see above but I am only comparing the time they actually played in Minnesota. For all the criticism that Mauer has received the last few years for his lack of power, only Harmon has a higher OPS.

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Twins hodgepodge

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer

Seems to be some validity to the complaining that the Twins best paid player Joe Mauer isn’t hitting with runners on base. Joe Mauer had the go-ahead single in the ninth inning for Minnesota on Monday, after he entered the game hitting .171 (7 for 41) in Late Inning Pressure Situations. Over the past six seasons (2008-2013), Mauer hit .339 in LIPS, the highest in the major leagues among players with at least 100 plate appearances.

The Ft. Myers Miracle the Twins High-A team is now calling JetBlue Park their new home for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs as Hammond Stadium undergoes the second phase of their two-year remodeling effort. It will be interesting to see what Hammond Stadium will look like next spring.

The Cedar Rapids Kernels the Twins Low-A club and the Minnesota Twins extended their player-development contract (PDC) through the 2020 season. Another nail in the coffin for those that had hopes of St. Paul landing a Twins minor league affiliation in their new ballpark that is being built.

Minneapolis provided MLB with free rent and discounted services for the All-Star FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center when the Twins hosted the 2014 All-Star game.

Ron Davis - Twins pitcher from 1982 - 1986 (courtesy of the Minnesota Twins)

Ron Davis – Twins pitcher from 1982 – 1986 (courtesy of the Minnesota Twins)

Twenty eight years ago today the Twins traded closer Ron Davis along with minor league pitcher Dewayne Coleman to the Chicago Cubs for relievers George Frazier and Ray Fontenot and shortstop Julius McDougal. Davis was the Twins closer from 1982 until he was traded in 1986. Davis saved 108 games for the Twins but it was the games that he didn’t save that made Davis one of the biggest villans in Twins history. Here is a piece about Davis in the LA Times. The Twinstrivia  interview with Ron Davis can be found here.

In the last three weeks Terry Ryan and Rob Antony have been busy house-cleaning and they have cut about $8 million from the Twins payroll. First the Twins traded DH/1B Kendrys Morales to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Stephen Pryor. Then they traded outfielder Sam Fuld to the Oakland A’s for LHP Tommy Milone. Then RHP Kevin Correia was sent out to La La land where he will pitch for the Dodgers and the Twins will receive a PTBNL or cash. Their latest trade has outfielder/DH Josh Willingham headed south to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for minor league RHP Jason Adam. Here is what a KC blog site called Cover the Bases had to say about the deal. Are there still more trades on the horizon? You never know but if I was Jared Burton  I might not be too quick to send out my clothes to the dry cleaners. Joe Mauer is now the oldest position player on the team, Wow!

Jim Merritt

Jim Merritt

A lot is being made of King Felix Hernandez and his run of history making starts this season where he has pitched seven innings or more and allowed two runs or fewer. There is even talk of him as a serious MVP candidate. Have any Twins pitchers had a nice run like that? Turns out that Jim Merritt had 11 games in a row back in 1967. This is actually a pretty amazing run by Hernandez, since 1961 there have only been 10 pitchers that have had a streak of 10 games or more that fit this criteria. Check out the list, there are some pretty good pitchers here.

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 Streaks of seven innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed since 1961

Rk Name Strk Start End Games W L GS CG SHO IP H R BB SO HR ERA Tm
1 Felix Hernandez 2014-05-18 2014-08-11 16 9 2 16 0 0 121.0 69 20 20 134 4 1.41 SEA
2 Tom Seaver 1971-07-17 1971-09-16 13 8 3 13 10 2 114.1 72 15 25 114 5 0.94 NYM
3 Mike Scott 1986-05-17 1986-07-07 12 6 3 12 2 1 96.1 58 16 19 99 4 1.40 HOU
4 Dwight Gooden 1985-09-06 1986-05-06 12 9 0 12 7 4 105.0 63 10 21 88 2 0.69 NYM
5 Gaylord Perry 1974-04-23 1974-06-12 11 10 0 11 10 2 98.1 56 14 35 61 3 0.92 CLE
6 Larry Dierker 1969-08-03 1969-09-17 11 7 2 11 6 1 94.2 50 14 16 79 5 1.33 HOU
7 Bob Gibson 1968-06-06 1968-07-30 11 11 0 11 11 8 99.0 56 3 13 83 0 0.27 STL
8 Jim Merritt 1967-06-25 1967-08-13 11 5 3 11 4 1 94.0 70 16 6 59 4 1.53 MIN
9 Johnny Cueto 2013-09-23 2014-05-15 10 4 2 10 3 2 79.0 36 12 21 81 8 1.25 CIN
10 Don Sutton 1976-08-10 1976-09-27 10 9 0 10 7 2 90.2 53 9 18 54 5 0.89 LAD
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 8/13/2014.

