According to ELIAS

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

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

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

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According to ELIAS

Zimmermann’s unusual performance a first since Grove

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twins Minor League Report May 15, 2016

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According to ELIAS

Centeno homers off Kluber

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

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

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Twins walk-off history

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

Seasons with most walk-off wins

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 Seasons with most walk off losses

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Some interesting Twins walk-off tidbits

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

 

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Yorman Landa

Yorman Landa 2016Ft. Myers Miracle (High A) right-handed pitcher Yorman Landa is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Landa made three relief appearances for the Miracle, pitching 4.0 scoreless innings, with two hits allowed, no walks, five strikeouts and two saves. Landa who is in his sixth season in the Minnesota organization has appeared in 10 games for the Miracle, going 2-1, 2.77 ERA (13.0 IP, 4 ER) with two saves, four walks and 13 strikeouts. The 21-year-old was originally signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent September 9, 2010 out of Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Twins Minor League Report 05082016

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The MLB June amateur draft is far from a science

2016 DraftThe 2016 MLB will take place June 9, 2016 in Secacus, New Jersey and the Minnesota Twins will have the 17th selection this year. There are already numerous mock drafts being published but as normal they are all over the board, so what else is new. Here is a list (with pictures) on MLB.com of their proposed top 100 2016 prospects.

Baseball draft are so different from all the other sports in many ways but the two main differences that stand out is that baseball drafts are more international than other sports and if you get drafted in baseball you can look forward to spend a number of years in the minor leagues before you have the experience and necessary skill sets to play in the major leagues. Sure there have been some players that went directly to the major leagues but they are rare and the last player to do so I believe is RHP Mike Leake who was drafted eighth overall in 2010 by the Cincinnati Reds from Arizona State and now pitches for the Cardinals. The last Twins player to be drafted and go straight to a big league mound was LHP Eddie Bane who also was from Arizona State.

The June amateur draft is exciting for the fans but it is serious business for the MLB teams that have spent lots of time and money watching these young prospects as they try to determine who is the best player available when it comes time to make their selection. Mistakes in a draft can and do haunt teams for many years. There are many ways to mess up a draft choice, the player may not turn out to be as good as you thought, you might have bypassed a star player, you might not be able to sign the player, the player and/or his agent may state they don’t want to play for you, and of course an injury may cut his career short. If everything goes your way you have yourself a baseball player but the odds are stacked against you. Continue reading

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When is enough, enough?

The Twins lost another game today by a score of 9-2 at Target Field to the Baltimore Orioles. That makes 7 losses in a row and 10 out of their last 11. Let’s look at some facts:

  • They have won twice in 17 games on the road.
  • They are 6-10 at their home park
  • In April they were 7-17
  • So far in May they are 1-8
  • They have been outscored 174-111 after 33 games
  • They are 2-13 against other Central Division teams
  • Starting pitchers are 3-15
  • The closer is 2-4 with 2 saves and a 5.40 ERA
  • Six relievers have appeared in 14 or more games
  • The pitching staff has the highest ERA in the league
  • Opponents are hitting .274 against Twins pitching
  • The Twins are hitting .236
  • Twins have made more errors than everyone except for Oakland

I could go on and on but what is the point, this team is playing horrendous baseball right now and they can’t catch any breaks either, that’s life. Believe me when I say that this team is not as bad as it is playing right now just like it was not as good as it played in 2015.

Do they miss Torii Hunter in the clubhouse? Sure they do but even Hunter couldn’t help this team play to the level that most people expected. So what is the problem? In 1982 the Twins lost 102 games and after 33 games they were 11-22, the Twins record this year after 33 games is 8-25.

owner Jim Pohlad

owner Jim Pohlad

I don’t care what Jim Pohlad has said publicly, GM Terry Ryan and manager Paul Molitor have to be on the hot seat right now. Hitting coach Tom Brunansky and pitching coach Neil Allen should not be buying any green banana’s either. My prediction for what is it worth is this. The Twins have a day off on Thursday and then play three games in Cleveland and three more in Detroit after that. If the Twins don’t play .500 on the road this week, Paul Molitor will not return to Minnesota with the team as the Twins manager.

Paul Molitor

Paul Molitor

Twins players may respect Paul Molitor as a Hall of Fame player but they don’t know how to play for him. In my opinion Molitor is a poor handler of the pitching staff and is on pace once again to burn out his bullpen. I don’t see anything that Molitor has done to motivate these players or to help them win games, he writes out a line-up by going with the hot bats and just lets them play. That probably works great for a veteran team but not for a team this young and inexperienced. Sometimes a team and a manager just do not mesh. Maybe it is not Molitor’s fault but life isn’t fair.

