How often do the Twins lose when they score 9 runs?

After the Twins lost 12-9 to the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on Saturday I wondered how often the Twins had lost games when they scored 9 runs. After Saturday’s defeat their 2014 record was 32 wins and 34 losses and their historical won/lost record (since the team moved here in 1961) stood at 4,236 wins and 4,277 losses.

After doing a bit of research here is what I found.

13 runs – The Twins have scored 13 runs or more in a game 137 times and their record when they score 13 runs or more is 135-2. This is the most runs that the Twins have scored and still lost the game and it happened on two occasions. The first time it happened was on September 29, 1970 in a 14-13 loss in 12 innings to the Kansas City Royals at Met Stadium. The Twins led 9-5 after eight innings but KC scored 6 in the top of the 9th to take a 11 to 9 lead but the Twins tied it with 2 in the bottom of the ninth off Royals reliever Ted Abernathy to send the game into extra innings. No one scored in the 10th inning but both teams scored twice in the 11th inning and the game continued. The Royals scored once in the top of the 12th and the Twins came up empty in the bottom of the inning and lost the game 14-13. You need to check out the boxscore from the game as Twins manager Bill Rigney and Royals manager Bob Lemon had the wheels turning. Rigney used 27 players in the game and Lemon used 22 players. Who knocked in the winning run? 37 year-old relief pitcher Ted Abernathy.

The second time the Twins scored 13 runs and walked away losers was on July 20, 2009 when the Twins lost to the Oakland A’s 14-13 at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Gardy and his Twins had a 12-5 lead after 3 innings and 13-7 after 6 innings but the A’s scored 7 in the bottom of the 7th inning and held on for a come from behind 14-13 victory. Current Twins fans will certainly recognize many of the players in this Boxscore.

12 runs – The Twins have scored 12 runs and lost 6 times in their 4,277 losses.

11 runs – The Twins have scored 11 runs and lost 9 times in their 4,277 losses.

10 runs – The Twins have scored 10 runs and lost 17 times in their 4,277 losses.

9 runs - The Twins have scored 9 runs and lost 32 times in their 4,277 losses. So here was my answer, it does not happen very often, in just 00.75% of the losses.

8 runs - The Twins have scored 8 runs and lost 63 times in their 4,277 losses.

7 runs - The Twins have scored 7 runs and lost 121 times in their 4,277 losses.

6 runs - The Twins have scored 6 runs and lost 200 times in their 4,277 losses.

 

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Twins minor league player of the week

Todd Van Steensel

Todd Van Steensel

Cedar Rapids (A – Midwest League) pitcher Todd Van Steensel is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. The right-handed pitcher made three appearances, recording two saves while striking out five over 3.1 scoreless innings. In 15 appearances this year for the Kernels, the 23-year old Van Steensel has posted a 1.11 ERA (24.1 IP, 3 ER) with 31 (11.5 KO/9) strikeouts and six walks. Van Steensel was signed by the Twins as a minor league free agent in 2010 out of Sydney, Australia but was released after the 2011 season only to be resigned this past off-season. You can find a story that www.kcrg.com did about a month ago on Van Steensel here. Another story on Van Steensel, this one by the Australian Baseball Digest.

Adam Brett Walker

Adam Brett Walker

Twins prospect Adam Brett Walker who is currently with the Ft. Myers Miracle participated in the Florida State League Home Run Derby last night and won the title. Walker scored 36 points in the final round of the All-Star Home Run Derby to take the crown. Walker entered the All-Star break with 14 homers and 52 RBI in 64 games. In the actual All-Star Game, the Twins outfield prospect went 3-for-5 with a home run and a double. Adam Walker was the Twins minor league player of the week three weeks ago and you can see that posting here.

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According to Elias and a little extra

Kyle Gibson

Kyle Gibson

The biggest pitch Kyle Gibson threw in his seven scoreless innings on Friday night was the one that induced a Miguel Cabrera double-play grounder with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. Cabrera entered the game with a career .417 batting average with the bases loaded which was the second-highest such average for any player who debuted in the expansion era (since 1961) and has at least 100 at-bats with the bases full, behind Tony Gwynn (.444). Twins beat the Tigers 2-0 at Comerica Park. Miguel Cabrera enters today’s game with impressive career numbers vs. Minnesota. Cabrera is batting .314 (139×443) with 31 doubles, 28 home runs and 108 RBI in 118 career games against the Minnesota Twins. He ranks third among all active players with 28 home runs and 108 RBI, fourth with 78 runs scored, sixth with 31 doubles and eighth with 139 hits against the club. Cabrera has hit safely in each of his last six games and 11 of his last 14 contests vs. Minnesota.

Rich Rollins - Twins 3B from 1961 - 1968

Rich Rollins – Twins 3B from 1961 – 1968

When I modified the number of at bats need to qualify from 1oo to 50 then I get an interesting cast of characters that knew how to hit in the clutch but maybe did not have careers as long as Gwynn and Cabrera. Note that former Twins 3B Rich Rollins is very high on the list and that outfielder Jason Kubel was a qualifier too. Phil Nevin was a Twins player too but since he only had 8 hits in a Twins uniform we didn’t see his clutch hitting skills. This list is from 1961-current.

Rk Player G Gtot BA BAtot PA AB R H HR RBI BB SO OBP SLG OPS
1 Pat Tabler 105 1202 .489 .282 109 88 80 43 2 108 11 9 .505 .693 1.198
2 Russ Snyder 70 1365 .483 .271 67 60 77 29 2 68 5 5 .507 .717 1.224
3 Felix Jose 53 747 .481 .280 56 52 39 25 2 60 1 9 .464 .788 1.253
4 Jeff Keppinger 67 818 .456 .282 69 57 55 26 0 65 4 4 .435 .614 1.049
5 Tony Gwynn 153 2440 .444 .338 158 133 211 59 3 143 9 8 .433 .594 1.027
6 Rich Rollins 75 1002 .443 .269 75 70 66 31 4 80 4 4 .467 .714 1.181
7 Ian Desmond 60 682 .434 .270 60 53 41 23 2 51 0 7 .383 .585 .968
8 Rennie Stennett 81 1237 .423 .274 80 71 65 30 1 71 4 3 .425 .521 .946
9 Mike Blowers 89 761 .420 .257 92 81 48 34 7 92 5 20 .424 .827 1.251
10 Rusty Greer 97 1027 .418 .305 98 79 98 33 6 97 10 14 .449 .684 1.133
11 Miguel Cabrera 164 1723 .414 .321 165 140 170 58 4 150 10 28 .418 .614 1.032
12 Joe Orsulak 93 1494 .410 .273 96 78 90 32 2 82 9 7 .448 .564 1.012
13 Mark Grace 163 2245 .402 .303 168 127 173 51 3 156 21 8 .429 .575 1.003
14 Carlos Guillen 148 1305 .402 .285 154 127 122 51 3 140 11 16 .403 .622 1.025
15 Mike Hargrove 109 1666 .402 .290 111 82 136 33 1 101 20 14 .486 .549 1.035
16 Jim Gentile 83 936 .400 .260 86 70 73 28 6 92 11 23 .453 .729 1.182
17 Eddie Murray 298 3026 .399 .287 302 238 285 95 19 299 22 34 .387 .739 1.127
18 Kevin Seitzer 118 1439 .398 .295 116 93 118 37 4 110 17 8 .466 .624 1.089
19 Phil Nevin 125 1217 .397 .270 135 116 106 46 7 120 9 28 .422 .621 1.043
20 Ross Gload 58 795 .396 .281 62 53 29 21 1 50 4 8 .403 .547 .950
21 Mike LaValliere 71 879 .393 .268 72 61 34 24 1 62 5 6 .403 .557 .960
22 Troy Tulowitzki 97 934 .393 .299 102 89 82 35 2 81 4 17 .392 .562 .954
23 Jason Kubel 105 1036 .392 .262 115 97 71 38 8 110 7 22 .391 .732 1.123
24 Richie Zisk 109 1453 .392 .287 110 97 97 38 3 99 6 22 .400 .598 .998
25 Bill Madlock 128 1806 .390 .305 128 105 154 41 3 116 7 7 .383 .600 .983
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/14/2014.