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Bob Gibson

Bob Gibson

Take a moment to check out Bob Gibson‘s numbers in the table above, they are absolutely incredible. His streak was 11 games long, his record was 11-0 and he had 11 complete games with 8 shutouts and a total of three runs allowed. No wonder Cardinals catcher Tim McCarver said that Gibson was the luckiest pitcher ever, he only pitched when the other team was not hitting.

The Minnesota Twins are still on track to have over 2.3 million fans at Target Field this summer. I think as the cooler weather approaches, the state fair gets in full swing and school begins, the attendance will fall off and the Twins will be around the 2 million mark but that is still an amazing mark for a team that has played as badly as the Twins have for the last four years.

So what about Ron Gardenhire and his staff? I think they are history within a week of the season ending. Who will be the Twins new skipper, it won’t be anyone currently associated with the Minnesota Twins today. Who would I like it to be? I think the Twins should swing a deal with the Marlins and bring Mike Redmond in as the Twins manager in 2015. The man had done well with the players he has been given. Will it happen? Nooooooo

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Twins minor league player of the week

Danny OrtizRochester (AAA-International league) outfielder Daniel Ortiz is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. In six games with the Red Wings, he hit .455 (10-for-22) with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI. Ortiz, a left-handed batter also walked twice and scored seven runs to go with a .500 on-base percentage. The 24-year-old Cayey, Puerto Rico-native was selected by the Twins in the fourth round of the 2008 First Year Player Draft out of Benjamin Harrison (PR) High School and signed for a $253,000 bonus.

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According to Elias

 

Trevor May

Trevor May

Trevor May walked seven batters without recording a strikeout in his major-league debut, a 9-4 Twins loss at Oakland last night. No pitcher had issued that many bases on balls without a strikeout in his first big-league game since the White Sox Ken Kravec (7 walks) on September 4, 1975 versus the Royals. And the only other pitcher in Twins franchise history with such an inauspicious debut was the Washington Senators’ Joe Krakauskas, against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 9, 1937 (7 BB).

No major-league pitcher had issued 7+ walks without a strikeout in any game since the Blue Jays’ Ricky Romero (8 BB at Detroit) on August 21, 2012. And the last Twins pitcher to put up a line like this was Willie Banks (7 BB at Boston) on July 25, 1992.

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This Day In Twins History – August 8

8/8/1962 – With the score tied at 3 apiece at Municipal Stadium in Kansas City, A’s rookie third baseman Ed Charles steals home with two out in the ninth to score the winning run in a A’s 4-3 win over the Twins. Ray Moore and Jerry Zimmerman were the Twins battery at the time.

8/8/1974 – The Royals – Twins game at Royals Stadium is briefly interrupted by President Nixon’s resignation speech. The speech is broadcast after it begins and the next inning is delayed until the conclusion of the speech. The Twins prevail over the host Royals‚ 3 – 2 in 14 innings when Tony Oliva‘s sacrifice fly drives home Rod Carew. Bill Campbell pitches 7 innings of relief for the win.

White sox shorts8/8/1976 – This has nothing to do with the Minnesota Twins but still it deserves to be remembered for its “strangeness”. Thirty-seven years ago, on Aug. 8, 1976, the Chicago White Sox made sartorial history by wearing shorts in a win over the Royals. The Bermudas were the idea of—who else?—owner Bill Veeck. The shorts were worn in a total of three games.

8/8/1987 – The Twins beat the Oakland A’s 9-2 at the Metrodome as Twins pitcher Steve Carlton wins the 329th and final game of his Hall of Fame career. Carlton pitches 8 2/3 innings giving up 2 runs while striking out two batters.