This team needs someone to get mad bust up some things, call out some players for their brain farts and put the whip to them. These players are young but this isn’t their first rodeo, they have played the game before and they are better than this. It is about time someone tells them that and also tells them that if they can’t play like major leaguer’s then they won’t be playing in Minnesota. See ball, hit ball. Baseball is baseball no matter what level you are playing it, this isn’t rocket science or brain surgery. The bases are still the same distance apart, the mound is the same distance from home plate. Sure the major leagues are tough but if you can’t compete, then pack your bags and go home. Fans are paying good money to watch the Twins play baseball st a high level, if they wanted to watch a bunch of minor leaguers play they would buy tickets to watch the St. Paul Saints play.

I am surprised more Twins fans aren’t madder than hell and telling Twins management that they aren’t going to take this crap any more. Why no fans burning their tickets or fans in the stands with paper bags on their heads? I love baseball but the Twins are squeezing the fun out of the game. Call the Twins and tell them what you think and what you expect. The Twins have no excuses as far as I am concerned, don’t play the “this is a young team card”, all I care about is seeing the number in the “W” column increasing.

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Twins minor league pitcher Logan Lombana suspended for 80 games

Logan Lombana  2016The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Minnesota Twins Minor League right-handed pitcher Logan Lombana has received an 80-game suspension without pay after testing positive for Ibutamoren, a performance-enhancing substance in violation of the Program. The suspension of Lombana, who is currently on the roster of the Single-A Cedar Rapids Kernels of the Midwest League, is effective immediately.

Lombana a RHP was selected by the Minnesota Twins out of California State University, Long Beach in the 25th round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Lombana pitched for Elizabethton last season and started out 2016 in Cedar Rapids and has been used strictly in relief just as he was in college.

Player profile: Logan Lombana

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According to ELIAS

Mauer makes first start in the leadoff spot

Mauer, Joe 2016Joe Mauer started in the leadoff spot for the first time in the major leagues in Tuesday’s matchup between the Twins and the Orioles which the Orioles won 5-3 at Target Field. Mauer, who was played 920 games at catcher, is one of only three players who debuted in the expansion era (1961 to date) to bat leadoff for the first time after having caught at least 800 games: Carlton Fisk, who started there only once, in 1980, in his final game for the Red Sox; and Ivan Rodriguez, who had 24 such starts there from 2006 to 2008.

Mauer made his 1,429th start in the majors on Tuesday. Over the last 20 years, only two other players started for the first time in the leadoff spot after having started as many games as Mauer: Mark McGwire (1,694th start in September 2000) and Ivan Rodriguez (1,899th start in August 2006).

Boxscore

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This Day in Twins History – May 10, 2000

This is the kind of a game the Twins need to break out of their season long funk here in 2016.

Midre Cummings

Midre Cummings

In their biggest come from behind victory ever, the fourth place Twins storm back from an 8-1 deficit at the Metrodome and beat the third place Indians 10-9 on a walk-off two run homer from Midre Cummings. Eddie Guardado picked up the win for Minnesota and Steve Karsay took the defeat. Check out the boxscore and look at the names of some of the players that played for the Twins and Indians in this game. The reported attendance in the dome that day was 9,505.

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Consternation in Twins land

consternation: a strong feeling of surprise or sudden disappointment that causes confusion

It is May 6 and the Minnesota Twins have a 8-20 record and find themselves in Chicago where they will play three games against the high-flying White Sox this week-end who are in first place in the AL Central division 10 1/2 games ahead of the Twins. Holy moley, 10 1/2 games back and it is not even Mother’s Day yet.

The Twins had a day off yesterday and the rumors started that the Twins have put pitchers Tommy Milone and Casey Fien on waivers. Supposedly catcher John Ryan Murphy is on his way to Rochester and 25-year-old catcher Juan Centeno is coming to Minnesota. The Twins also announced that pitchers Ryan O’Rourke and J.R. Graham were designated for assignment and outfielder Darin Mastroianni was brought up and Ervin Santana was brought back from the DL. That is a lot of changes to a baseball team in such a short window.

What is causing all this chaos?

Paul MolitorYesterday team owner Jim Pohlad said that it appears to be “total system failure” but at the same time he fully supports manager Paul Molitor and GM Terry Ryan. Talk about the kiss of death. It is easy to pile-on with the Twins playing so badly and I am not going to waste time here today listing all the characters from the players to the team president that are responsible for this mess. I do find it funny that the owner would say that the team does not want to give the “be patient” message to its fan base when they have been doing that since 2011.