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According to Elias

 

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes hurled seven shutout innings and earned the win in Minnesota’s 7-2 victory over the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Wednesday afternoon. Hughes has won each of his last four road starts, pitching at least seven innings and allowing two or fewer runs in the process. Over the last 45 seasons, only two other Twins pitchers had four consecutive road starts of that type: Joe Mays in 2001 and Johan Santana in 2004.

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“Sweet Music” Viola back at work

Frank Vioa called the Metrodome home from 1982 - 1989. Second most wins in Dome history (59) and innings pitched (934.0). Viola was 3-1 in the 1987 postseason, winning Games 1 and 7 of the 1987 World Series.

Frank Vioa called the Metrodome home from 1982 – 1989. Second most wins in Dome history (59) and innings pitched (934.0). Viola was 3-1 in the 1987 postseason, winning Games 1 and 7 of the 1987 World Series.

Back in 1981 the Minnesota Twins used their first round pick (eleventh overall) in the June Amateur draft to select power hitting third baseman Mike Sodders from Arizona State University. With their second selection in the draft and 37th pick overall the Twins went after left-handed pitcher Frank Viola from St. John’s University. Just as an FYI, with the last pick in round two the New York Yankees selected Stanford outfielder John Elway. Elway would never play in a big league baseball game but he didn’t do to shabby throwing the football for the Denver Broncos. Would He Rather Be A Unitas Or A Mantle? Sports Illustrated, April 11, 1983

After just 286 games between “A” ball and “AAA” ball the Twins gave up on Sodders and traded him to the Chicago White Sox for outfielder Rusty Kuntz in June of 1983. By the end of 1984 Sodders was out of baseball without having put on a big league uniform. But this blog is not about Sodders, it is about the Twins second round pick Frank Viola.

Viola started his professional career in 1981 with the AA – Orlando Twins playing for manager Roy McMillan where he went 5-4 with a 3.43 ERA in 17 games (15 starts). In 1982 Viola started the season in AAA –  Toledo but was called up by the Twins in early June and made his debut on June 6th in a start against Earl Weaver‘s Baltimore Orioles in the Metrodome. Viola lasted just 4 1/3 innings that day giving up six hits, three walks, three earned runs and three strikeouts and left the game trailing 3 to 1. The Twins tied up the game later but ended up losing the game 7-5 in 11 innings. This inauspicious start may not have been what the Twins or Viola were expecting but it was the beginning of a wonderful 15 year big league career for “Sweet Music” that would include a World Championship in Minnesota in 1987 where he took home the Series MVP trophy. The following season in 1988 Viola won the AL Cy Young award as well as being named the AL Sporting News Pitcher of the Year. In his eight years in Minnesota Viola was 112-93 with a 3.73 ERA before money became an issue and the Twins were forced to trade him to the New York Mets on July 31, 1989 for Rick Aguilera, Tim Drummond, Kevin Tapani, David West and a PTBNL that turned out to be  Jack Savage. Viola played in New York for three seasons winning just 38 games but he won 20 of those in 1990. The three-time All-Star then moved on to Boston from 1992-1994, the Reds in 1995 and finished his big league career with the Bluejays in 1996.

After he retired, Viola coached baseball for Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Florida as well as the Florida College Summer League’s Leesburg Lightning. On January 26, 2011, Viola was hired as pitching coach of the Brooklyn Cyclones, the Mets’ Single-A (Short Season) team in the New York-Penn League. He was pitching coach for the Savannah Sand Gnats in 2012-2013.

All this leads up to the reason for this post, a nice story about Frankie in the Las Vegas Review-Journal that was written by Ed Graney on June 7th as Viola return to his job as pitching coach for the Las Vegas 51′s after under-going heart surgery. You think you have had a rough year? Take a few minutes and see what Viola has gone through.

Frank’s son Frank Viola III was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 2004 and spent two seasons in rookie ball, ended up leaving professional ball and now is trying a come back with a knuckleball. Viola’s daughter Brittany is a diver who competed at the United States Olympic Trials in 2004 and 2008 and made the team for the 2012 Olympics.

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This Day in Twins History – June 11

6/11/1964 – The LA Angels trade outfielder Frank Kostro to the Twins for 1B Vic Power and outfielder Lenny Green. Certainly not one of the better trades in Twins history.

6/11/1965 – The Twins sweep the Detroit Tigers at Tiger Stadium by a 5-4 score in both games with the first game going 10 innings and the second game going 12 innings. Tiger reliever Terry Fox takes the loss in both games. Boxscore: Game 1, Game 2

 6/11/1972- Jim Kaat hits a home run off Cleveland pitcher Vince Colbert in a Twins 5-3 victory at Cleveland Stadium. This now stands as the last home run that has been hit by a Twins pitcher. Boxscore

Allan Anderson 6/11/1986- The Twins lose to the Texas Rangers 6-2 in sixteen innings at the Metrodome. The game is tied 2-2 after 9 innings and both starters, Charlie Hough for the Rangers and Allan Anderson for the Twins are still in the game. Anderson ends up going 10 and Hough keeps throwing that knuckler of his for 13 innings. The Rangers score 4 in the top of the 16th inning off Roy Lee Jackson for the win. Boxscore

6/11/2010Francisco Liriano ties a team record when he strikes out 7 consecutive Atlanta Braves batters in a 2-1 win at Target Field. Liriano used his slider to strike out Martin Prado and Jason Heyward to end the third inning. He struck out Chipper Jones on a slider, Troy Glaus on a change-up and Brian McCann on a slider to get through the fourth. Liriano opened the fifth by striking out Yunel Escobar on a slider and Omar Infante with a change-up. Jim Merritt also accomplished this feat on July 21, 1966 against the Washington Senators.

6/11/2011 – One of only three Cy Young Award winners (1970) in Twins history, right-hander Jim Perry was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame today. Jim, 75, is the older brother of 72-year-old Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry. Between the two of them, the Perry brothers won 529 games and three Cy Young Awards, as Gaylord won the honor in 1972 with the Indians and in ’78 with the Padres. The Perry brothers are the second-winningest brother combination in baseball history behind Joe Niekro and Phil Niekro, who had 539 victories between them.

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Indians 3B Chisenhall has a game to remember

Question mark crystal ballLonnie ChisenhallLast night Cleveland Indians third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall had a game for the ages, going 5-for-5 with three home runs and nine RBIs in the Indians’ 17-7 win over the Rangers. Chisenhall was the first player since 1920, when the majors started compiling RBIs, to bat 1.000 in a game with as many as three homers and nine RBIs.

So the question for today is: Since the Twins came into existence in 1961 they have had 54 instances of a Twins batter getting six or more RBIs in a single game. Three former Twins have done it on four occasions. Can you name these three Minnesota Twins hitters?

The answer is Tony Oliva, Torii Hunter, and Jason Kubel

Bonus question: Two Twins catchers have had games where they had seven RBIs in a single game, can you name these catchers?

The answer is Joe Mauer and A.J Pierzynski

No prizes, just testing your Twins history knowledge and your memory. GOOD LUCK!

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What’s behind the Kendrys Morales signing?

Kendrys Morales

Kendrys Morales

The Twins announced yesterday morning that they have signed free agent DH/first baseman Kendrys Morales to a one year, prorated, $12 million deal. The prorated dollars come out to about $7.5 million. Since Morales who is represented by Scott Boras will not spend the full season with the Twins, they will not be able to extend him a qualifying offer next off-season. Rumors were rampant as early as Saturday that the Twins and Morales had agreed on a deal but it was not announced until after a physical was completed. Morales will wear uniform number 17 as a Minnesota Twin.

The Cuban born Morales who will be 31 in a few days has played in 620 career games, hitting .280 with 130 doubles, 102 home runs, 345 RBI, 280 runs scored and 165 walks. He was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent in 2005. The Angels traded Morales to the Seattle Mariners in 2012 for pitcher Jason Vargas. Morales became a free agent after the 2013 season.