8/8/1988 – The Indians and the Twins were scoreless after 3 innings at the Metrodome with Allan Anderson on the mound for the local nine. In the top of the fourth inning with no one out, the Indians Ron Washington and Willie Upshaw singled to put runners on first and second and then Joe Carter smashed a long drive to the left field corner where Twins outfielder Dan Gladden snagged it for an out and wheeled and fired a strike to Steve Lombardozzi at 2B to nail Washington and then Lombo relayed the ball to Gene Larkin at first to get the runner there by at least 5 feet and completed the unusual 7-4-3 triple play. The Twins went on to win the game by a 7-2 score with Galdden going 3 for 5 with a run scored, a stolen base, and a RBI. Catcher Brian Harper was 4 for 4 but played second fiddle to Gladden on this day.

8/8/1998Paul Molitor stole his 500th base in Minnesota’s 6-3 loss to Baltimore to become only the fifth player ever with 3,000 hits and 500 steals. Molitor joined Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Eddie Collins and Lou Brock.

8/8/2004 – The A’s beat the Twins 6 – 5 in 18 innings. It is the second-longest game in the 23-year history of the Metrodome. With the score tied 3 to 3, the A’s score 3 in the top of the 18th off Terry Mulholland to take a 6-3 lead. The Twins come back with 2 in the bottom of the 18th with a Morneau home run but leave Matthew LeCroy stranded on first when Koskie and Cuddyer flyout to end the rally and the Twins hope of a huge comeback victory. The game lasts 4 hours and 57 minutes.

8/8/2005 – One time Minnesota Twins manger (1976-1980) Gene Mauch passes away at the age of 79. Mauch was the seventh manager in Twins history. I think one of my favorite Gene Mauch quotes was “I’m not the manager because I am always right, but I am always right because I am the manager”.

8/8/2009 – The Twins third manager, Cal Ermer passed away at the age of 85 in Chattanooga, Tenn. Ermer replaced the fired Sam Mele in June 1967 with the Twins in sixth place with a 25-25 record. The Twins went 66-46 the rest of the season but lost the American League pennant on the final day of the season. Ermer was fired after the Twins finished in seventh place in 1968 with a 79-83 record.

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According to Elias

Seth Smith led off the top of the 10th inning with a home run to give the Padres a 5-4 win over the Twins at Target Field. Smith entered the game with a .658 slugging percentage this season when leading off an inning, the sixth-highest such average in the major leagues (minimum: 75 leadoff at-bats).

The Twins squandered a 4-3 lead in the ninth inning, before Smith’s decisive hit. Minnesota had won the last 82 home games in which it led in the ninth inning or later, which was the longest current streak of that kind in the major leagues entering the day.

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According to Elias

As if the Twins’ nine-run eighth inning wasn’t enough, Chris Parmelee, Oswaldo Arcia and Eric Fryer rubbed salt in the wound with consecutive ninth-inning home runs off Andre Rienzo to increase the margin of victory in Minnesota’s 16-3 laugher against the White Sox. The Twins are the third team to hit back-to-back-to-back homers in a major-league game this season, and the two other instances occurred on consecutive days in April. Mike Trout, Albert Pujols and Raul Ibanez did it for the Angels on April 13 (all first-inning shots off the Mets’ Bartolo Colon), as did Evan Gattis, Dan Uggla and Andrelton Simmons for the Braves on April 14 (eighth inning homers, all off Philadelphia’s B.J. Rosenberg).

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Twins minor league player of the week

Chih-Wei Hu

Chih-Wei Hu (Photo credit to Becky Evans/Cedar Rapids Kernels)

Cedar Rapids Kernels (Low A – Midwest League)  pitcher Chih-Wei Hu is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. In two starts for the Kernels, he went 2-0, allowing one run in 12.0 innings, five hits, two walks and 14 strikeouts. The Taichung, Taiwan-native is 4-0, 1.50 ERA (30.0 IP, 5 ER) with 29 strikeouts and six walks in five starts for the Kernels this season. T

The 20-year-old right-hander was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent in August of 2012. Only in his second season of pro ball, Hu has a career record of 7-0 with a 1.96 ERA and a 0.84 WHIP. He has been a starter in 13 of his 20 games and he has struck out 84 batters in 82.2 innings. The man has not lost a game since he started pitching professionally, he was named Midwest League Pitcher of the Week last week.

Hu continues winning ways with Kernels by Mark Emery of MiLB.com

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According to Elias

Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe was 4-for-5 with two doubles in the Twins’ win at U.S. Cellular Field. Plouffe is 16-for-35 (.457) against the White Sox this season. The only major-leaguer with at least 35 at-bats versus one team this season and a higher average than that is Freddie Freeman, who is 20-for-41 (.488) against the Nationals.