Morales was one of several players this offseason who struggled in the free agent market after declining a $14.5 million qualifying offer. Stephen Drew only recently signed his prorated one-year deal with the Red Sox, and outfielder Nelson Cruz ultimately took a one-year deal with the Orioles. All three players ended up with significantly less than they would have gotten if they had accepted their qualifying offers.

The Twins immediately placed the switch-hitting Kendrys Morales on their 25 man roster and to clear a roster spot the team designated outfielder Jason Kubel for assignment. Kubel was the Twins 12th round pick in 2000 and made his big league debut with the club in August 2004. Kubel left Minnesota as a free agent after the 2011 season and signed with Arizona where he played in 2012 and part of 2013 before the D-backs traded him to Cleveland for cash and a PTBNL. Kubel again tried free agency after the 2013 season and ended up resigning with his original team, the Minnesota Twins.  Kubel had a strong April but fell on difficult times in May. Kubel appeared in 45 games for the Twins this season, hitting .224 (35-for-156) with one home run, six doubles and 13 RBI.

The Morales signing was kind of surreptitious as Minnesota was not linked to being in the hunt for Morales. According to the so-called experts teams like the Orioles, Rangers, and the Yankees were the front-runners to sign Morales. The timing of Terry Ryan and the Twins however; was impeccable as the Rangers just lost Mitch Moreland for at least 3 months for ankle reconstruction and they might have made a serious run at Morales and priced the Twins out of the market. Just a week or so earlier the Rangers lost their starting first baseman Prince Fielder for the season due to neck surgery.

Most Twins fans were shocked or at the very least pleasantly surprised with the Morales signing which seems to go against the grain of how the club has operated and looked at free agents in the past. With the club in last place in the AL Central, adding a player of this caliber in early June with no guarantee of signing him for the future does not seem to make a lot of sense from a baseball perspective. The Twins are 29-32 and last in the division but they are only 5 games out of the first place and a case can be made that they are in the playoff hunt but realistically you have to say that the odds are slim at best. Jumping over four teams in your division is not an easy task when each team in the division has to play each other 18 times. The wild card is a better possibility but that too is a long shot this year.

There is no doubt that the 2014 Twins are hitting challenged. The Twins have scored 266 runs this season which averages out to 4.36 runs per game, at the current pace the team will score about 706 runs. The Twins best runs per game average was 5.41 in 1996 and their worst was 3.44 in 1981. Last year the Twins scored runs at a pace of 3.79 per game, third worst in team history. This years team is hitting for a .245 batting average, sixth worst in their 54 year team history. Their RISP average this season is .228 which is the second worst RISP in team history and the only Twins team that had a lower RISP (at .225) was you guessed it, the 2013 Twins. How long has Tom Brunansky been the hitting coach? Oh yeah, two years. Maybe the Twins front office should look to make some changes there also. I know you need to have good players but maybe the hitting strategy of the hitting coach is just not a good match here.

So why else would the Twins invest $7.5 million in a player for about 100 games with the team in last place? The Twins business side has to be screaming “help me!”. Fan attendance at Target Field has been dropping like a rock since 2011 and even the fact that Minnesota is hosting the 2014 All-Star game can’t stop the attendance slide. Since 2010 when Target Field opened with a season ticket base of 25,000, the season ticket holder base has dropped to 23,000 in 2012, 19,000 in 2013, and 17,000 this season and would have dropped a lot lower had the lure of tickets to the 2014 All-Star game not caused some fans to hold on for just one more season.

The Twins appear to have bottomed out in 2013 and are on the way back towards respectability with some nice free agents signings, some trades and a strong farm system bolstered by high draft choices due to the teams poor play since 2010. The Twins may be playing better baseball but attendance is down about 4,574 fans per game this season and the Twins need to turn that around as soon as possible and the best way to do that is to put a good product on the field. You can’t make the Twins a playoff contender over night but an investment of about $7.5 million in Morales sends a message to the team and its loyal fans that it is willing to spend money to make money. There is not a business in existence today that will not tell you that it is much less expensive to retain a loyal customer then it is to try to attract a new loyal customer. That is one of the reasons that the Twins signed Kendrys Morales to play at Target Field. The Twins are not stupid, they are being proactive for a change instead of being strictly reactive and doing what they can to generate fan interest while this team is rebuilding.

I understand why the Twins need a player like Kendrys Morales from a baseball perspective and why they need him from a business perspective but I can’t help thinking that there is more here then meets the eye. I believe in my gut feelings, don’t believe in coincidences and I have said many times before that my “glass is half empty and is leaking” philosophy has served me well during my years. I have followed the Twins since 1961 and I have found that the Twins front office has on occasion been less than forthright over the years. I don’t hold that against them as most professional teams keep their information close to the vest. An injury perhaps? Maybe there is reason they don’t want to divulge on why Joe Mauer is playing so badly other than bad luck? Maybe a big trade is in the works?

I personally like the move but I don’t see it making a huge difference in the standings, I see it more as a symbolic move to the fans that says “see, we will spend money to put a winner on the field; hang with us as we get better”. So what is the real reason the Twins are willing to fork over $7.5 million dollars to Kendrys Morales for 100 games and will there gamble pay off?  I guess we will just have to wait and see, time will tell.

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Twins Minor League Player of Week

Jose Berrios

Jose Berrios

Ft. Myers (High A Florida St. League) pitcher Jose Berrios is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. The right-handed pitcher made two starts for the Miracle, going 1-0, 1.20 (15.0 IP, 2 ER) with nine hits allowed, no walks and 22 strikeouts. In 11 starts for the Miracle this season, he has gone 5-2, 2.24 (64.1 IP, 16 ER) with 17 walks and 74 strikeouts. The 20-year-old was drafted by the Twins in the first round (32nd overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Papa Juar, Puerto Rico. Berrios was the first pick in the supplemental round, a selection Minnesota was awarded after they lost Michael Cuddyer via free agency to the Rockies.

In just his third season of pro ball Berrios has put up some nice career stats. In 41 games Berrios has thrown 198 and 2/3 innings while giving up just 177 hits and striking out 223 batters for an outstanding 2.99 ERA, a WHIP of 1.19 and a record of 15-9. You just sense that Berrios is on the fast track to Minnesota and will be moving up to New Britain soon.

This is the third week in a row that a Ft. Myers Miracle player has won the Twins minor league player of the week honors. The Miracle are 36-25 at this point in the season and in first place in the Southern Division of the Florida State League.

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Former Twins First Baseman Greg Colbrunn Hospitalized

According to ESPNBoston.com, Boston Red Sox hitting coach Greg Colbrunn who is just 44 was diagnosed with bleeding in the brain, a potentially life-threatening condition, after being taken to the Cleveland Clinic before Wednesday’s game with the Cleveland Indians. You can read the rest of the story here.

Greg Colbrunn

Greg Colbrunn

Greg Colbrunn, just 44, played in the majors for 13 years between 1992-2004. Colbrunn played for the Expos, Marlins, Twins, Braves, Rockies, Mariners and Diamondbacks. Colbrunn signed with the Twins as a free agent in january 1997 and appeared in 70 games for Minnesota in 1997 hitting .281 with 5 home runs and 26 RBI before the Twins traded him to the Atlanta Braves on August 14, 1997 for a PTBNL who turned out to be outfielder Marc Lewis. Lewis spent two years in the Twins minor league system but never reached the major leagues.

We at Twins Trivia hope that Greg Colbrunn gets well soon and has a quick and complete recovery.

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According to Elias

 

Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning and singled in Josh Willingham in the bottom of the seventh for his four RBIs in the Twins 6-4 win over the Brewers on Wednesday night. Arcia entered the game hitting just .120 (3-for-25) with men on base this season, which was the fourth lowest such batting average for any major-league player entering Wednesday’s action (minimum: 25 at bats), ahead of only Pedro Florimon (.040), Jose Molina (.054) and J.P. Arencibia (.074).

Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer

To be fair, Arcia only has 60 total at bats in 2014 due to all the time he spent on the DL this year.  Joe Mauer on the other hand has 207 at bats and his batting average with runners in scoring position is .159 this season which means that 240 major league players have a higher batting average with runners in scoring position this season then Joe does. OUCH!

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2014 All-Star Peanuts Gang Statues

MLB announced that Major League Baseball, the Minnesota Twins and Peanuts Worldwide, as part of a new collaboration between the organizations, unveiled 10 life-size statues of the iconic Peanuts Gang, including Charlie Brown and Snoopy, dressed in full Twins baseball uniforms at St. Paul’s Rice Park on May 28th.

These statues are set to welcome St. Paul residents and visitors alike to the city’s downtown area for the next three weeks in advance of MLB All-Star Week. On hand for the unveiling were Twins Owner and Chief Executive Officer Jim Pohlad, Team President Dave St. Peter, City of St. Paul Director of Marketing and Convention Planning Jake Spano as well as a starting lineup of St. Paul natives, including Twins first baseman and All-Star Ambassador Joe Mauer, Twins Bench Coach and All-Star Ambassador Paul Molitor and Snoopy, the World’s Most Famous Beagle and Official Peanuts All-Star Ambassador. The statue unveiling marked the start of a new multi-year marketing relationship between the league and the legendary comic strip brand that also forms a special retail program. This retail component consists of replica statuettes modeled after the life-size statues in Rice Park, as well as other related merchandise including apparel, novelties and collectibles.

The 10 life-size statues are decorated with full baseball gear to go along with their uniforms, including mitts, cleats, bats and in Schroeder’s case, catcher’s equipment. Standing between five and six feet tall and weighing between 200-300 pounds, these Twins-themed All-Star statues will reside in St. Paul’s Rice Park until June 16th at which point they will move to the Minneapolis Convention Center for MLB All-Star festivities through July 15th. This special line of commemorative statues and their replica statuettes, commissioned in conjunction with Forever Collectibles, depicts the Peanuts gang as Twins players, dressed in uniforms adjusted for each character’s style.

2014 All-Star Game Snoopy Figurine (Target Field Exclusive - June 6 game - 10,000 available)

2014 All-Star Game Snoopy Figurine (Target Field Exclusive – June 6 game – 10,000 available)

The statuettes, which stand between five and seven inches, will be available through MLB.com and at the Majestic Twins Clubhouse Store beginning June 2nd. Photos of all 10 life-size statues and the replica variations are available at MLB.com. The Twins will also host Peanuts Day at Target Field on June 6th when the first 10,000 fans will receive a limited-edition Snoopy figure. Only fans in attendance at this Twins versus Houston Astros game will be able to complete the entire limited-edition collection. In addition to the replica statuettes, in the coming months fans can obtain a wide variety of memorabilia featuring the Peanuts Gang characters, representing all 30 MLB clubs. Items will include apparel, headwear, novelties and collectibles, among other items and will be available nationwide.

MLB All-Star Week at Target Field includes the 85th MLB All-Star Game (July 15th), Gatorade All-Star Workout Day (July 14th) featuring the Home Run Derby, Taco Bell All-Star Sunday (July 13th), including the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game and the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball Game, and T-Mobile All-Star FanFest at the Minneapolis Convention Center (July 11th-15th).

Click on the figurine to see the slideshow and place your cursor on the figurine during the slide show to view the description.

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On this Day in Twins History – June 2, 1986

2B Rod Carew played for the Twins from 1967-1978

2B Rod Carew played for the Twins from 1967-1978

Officially ending his Hall of Fame career about six months after MLB owners did it for him, Rod Carew announced his retirement. A victim of collusion after the 1985 season, Carew failed to get any suitable offers for what would have been his age-40 campaign. Nine years later, he’d be awarded $782,000 in damages for his lost wages. Carew finished his career with the Angels in 1985 hitting .280 in 127 games. It was the only one of his 19 seasons in which he wasn’t named to the AL All-Star team.

Carew who signed with Minnesota on June 24, 1964 as an amateur free agent ended his career with 3,053 hits. Carew hit .328 with 92 homers and 1,015 RBI in 12 seasons with the Twins and seven with the Angels. He was the AL Rookie of the Year in 1967 and its MVP in 1977, when he hit .388 and drove in 100 runs for the only time in his career. He ended up winning seven batting titles and finishing first in the AL in the OBP four times. Both the Twins and the Angels retired his number 29.

Carew was born to a Panamanian mother on a train in the town of Gatún, which, at that time, was in the Panama Canal Zone. The train was racially segregated; white passengers were given the better forward cars, while non-whites, like Carew’s mother, were forced to ride in the rearward cars. When she went into labor, a physician traveling on the train, Dr. Rodney Cline, delivered the baby. In appreciation for this, Mrs. Carew named the boy Rodney Cline Carew.

During the 1960s, Carew served a six-year commitment in the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a combat engineer. Carew later said that his military experience helped him in his baseball career, explaining that “When I joined the Marine Corps, it was a life-changing event for me because I learned about discipline. When I first came up to the big leagues in 1967, I was a little bit of a hot-head. But after two weeks of war games every summer, I realized that baseball was not do-or-die. That kind of discipline made me the player I became.”

Frustrated by the Twins’ inability to keep young talent, some racist comments by owner Calvin Griffith, and the Twins’ overall penny-pinching negotiating style, Carew announced his intention to leave the Twins. On February 3, 1979 the Twins traded Carew to the California Angels for outfielder Ken Landreaux, catcher/1B Dave Engle, RHP Paul Hartzell, and LHP Brad Havens. Rumors circulated that the Twins completed this trade with the Angels only after a potentially better deal with the New York Yankees in January in which Carew would have moved to the Yankees in exchange for Chris Chambliss, Juan Beniquez, Damaso Garcia, and Dave Righetti fell through at the last-minute. I wonder how baseball history in Minnesota and New York might have changed had that deal gone down?

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week

Matt Tomshaw

Matt Tomshaw

Ft. Myers (High A – Florida St. League) pitcher Matt Tomshaw is the Twins Minor League  Player of the Week. The 6’2″ left-handed Tomshaw made one start (at Clearwater), tossing 8 shutout innings with three hits allowed, two walks and three strikeouts and earned the win. Tomshaw, born in Kingston, New York has gone 4-1, 1.88 ERA (38.1 IP, 8 ER) with six walks and 21 strikeouts in eight games (5 starts) for the Miracle this season, winning each of his last four starts. The 25-year-old was drafted by the Twins in the 42nd round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Jacksonville University.

Tomshaw has been used both as a starter and a reliver since he started play in the Twins minor league system in 2011. In 295+ career minor league innings pitched he has a 17-11 record with 197 KO’s and a 3.23 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP but todate Tomshaw has not advanced past High-A Ft. Myers

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According to Elias

Ricky Nolasco Ricky Nolasco, after 222 previous major-league starts, finally got to pitch against the Yankees for the first time in his career, the most starts among active pitchers who had never played a game against the Yankees. And it was worth the wait. While Nolasco allowed seven hits, four walks and two stolen bases over six innings, the Bombers scored just one run, and Nolasco earned credit for the Twins’ 6-1 victory.

Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

Minnesota right fielder Oswaldo Arcia homered and threw out two Yankees runners at the plate as they tried to score on singles. It’s been nearly 25 years since a Twins outfielder hit a homer and threw out two runners at the plate in the same game; that last to do that was Dan Gladden in a 9-4 victory at Toronto on Sept. 3, 1989.

The Twins are 9-4 against AL East opponents in 2014, winning five of their last six and seven of their last nine. In those last six, the Twins have averaged 5.5 runs-per-game (33 runs) and averaged 11.2 hits-per-game while pitchers have posted a 3.11 ERA (55.0 IP, 19 ER). The Twins averaged just 11.5 wins against that division from 2010-13, posting a .324 winning percentage (46-96) in that span.