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How can you not like the Twins signing Brandon Poulson

Brandon Poulson (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

Brandon Poulson (Kent Porter / Press Democrat) 2014

How often does this happen now days when baseball scouts scour the bushes around the world but yet a pitcher in California that can throw 100 MPH goes undrafted? Certainly not very often but the Minnesota Twins came up winners in getting 24 year-old Brandon Poulson’s name on a professional baseball contract and it only cost them $250,000.

The signing makes for a nice Minnesota Twins story when all the news you seem to read about the team lately is bad news. The team has stunk since the All-Star game, attendance is down, the Minnesota Vikings have reported to Mankato,  the July 31 trading deadline is almost here and rumors swirl that a number of Twins are on the way out, fans are calling for manager Ron Gardenhire‘s head, Twins prospects like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Kohl Stewart, Jose Berrios, and Max Kepler keep showing up on the DL, and of course the Twins Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Chuck Knoblauch being cancelled because he was arrested once again so we like the baseball scouts have to look high and low for some good news and this story fits the bill.

Here are a couple of links to other stories about Brandon Poulson:

SportsYahoo.com

Star Tribune

The Press Democrat

 

 

 

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Twins farmhand suspended by club

 

Hudson Boyd (KCRG-Gazette photo by Kaitlyn Bernauer)

Hudson Boyd (KCRG-Gazette photo by Kaitlyn Bernauer)

Hudson Boyd of the Cedar Rapids Kernels a 21 year-ol right-handed pitcher has been suspended indefinitely by the parent club Minnesota Twins.“He broke team rules,” said Manager Jake Mauer. “Made bad decisions. I don’t know how long he is going to be suspended for, but he’s going to be out for a little bit here.” Boyd is a first-round supplemental pick (55th overall) of the Twins in the 2011 draft who signed with Minnesota for a million dollar bonus out of Bishop Verot High School in Fort Myers.

“I’d probably better not say anything,” Boyd said, when asked about his suspension.“He’s  got to take care of some things, get some things in order,” Mauer said. “Really, unfortunately, it’s just about a guy being young. Not thinking things through. Hopefully he’ll come out of this and look at this as just a bump in the road to where he wants to get to.” The length of Boyd’s suspension will be determined by Twins farm director Brad Steil.

Boyd is in Cedar Rapids for a second consecutive year. The Twins have had Boyd start during his first two years in pro ball but this season Boyd has been used strictly in relief and has a 4-2 record with a 4.53 ERA, a 1.49 WHIP and has 35 strikeouts in 43.2 innings. Boyd has seven saves to his credit this season.

Boyd has had weight issues in the past and the Twins have been working with Boyd to keep his weight under control. Earlier this spring there were rumors floating around that Boyd had stated that he would not report to Cedar Rapids if he had to repeat a season there but he still gets his mail in Cedar Rapids and it doesn’t look like he will have to change his address in the near future.

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Twins minor league player of the week

Tim Shibuya

Tim Shibuya

Ft. Myers (High-A) pitcher Tim Shibuya is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. In two starts for the Miracle, he went 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA (14.0 IP, 2 ER) with 11 hits allowed, three walks and 11 strikeouts. The 24-year-old right-hander has appeared in 26 games (8 starts) for the Miracle, going 7-3, 2.98 ERA (81.2 IP, 27 ER) with 10 walks allowed and 54 strikeouts. The 6’1″ Shibuya was drafted in the 23rd round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of California-San Diego.  Tim was a two-time All-American as a Triton in 2010 and 2011, and the program’s all-time leader in wins, innings pitched and strikeouts.

Here are a couple of links about Tim Shibuya that you might enjoy:

Miracle pitcher Tim Shibuya excels at fielding

Q&A with Tim Shibuya

 

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Former Twin Chuck Knoblauch has another brush with the law

JUly 2014 Knoblauch mug shot

Knoblauch mug shot – July 2014

Former American League Rookie of the Year and Minnesota Twins star second baseman Edward Charles “Chuck” Knoblauch was arrested Wednesday night and accused of assaulting his ex-wife. Some reports have the couple divorcing in 2012 while other reports state that they filed for divorce in 2012 but failed to follow through on the necessary paper work. Regardless of their marriage status, Chuck Knoblauch, 46, is charged with assault of a family member after allegedly hitting Cheri Knoblauch inside her Bunker Hill home.