The Twins are 7-6 in their last 13 games in New York, dating back to May 16, 2010. The Twins have out-scored the Yankees 63-52 in that span. In the last nine games in Yankee Stadium, the Twins are hitting .276 (92-for-333) with 24 doubles, 14 home runs and 46 runs scored. The Twins current three-game winning streak in New York is their longest since May 2 – July 6, 1992 (also 3). Their last four-game winning streak in the Big Apple was June 6-August 9-11, 1968. (Source – Twins Notes)

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Baseball Triple Doubles

Triple Double StarsThe other day SABR member Clem Comly who also follows basketball wondered who the  “triple doubles” leader might be in baseball history. His search defined a “baseball triple double” as a player that had 2 or more runs, 2 or more hits, and 2 or more RBI in a single game. His used Retrosheet (1913-2014) in his calculations and determined that the all-time baseball leader in triple doubles was Babe Ruth with 247. Lou Gehrig was second with 204, Willie Mays and Alex (A-Rod) Rodriguez were tied for third with 191 and Hank Aaron was fifth with 188.

I though it might be fun to run a similar search for all of baseball during the time period of 1961 through 2014 since 1961 is the year the Minnesota Twins came into existence. I cut the list off at 100 meaning that you had to have at least 100 “triple double” games to make the list. It turns out to be a Whose Who of baseball hitting. You can almost use this list to see who might deserve to be in the Hall of Fame, assuming of course you excluded things like position played, fielding and the whole steroid situation.

Rk Player #Matching
1 Alex Rodriguez 191
2 Barry Bonds 184
3 Sammy Sosa 158
4 Manny Ramirez 157
5 Albert Pujols 152
6 Ken Griffey 143
7 Jim Thome 142
8 Chipper Jones 137
9 Gary Sheffield 134
10 Vladimir Guerrero 134
11 Frank Thomas 127
12 Jeff Bagwell 127
13 Hank Aaron 124
14 Jim Rice 123
15 Frank Robinson 122
16 Eddie Murray 122
17 Willie Stargell 121
18 Carl Yastrzemski 120
19 Mike Schmidt 119
20 Carlos Beltran 118
21 Billy Williams 117
22 Jason Giambi 117
23 Rafael Palmeiro 116
24 Carlos Delgado 115
25 Dave Winfield 114
26 Juan Gonzalez 113
27 Jose Canseco 113
28 Larry Walker 112
29 David Ortiz 111
30 Mark McGwire 111
31 Albert Belle 111
32 Todd Helton 109
33 Andre Dawson 109
34 Mike Piazza 107
35 Willie Mays 107
36 Reggie Jackson 107
37 Joe Carter 107
38 Willie McCovey 103
39 Jeff Kent 103
40 Andres Galarraga 102
41 Jim Edmonds 102
42 Cal Ripken 101
43 Alfonso Soriano 100
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/29/2014.

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The top five highest active players are Albert Pujols with 152, Carlos Beltran with 118, Jason Giambi with 117, David Ortiz with 111 and Alfonso Soriano with 100. Future Hall of Famers? We will have to wait and see.

2006 - present script logo for BP

I also used the same “triple double” criteria to determine who the Minnesota Twins “triple double” leaders are and I used a cutoff of 30 games.

I am surprised to see Jacques Jones on this list. Larry Hisle only played in Minnesota for five seasons but he put up some nice numbers during his stay here and a lot of Twins fans have no idea who he is.

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Why is Jason Kubel still on this team

The 2014 season is almost one-third over and the Twins are hanging around the .500 mark give or take a few games. You could argue that the Twins are playing better than expected and that might be true but the roster still has several players that do not belong on a good major league team. Today I want to talk about just one of them, outfielder Jason Kubel.

Jason Kubel

Jason Kubel

The 32-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder has no business being on this team. I am not even going to waste your time and mine by asking why the Twins organization spent $2 million to sign this guy in the first place after he hit .216 with five home runs and 92 strikeouts in 259 at bats for the Diamondbacks and Indians in 2013. As it turned out, both corner outfielders Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia went down with hand injuries right out of the starting gate and having Kubel on the team helped to solve that dilema at least on a short term basis.

Now with Willingham and Arcia back in the line-up, why is Kubel still with this team? Pay the man the money you owe him, thank him for his service and send him on his way, you will be doing a service to both Kubel and the team.

Kubel has been dreadful this season. Kubel was signed to provide power and knock in some runs, todate he has hit one home run and plated 13 base runners. In 144 at bats he has struck out a team leading 51 times, that 35.42% of his at bats. Outside of Aaron Hicks and Willingham who has only appeared in 9 games, no one on the team has a lower slugging percentage than Kubel. Kubel’s play in the field is barely adequate.

Kubel is taking up valuable roster space on a team that is struggling to score runs. Going into the series final today again the Texas Rangers the Twins record in their last 9 games is 3 wins with 6 losses and they have scored more than 2 runs (four runs in one game and five in another) just twice. If you take those two games out of the equation the team has scored a total of 10 runs in 7 games which comes out to 1.43 runs per game. In 50 games this season the Twins have scored 3 runs or less 20 times. The Twins record stands at 24-26 but when you score 3 runs or less 40% of the time you either have to have amazing pitching or been just plain lucky, I think I will put the Twins in the lucky category.

Kennys Vargas

Kennys Vargas

The Twins need to find a way to score more runs. How about if the Twins either release Kubel or send him to Rochester and bring up 1B Kennys Vargas from New Britain? The 23-year-old switch hitter might be a perfect fit for the Twins DH slot. Last season Vargas hit .267 with 19 home runs and 93 RBI in Ft. Myers. This season in New Britain, Vargas is hitting ..320 with 8 home runs and 34 RBI’s. With Gardy fretting about using back-up catcher Josmil Pinto as his DH, who knows, the 6’5″ 275 pound Vargas might be the next Big Papi in the making. What have they got to lose?

UPDATE AS OF MAY 29 – Did I forget to mention that including todays game against Texas, Kubel is 0 for his last 22 plate appearances and has not had an RBI since May 1st?

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Former Twins OF Revere finally gets off the home run schneid

Ben RevereBen Revere hit his first major-league home run in his 1466th at-bat in the Phillies’ home loss to the Rockies. That was the longest start-of-career homer-less streak by any player since the Pirates’ Frank Taveras connected for an inside-the park grand slam at Cincinnati on August 5, 1977 in his 1594th at-bat.

 

Twins batters with 100 or more at bats and zero home runs

Rk Player AB HR From To G PA H 2B 3B RBI BA
1 Al Newman 1647 0 1987 1991 618 1876 380 59 7 135 .231
2 Ben Revere 989 0 2010 2012 254 1064 275 22 11 64 .278
3 Houston Jimenez 384 0 1983 1984 144 409 75 16 2 28 .195
4 Luis Gomez 362 0 1974 1977 241 403 72 6 2 22 .199
5 Junior Ortiz 304 0 1990 1991 132 338 85 12 2 29 .280
6 Mudcat Grant 263 0 1964 1967 151 298 45 10 2 23 .171
7 Bert Blyleven 235 0 1970 1988 348 265 34 3 0 9 .145
8 Tsuyoshi Nishioka 233 0 2011 2012 71 254 50 5 0 20 .215
9 Dick Stigman 213 0 1962 1965 138 233 20 4 0 6 .094
10 Dean Chance 209 0 1967 1969 104 246 9 0 0 4 .043
11 Jim Merritt 206 0 1965 1968 122 236 27 6 0 7 .131
12 Nelson Liriano 185 0 1990 1990 53 211 47 5 7 13 .254
13 Jose Morales 158 0 2007 2010 74 181 47 9 0 14 .297
14 Sergio Ferrer 138 0 1974 1975 56 157 36 3 3 2 .261
15 Dan Monzon 131 0 1972 1973 94 154 32 2 1 9 .244
16 Tom Hall 130 0 1968 1971 145 146 25 2 0 2 .192
17 Bruce Look 118 0 1968 1968 59 139 29 4 0 9 .246
18 Dick Woodson 117 0 1969 1974 129 129 9 0 0 2 .077
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/28/2014.
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Someone needs to wake Gardy up

"<strongI have been a Ron Gardenhire fan for a long time but I have to admit even I am more than a bit confused and irritated with his recent infatuation for having his players play multiple positions. I understand that a team needs to have utility players that can play multiple positions but there is no need to have each player on the 25 man roster be able to play multiple positions. I think you are doing a disservice to the player and the team when you have your players playing out of position. A professional player is best at one particular position no matter how many positions he might be able to play. A player becomes more skillful at his position by playing his position day after day and helps the team because everyone knows how that player will react day in and day out. An everyday player does not become more valuable by playing more positions, he becomes more valuable by becoming a better player in his assigned position. Players are not paid more because they can play more positions, they get paid more when they excel in a particular position.

I believe that Gardy is making a huge blunder by playing Danny Santana out in center field. Santana has been groomed to be a shortstop since the team signed him back in 2007 and now you bring him up to the big leagues for the first time and what do you do but send him out to play center field about 30% of the games he has played in Minnesota. What the hell? Gardy was unhappy with Pedro Florimon because he couldn’t hit and so Santana gets called up because he might be your shortstop of the future. So what does Gardy do? He turns his utility man Eduardo Escobar into the teams starting shortstop and sits Santana on the bench. Santana is still learning to play shortstop and you are playing him in center field one-third of the time? I know you have a hole in center but why send Santana out to the outfield to learn to play center field in the major leagues? Just because Santana has speed does not mean he is a center fielder, he might be, but why have him learn how to play center in the big leagues, that is what the minor leagues are for. Then in a week or two you will complain that Santana is not hitting and you send him down to the minors where he will play shortstop once again. You bring up a guy to the big leagues for the first time in his career and you play him out of position? That is just plain stupid. You hurt Santana’s development at shortstop and you hurt the Twins team while Santana learns to play center. Why in the world do you want Santana to learn to play center anyway? Byron Buxton is your center fielder of the future and is probably just a year or so away and you waste your time and Danny Santana‘s future by playing him out of position? What are you thinking? Look at the big picture Gardy, this is just plain silly.

There is nothing wrong with playing someone out of position in an emergency but to do it on purpose time and time again is just plain wrong. Santana is not the only example, look at Chris Herrmann. The 26-year-old Herrmann is supposedly a catcher and he has been in the big leagues for a total of 81 games and he has played the corner outfield more than he has been behind the plate. Today I read that he going to the minors and you want him to learn how to play center field there, why? Yikes! Dan Gladden would do better in center field now than Herrmann will ever do and Gladden is 56 years old and hasn’t played in the big leagues since 1993. Eduardo Nunez is still another example, why send this infielder out to patrol left field? Nunez played for the Yankees for 281 in four years and the Yankees had him in the outfield 8 times. Nunez has appeared in 11 Twins games, he has played in the Twins infield exactly once, at 3B. Nunez is an infielder, not an outfielder, DH or a PH.

This is not the National League Gardy with double switches and all that goes with that, manage like you want to win some games here in Minnesota. If you want to help develop players then give up your current job and take a job in the minors where you can help them develop all you want. One day you say you want to come to the ballpark everyday and throw out the same line-up day in and day out and the next day you play players in positions they are not familiar with. The majority of the blame for the Twins playing players out of position falls on Gardy’s shoulders because Terry Ryan and Rob Antony let Gardy manage as he wishes for the most part and that is the way it should be. But, I think that Gardy has crossed the line here and Ryan and Antony need to step up and put a stop to this foolishness ASAP.

Bottom line it is the managers responsibility to play his players where they have the best chance to succeed both in the field and in the batting order and to help the home team to win games, I don’t think that Gardy is doing that with this team in 2014.

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week

Adam Walker - 2013

Adam Walker – 2013

Ft. Myers (High A – Florida St. League) outfielder Adam Walker is the Twins
Minor League Player of the Week. In seven games for the Miracle, Walker hit .345 (10-for-29) with three home runs, two doubles and 12 RBI.

In 2013 Walker played in Low-A Cedar Rapids and in 508 at bats hit .278 with 27 home runs with 109 RBI and was not caught once in 10 stolen base attempts. Walker did strikeout 115 times but that is not too bad if you put up those kind of power numbers.

Adam Brett Walker II is 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds of raw power. The physicality runs in the family. He is the son of Adam Walker, who played running back for the Minnesota Vikings in 1987. His mother, Glynis, was a national champion high jumper and volleyball player at Carthage College. Former All-Star infielder Damion Easley is his second cousin . cousin. Walker averaged 13.6 home runs a season and stole 40 bases in 41 attempts during his three years at Jacksonville University. The 22-year-old right-handed batter was drafted by the Twins in the third round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of Jacksonville University and signed for a reported $490K.

An MiLB.com link added on June 5, 2014 regarding a recent Adam Walker posting.

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Can Aaron Hicks get “off the interstate”?

Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks

Hitting challenged center fielder Aaron Hicks had a game winning hit a week or so ago at Target Field and since that day he is hitting at a .333 clip. Yes, I know that only encompasses 6 games and 22 plate appearances but it is a start. As hard as it may be to watch this 24 struggle with the bat, it is way too early to give up on the athletic outfielder. I hope the Twins keep working with Hicks and let him become the player he can be.

Mario MendozaAccording to the Baseball Glossary a player batting between .100 and .199 is said to be “on the interstate.” The term refers to the fact that a batting average in the .100s can resemble an interstate name (e.g. .195 resembles I-95), especially on older scoreboards where the numeral “1” appears identical to the uppercase letter “I” . A hit to put an average above .200 gets a batter “off the interstate.” A batter whose average is below .100 is sometimes said to be “off the map”. The “Mendoza Line” is another baseball term coined after former shortstop Mario Mendoza, whose batting average is taken to define the threshold of incompetent hitting. That being said, this former Pirate, Mariner and Ranger shortstop managed to stay in the big leagues for all or parts of nine seasons and appear in 686 games. The cutoff point is most often said to be .200 and when a position player’s batting average falls below that level, the player is said to be “below the Mendoza Line”. This is often thought of as the offensive threshold below which a player’s presence in the big leagues cannot be justified, regardless of his defensive abilities.

Since the Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Minnesota Twins in 1961 they have had a total of 373 position players. So how many of these players have had at least 300 at bats in a Twins uniform and not gotten off the interstate? Let’s take a look.

The fearsome Six

Rk Player BA AB G PA R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO OBP
1 Drew Butera .182 490 186 534 38 89 21 2 5 41 94 .230
2 Jerry Kindall .183 470 187 534 49 86 14 1 7 42 141 .254
3 Aaron Hicks .193 383 115 438 50 74 15 3 9 35 115 .279
4 Houston Jimenez .195 384 144 409 33 75 16 2 0 28 45 .231
5 Luis Gomez .199 362 241 403 36 72 6 2 0 22 40 .246
6 Charlie Manuel .199 366 223 413 25 73 12 0 4 40 74 .276
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/23/2014.

Since

Current Twins outfielder/1B Chris Colabello in spite of a hot April is on the verge of joining this illustrious list by hitting .213 in 310 at bats and former shortstop Pedro Florimon who is now calling Rochester home has a Twins career mark of .208 in 605 at bats.

For all you Nick Punto bashers out there, he is no where close to making this list. In 1,121 career games spanning 14 seasons Punto is has a .247 career batting average.

UPDATE AS OF MAY 26, 2014 – Aaron Hicks announced today that he is done with switch-hitting and will only bat from the right side going forward. The Twins with no other center field options available have given him their blessing.

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Blast from the Past

The Minnesota Twins have had some power hitters over the years and Harmon Killebrew was the greatest of them all. The Twins called Met Stadium home when Harmon played and he hit 262 home runs as a Twin at the Met and added two more when he was a Kansas City Royal.

But I want to test your memory here, I want to see if you can complete the list of the top 10 visiting player home run hitters at Met Stadium. You don’t have to tell me how many home runs the player hit at Met Stadium, all you need to do is give me his name and I will add the player to the correct spot on the list and fill in how many home runs he hit at the Met and how many games he played there. I will tell you this to get you started, the most home runs hit by a visiting player is 20. I will also start you out by telling you that Sal Bando is number 10 on the list. There are no prizes, this is just a memory exercise. Send me your guesses at jjswol@twinstrivia.com. Have fun!