Memorial Villages police officers arrested Knoblauch and said he appeared “extremely intoxicated.” He was released after posting a $10,000 bond. “I would caution everybody to not rush to judgment on this. Let the facts play out and let the court system do its job,” his attorney Jimmy Ardoin said. Knoblauch has another court appearance set for July 30.

 

The video below is from click2houston.com

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Knoblauch was previously convicted of hitting then-wife Stacy Stelmach in 2010 and received one year of probation in that case. The blogs we did then can be found here and here. This Day in Twins History – February 6, 1998 Knoblauch is traded to Yankees.

Earlier this year prosecutors say he (Knoblauch) pushed a police officer March 12 and was charged with interference with public duties. That case is also outstanding at the present time.

The Minnesota Twins had planned to induct Knoblauch as the 27th member of the team’s Hall of Fame on August 23 but with recent developments the club sent out the following statement on July 24 .

“In light of recent news reports surrounding Chuck Knoblauch, as well as direct communication with the former Twins second baseman, the Minnesota Twins have decided to cancel the team’s 2014 Hall of Fame induction ceremony scheduled for August 23 at Target Field.”

Nydailynews.com

khou.com

Startribune.com

 

 

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Looking for the exit sign

Exit to SafecoWinning at just a .455% clip, the third worst in the American League and in last place in the AL Central division with the July 31 trade deadline looming the Minnesota Twins caravan stopped at the local bus stop on their way to Target Field to allow 1B/DH Kendrys Morales and RHP Matt Guerrier to get off the bus. Morales is heading for Seattle but Guerrier’s destination is unknown at the present time.

Matt Guerrier

Matt Guerrier

Ryan Pressly

Ryan Pressly

The Twins signed Matt Guerrier this past March as a free agent. Guerrier, 35, appeared in relief in 27 games and had a 0-1 record with a 3.86 ERA. Guerrier is in his 11th season in the majors but is about 40 some games short of hitting the 10 year pension mark. Guerrier had pitched for Minnesota from 2004-2010 before signing with the Dodgers as a free agent and then being traded to the Cubs last season. The Twins designated Guerrier for assignment and recalled Ryan Pressly from Rochester. Pressly who spent all of 2013 in the Twins bullpen was talked about as a possible starter this season but with Rochester this season all of his 35 appearances have been as a reliever. Hard to say what is in store for Guerrier at this stage of his career but the Twins front office likes him and if he can’t find a job as a player, the Twins might offer him a pitching coach position somewhere in their minor league system.

Stephen Pryor

Stephen Pryor

Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales

The Twins surprised everyone when they signed free agent DH/1B Kendrys Morales to a $7.4 million deal on July 24. Morales however, has not exactly provided the punch the Twins were hoping to get when they signed the Cuban slugger that has had hit 34 home runs in 2009 and 23 last season as a Seattle Mariner. In 39 games for the Twins Morales had one home run, 18 RBI and a .234 batting average in 154 at bats. The Twins swapped Morales to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed pitcher Stephen Pryor. Pryor received his surprise birthday gift a day after his 25th birthday. Pryor was a 2010 fifth round pick by the Mariners and quickly made his big league debut with the Mariners in June of 2012. In only his 4th major league appearance for the Seattle Mariners on June 8, 2012, Pryor was credited with the win in a 1-0 combined no-hitter against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Pryor appeared in 26 games as a Mariner in 2012 but only appeared in 7 games last season before under-going shoulder surgery. The 6’4″ Pryor has spent most of the season in AAA Tacoma but his solitary appearance with Seattle this season happened to be against the Twins on July 9th when he pitched 1.2 innings striking out one and allowing one unearned run. Pryor had been clocked near the 100 MPH mark in the past but is closer to the low to mid 90’s since his surgery. Having said that, his surgery was last season so there is always a chance he could regain his lost velocity. Pryor is not exactly a control pitcher as he has a 4.5 BB/9 mark in the big leagues and even worse 4.9 BB/9 in the minor leagues.  The Twins assigned Pryor to Rochester. The Twins called up shortstop Jorge Polanco from Ft. Myers to replace Morales on the roster but I would expect that Polanco’s spot on the Twins roster will be short-term.

Who will be the next Twins player to be calling Minnesota a place he used to play?

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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.

UPDATE as of August 21, 2014 – Brian Dozier became just the sixth Twins player to record a 20/20 season of at least 20 homers and 20 stolen bases with his 20th stolen base of the season on Wednesday against the Indians at Target Field.

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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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