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson

Player Home Runs Games
Reggie Jackson  20  81
 Carl Yastrzemski  18 131
 Norm Cash  17 87
 Al Kaline  16 85
Boog Powell  15  88
 Frank Howard  15 54
 Elston Howard  14  53
 Mickey Mantle  14  49
Willie Horton  13  91
Sal Bando 13 99

Interactive Whiteboards by PolyVision

Great job everyone, thank you!

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The June Free Agent Draft is just around the corner

2014 draft logoThe MLB First-Year Player Draft may not be as popular as the NFL draft but is is still a fun and entertaining event that many baseball fans wait for all year. In the NFL, the players drafted will be putting on that teams colors come Fall but in baseball a draftee might spend years in the minor leagues learning his craft before he ever gets a sniff of a big league clubhouse. There are web sites devoted strictly to the MLB draft and as draft day get closer and closer you can find “mock drafts” showing who your team will draft everywhere, 99.9% of them will be wrong but never the less it is still fun to look at them.

The first draft took place in 1965, it was introduced to prevent richer teams from negotiating wealthier contracts with top-level prospects and therefore, monopolizing the player market. Originally, three drafts were held each year. The first draft took place in June and involved high-school graduates and college seniors who had just finished their seasons. The second draft took place in January for high school and college players who had graduated in December. The third draft took place in August and was for players who participated in American amateur summer leagues. The August draft was eliminated after two years, and the January draft lasted until 1986.  Rick Monday became MLB’s first draft pick after being selected by the Kansas City Athletics

MLB will hold day one of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft on June 5th at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey. The Draft will be aired live on the MLB Network starting at 7:00 p.m. (ET). As is the case with most events of this type, the MLB talking heads will analyze the up-coming draft in a one hour pre-draft preview show.

The selection order of the First-Year Player Draft is determined by the reverse order
of finish at the close of the previous season. The Houston Astros will  have the first overall selection of the 2014 Draft, marking the third consecutive year,  and the fifth time in club history, that they hold the top selection (previous: 1976, 1992, 2012, 2013). It marks the first time ever that a club has the top pick in three consecutive years. In addition, the Astros are the third club in history to hold the top selection at least five times, joining the New York Mets and San Diego Padres (five each).

Six clubs, the Toronto Blue Jays (9th and 11th), the Kansas City Royals (17th and 28th), the Cincinnati Reds (19th and 29th), the Cleveland Indians (21st and 31st), the Boston Red Sox (26th and 33rd) and the St. Louis Cardinals (27th and 34th)  have two selections in the first round. The Indians, Miami Marlins and Royals each have a league high four selections within the first 68 picks during the opening day of the Draft.

The Draft will once again feature Competitive Balance rounds, which were agreed upon as a part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association. The Competitive Balance rounds give clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets the opportunity to obtain additional draft picks through a lottery, which was held last July. The 10 clubs with the lowest revenues and the  10 clubs in the smallest markets were entered into a lottery for the six selections immediately following the first round of the First-Year Player Draft (picks 35-41; excluding pick 36, which Miami holds as compensation for an unsigned 2013 selection). The eligible clubs that did not receive one of the six selections after the first round, and all other payee clubs under the Revenue Sharing Plan, were entered into a second lottery for the six picks
immediately following the second round of the Draft (picks 69-74).

The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. Like each of the previous five years, the 2014 Draft will span three days. For day one on June 5th, MLB Network and MLB.com will provide live pick-by-pick coverage during the first round, Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The intervals between selections will last four and a half minutes during the first round and one minute during Competitive Balance Round A, the second round and Competitive Balance Round B. The Draft will resume at 1:05 p.m. (ET) on both June 6th and June 7th via conference call from MLB headquarters in New York City.

June 6th will cover rounds three through 10, and June 7th will cover rounds 11 through 40. Rounds three through 10 will have one minute between selections, and the remainder of the selections will be made without delays.

According to MLB, of the 853 players who were on 2014 Opening Day 25-man rosters,
disabled lists and restricted lists, a total of 650 players were selected in the  MLB Draft. As ccould be expected, the earlier picks do in fact show the highest returns of Major League players, as the 143 players chosen in the top 30 selections amounted to 22.0% of the 650 Opening Day players who went through the Draft en route to the Major  Leagues. Picks 31-60 generated 12.0% (78) of the players, and picks 61-90  turned out 10.0% (65), picks 91-120 generated 6.9% (46) and picks 121-159 generated 8.6% (56) players. Kansas City’s outfielder Jarrod Dyson is the latest draft pick in the Major Leagues on Opening Day rosters, he was chosen in round 50 of the 2006 Draft by the Royals.

The Twins have five picks in the top 140 owning the rights to the 5th, 46th, 79th, 110th and 140th selections.

Twins Draft History

Leon, EddieThe Minnesota Twins first selection ever (Round 1 – 9th over-all in 1965) was shortstop Eddie Leon from Arizona University but he chose not to sign with Minnesota. Leon went on to play for three big league teams but never hit it big playing in 601 games over 8 years hitting for a .236 batting average with 24 home runs.

The Twins have had the first pick over-all twice, in 1983 when they selected RHP Tim Belcher from Mount Vernon Nazarene University and again in 2001 when they selected catcher Joe Mauer from Cretin-Derham Hall High School. Tim Belcher chose not to sign with Minnesota but went on to have a long 14 year big-league career with 7 different teams putting up a 146-140 won/lost record. Joe Mauer has been with the Twins since 2004.

The current 25 man Minnesota roster has six players selected by the Twins in round one, RHP Kyle Gibson in 2009 was 21st over-all, outfielder Aaron Hicks in 2008 was 14th over-all, outfielder/Ib Chris Parmelee in 2006 was 20th over-all, 3B Trevor Plouffe in 2004 was 20th over-all, closer LHP Glen Perkins in 2004 was 22nd over-all, and 1B Joe Mauer who the Twins picked number one over-all in 2001.

A number of Twins first round picks have moved on such as outfielder Ben Revere who was 28th over-all in 2007, RHP Matt Garza who was picked in 2005 and the 25th over-all selection, outfielder Denard Span in 2002 number 20 over-all, outfielder Michael Cuddyer in 1997 was 9th over-all, and finally outfielder Torii Hunter who is still playing good ball with the Tigers was selected 20th over-all back in 1993. Hunter is playing in his 18th big league season at the age of 38. How time flies….

Brye, SteveThe first player to be drafted in the first round by Minnesota and make the Twins roster was outfielder Steve Brye who the Twins selected number one and 17th over-all in 1967. Brye debuted with Minnesota in September of 1970 and appeared in 697 games for the Twins between 1970 and 1978 hitting .258 with 30 home runs.

 

Five Years Ago – 2009 draft

The Twins selected Kyle Gibson number 1, catcher Chris Herrmann number 6, and 2B Brian Dozier number 8, all were picked after spending time in college. No other players drafted by Minnesota that year have made it to the big leagues.

Ten Years Ago – 2004 draft

The Twins selected Trevor Plouffe number 1-20, Glen Perkins number 1-22, RHP Kyle Waldrop 1-25, RHP Matt Fox 1s-35, RHP Anthony Swarzak in round 2, infielder Matt Tolbert in round 16, outfielder Rene Tosoni in round 34.

Travis Lee fiasco

Lee, TravisTravis Lee was a Steve Boras client and was initially drafted as the second pick over-all in the 1996 Major League draft by the Minnesota Twins, but was declared a free agent by MLB through a loophole after the Twins failed to tender him a contract within fifteen days of the end of the draft. He then signed a four-year, $10 million contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Lee did not turn out to be the super-star everyone expected him to be but he did play in the big leagues from 1998 to 2006 appearing in 1,099 games hitting .256 with 115 home runs.

Will this years Minnesota Twins first round pick be stud or a dud? It could be years before we know.

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week

Reynaldo RodriguezNew Britain (AA-Eastern League) first baseman/outfielder Reynaldo Rodriguez is the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. In six games for the Rock Cats, Rodriguez hit .462 (12-for-26) with three home runs, six RBI, scored seven runs and had one walk. The 27-year-old is hitting .319 (44-for-138) with 11 doubles, seven home runs, 17 RBI and 27 runs scored in 38 games at New Britain.

The Columbian born 6’0′ 195 pound Rodriguez can play the corner outfield positions and some first base and bats and throws right handed. Rodriguez was originally signed by the New York Yankees in 2006 as an undrafted free agent and played in their farm system for just two years before being released. Rodriguez sat out 2008 and played independent ball in 2009 before the Boston Red Sox took a chance on him prior to the 2010 season and he played in the Red Sox system through the 2012 season before becoming a free agent and signing with Minnesota. Although he only hit .231 for New Britain last season, he did hit 21 home runs.

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According to Elias

 

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier delivered a three-run homer to give the Twins the lead for good over the Mariners last night. It was Dozier’s 22nd home run from the leadoff spot since the start of the 2013 season, third most in the majors behind Coco Crisp and Shin-Soo Choo (each with 25).

Dozier has at least 10 home runs from the first slot in the lineup in each of the last two seasons (12 in 2013, 10 in 2014). The last Twins player to do so in consecutive seasons was Shannon Stewart in 2004 (11) and 2005 (10).

Dozier has 11 home runs through the Twins’ 41 games this season. Over the last 25 years, only one other Twins player has hit that many through the team’s first 41 games: Justin Morneau, who did so in 2007 (11), 2009 (12), and 2010 (11).

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According to Elias

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier hit his tenth home run of the season, his ninth from the first spot in the batting order, in the Twins’ win over the Mariners. Dozier is the second player in Twins franchise history to hit nine or more home runs from the #1 spot in the batting order in the team’s first 40 games of a season. The other to do it was Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett in 1986 (11).

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According to Elias

Aaron Hicks

Aaron Hicks

Light-hitting Aaron Hicks delivered a game-winning single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Twins a 4-3 victory over the Red Sox. Hicks had a .185 batting average at the time of his game-winner, becoming the first player with a career mark below .190 to produce a walkoff hit since 1980 (minimum: 300 at-bats). The last player to do so was Joe Niekro, (former Twins pitcher) a career .159 hitter at the time of his 17th-inning single that gave the Astros a 1-0 win over the Cubs (Aug. 23, 1980).

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

Twins starter Phil Hughes struck out eight batters without issuing a walk over six innings. It was the first time in 140 major-league starts that Hughes recorded at least seven strikeouts and no walks. For the first time in his MLB career, Hughes has made four consecutive starts without walking a batter.

The Twins entered Thursday’s game against the Red Sox with an all-time record (since 1961) of 4,222-4,263 and needed just one win to match their win total when the franchise was the Washington Senators from 1901-1960, going 4,223-4,864 (46.47%). With their 4-3 victory over the boys from Boston the Minnesota Twins record now stands at 4,223-4,263 for a winning percentage of 49.76%.

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This Day in Twins History – May 16

Blly Martin

Blly Martin

May 16, 1928 – Alfred Manuel “Billy” Martin was born in Berkeley, California. Billy played in the majors for 11 seasons with the New York Yankees, Kansas City A’s, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Braves and finished his career with the Minnesota Twins in 1961. Martin managed the Twins in 1969, the Detroit Tigers in 1971-1973, the Texas Rangers in 1973-1975, the Oakland A’s from 1980-1982, the New York Yankees from 1975-1979, 1983, 1985 and again in 1988. Billy Martin died as the result of an automobile accident on December 25, 1989.

May 16, 1983 – The Twins enter the ninth inning at the Metrodome trailing the Oakland A’s 7-0. The Twins hit four home runs in the bottom of the ninth (Dave Engle, Bobby Mitchell, Gary Gaetti, and Mickey Hatcher and they score 6 runs. They have the tying run on first when Dave Engle who pinch-hit a home run to lead off the rally strikes out to end the game. Hatcher’s home run was also as a pinch-hitter marking the third time in Twins history they have pinch-hit two home runs in the same game. The attendance was only 7,056 and you wonder how many fans were actually still at the Dome to witness this amazing comeback that fell a run short. Boxscore

Harvey Mackay

Harvey Mackay

May 16, 1984 – The Twins sell 51,863 tickets to their 8-7 loss to the Blue Jays, but only 6,346 fans show up for the game. The skewed numbers are the result of a massive ticket buyout plan organized by Minneapolis businessman Harvey Mackay to keep the Twins in Minnesota; if the club does not sell 2.41 million tickets this season it can break its lease with the Metrodome. Taking advantage of reduced prices on the Family Day promotion, Mackay pays $218,718 for 44,166 tickets. Boxscore

May 16, 2010Jason Kubel hit a stunning grand slam off Mariano Rivera with two outs in the eighth inning Sunday, and the Twins snapped a nine-game losing streak against the Yankees with a 6-3 victory in Yankee Stadium. Kubel’s third homer of the season and sixth career slam snapped a string of 51 straight converted save opportunities for Rivera at home, tying the major league record set by Eric Gagne with the Dodgers. Nick Blackburn (4-1) allowed three runs and nine hits in seven innings for Minnesota, which picked up its first win against New York since Aug. 13, 2008. The Twins had lost 12 straight overall against New York, counting the sweep in last year’s AL division series. Boxscore

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Terry “Bud” Bulling passes away

Bud BullingAs I was doing some historical research for this site the other day I was saddened to find out that former Twins catcher Bud Bulling had passed away this past March 8th in Salem, Oregon at the age of 61.

Terry Charles “Bud” Bulling was born on December 15, 1952 in Lynwood, California and was drafted as a catcher by the Minnesota Twins in the 14th round of the June 1974 amateur draft. Ironically the only other player drafted by Minnesota that year that went on to play for the Twins was another catcher that the Twins drafted in the second round, Butch Wynegar.

Bulling worked his way up through the Twins farm system and got his first call to the big leagues at the age of 24 to back up the Twins starting catcher who was none other than Butch Wynegar. Bulling made his big league debut on July 3, 1977 in the Twins 6-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. In his only at bat that day Bud struck out against knuckleballer Wilbur Wood. Bud spent the remainder of the 1977 with Minnesota as the back-up catcher and appeared in 15 games hitting .156 in 32 at bats while knocking in 5 RBI with his 5 hits. Bulling spent the 1978 season with AA Orlando. In March of 1979 Bulling was purchased from the Twins by the Seattle Mariners.

Bulling, Bud and Gaylord Perry 300 win cardBulling spent the 1979 and 1980 seasons in the minors with the Spokane Indians before returning to the bigs in 1981. He caught Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry‘s 300th win in the Kingdome on May 6, 1982 going 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored and an RBI in the 7-3 win over the New York Yankees. After spending all of 1981 and 1982 with the Seattle Mariners Bud started the 1983 season hitless in 5 at-bats and was sent down to the AAA Salt Lake City Gulls where he played out his final season in pro ball. After leaving pro ball Bulling enjoyed spending time and traveling with his mother Iada.

Bud Bulling with his Mom Iada.

Bud Bulling with his Mom Iada.

Bud Bulling passed away on March 8, 2014 in Salem, Oregon at the age of 61 after a long battle with prostate cancer. He was survived by his mother Iada Bulling, his son’s Casey and Joshua and his three mullions (nieces) Sheri, Kandi, and Kerri.

Thank you for the memories Bud Bulling and may you rest in peace. We at Twins Trivia and Twins fans everywhere would like to pass on our condolences to the Bud Bulling family and their friends.

I spent a few minutes today talking with Bud’s teammate Mike Cubbage and he shared a story about Bud with me that you can listen to here.

Bud Bulling Obit

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According to Elias

 

Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez

Eduardo Nunez capped Minnesota’s three-run eighth inning with an RBI single that gave the Twins a 4-3 lead that they never relinquished yesterday in their victory at Detroit. The Tigers had won the last 53 regular-season home games in which they led in the eighth inning or later, which was the longest current streak of its kind in the majors before Sunday’s loss.

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