Young teams are going to lose while they learn to play the game, just like all of us learned the tricks of the trade in our everyday jobs when we first were hired. Youth and potential are wonderful but they don’t make you a great team, you learn to win by playing and making mistakes. Do you remember 1982? The big mistake the Twins made over the last year or two was marketing their up and coming players as “stars” to be and making it sound like the Twins were playoff bound in 2016. Young players and teams take leaps forward but you have to also be prepared for the times when they fall backwards flat on their butts. Right now the Twins are looking up at the sky and wondering what the hell happened. I will tell you what happened, baseball happened, in baseball you never know what tomorrow will bring, that is what makes baseball so much fun.

What to do now?

Terry Ryan

Terry Ryan

As the old saying goes, when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is to quit digging. First off don’t panic, you have a plan, review it and make the necessary changes to get the train back on the track. It takes time, let the players play and learn the game and forget about making the playoffs, realistically that was never in the cards to begin with so you have lost nothing there. Look for ways to improve by giving unproven and untested players a chance. Just because you are not a top pick does not mean you can’t play any more than being a top pick ensures that you will be a star in the big leagues.

What about manager Paul Molitor?

First off you have to understand I am not a fan of Molitor as the team’s manager, never have been and probably never will. Don’t get me wrong, Molitor is a very smart baseball man and a Hall of Fame player but that does not make him a good manager. As far as I am concerned the team can part ways with Molitor any time now. What has Molitor done to make the Twins a better team? The team is not hitting, running, or playing smart baseball, all things that Molitor was supposed to bring to the table. With a young team you have to be patient, I am not sure that Molitor does that by constantly benching players and looking for a hot bat. Pick your line-up, platoon if need be and stick with it.

Ron Gardenhire

Ron Gardenhire

Was it just a coincidence that Ron Gardenhire rejoined the organization a week or so ago? Maybe? Maybe not. Could the Twins be thinking of bring Gardy back? Maybe they told Gardy that Molitor was on a short leash and that they would name him as the interim manager for 2016 and that he then would be in the mix when they hunted for a full-time manager after the season ends? Lots of teams bring back managers they have fired previously.

Well, let’s see what tomorrow brings us in “As the Twins world turns”.

In 1982 the Minnesota Twins had their worst season ever in terms of win and losses when they finished 60-102. On May 6, 1982 they had a 10-18 record and were 7 1/2 games out of first. Scary!

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka

Chattanooga Lookouts (AA) outfielder Daniel Palka is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Palka played six games for the Lookouts, hitting .619 (13-for-21) with four doubles, two home runs, eight RBI, six runs scored and six walks. In 20 games for Chattanooga this season, the left-handed hitting Palka has hit .338 (27-for-80) with seven doubles, three home runs and 15 RBI.

The 24-year-old Palka was acquired by the Twins via trade with Arizona on November 10, 2015, in exchange for catcher/outfielder Chris Herrmann. Palka was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Georgia Tech where he was named first team All-American by Baseball America and NCBWA in 2013. Palka led the ACC with a career-high 17 homers while batting .342 with 13 doubles, three triples and 66 RBIs in 2013.  Palka also pitched and was 2-1 with a 0.69 ERA in eight games. Daniel Palka signed with Arizona for $550,000.

Daniel Palka happy to have fresh start with the Lookouts

 Twins Minor League Report 05012016

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According to ELIAS

No adjustment period for Zimmermann

Bill McAfee

Bill McAfee

Jerry KoosmanJordan Zimmermann allowed one run in seven innings at Minnesota yesterday to improve to 5-0 on the season. Zimmermann, who signed with the Tigers this past offseason after seven seasons with the Nationals, is the fourth hurler ever to earn a victory in each of his first five games in the American League after having previously pitched in the National League. Bill McAfee was the winner in each of his first five appearances (two starts, three in relief) for the Washington Senators in 1932. Jerry Koosman won his first five games, all starts, for the Twins in 1979 after having a 3-15 record for the Mets the previous year. And Matt Palmer earned the victory in his first five appearances, all starts, for the Angels in 2009. Zimmermann’s 0.55 ERA is far lower than that of McAfee (2.49), Koosman (3.86), and Palmer (4.26) during their 5-0 starts.

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Rain, rain go away

RainoutApril is a wet month in Minnesota but the sun is out this morning and I think it is the first time in almost a week. The Twins have been home and have not had any games rained out but the fans and the players have had to endure some rain and cool weather for most of the current home stand.

However; the weather here in 2016 is mild when you compare it to the Minnesota Twins troubles 50 years ago back in 1966.

  • April 16 – Lost to the Angels 3-2 at home
  • April 17 – Postponed against Angels at home
  • April 18 – Scheduled day off
  • April 19 – Lost to Kansas City A’s 3-2 on the road
  • April 20 – Postponed due to cold weather
  • April 21 – Scheduled day off
  • April 22 – Lost to the Angels 2-1 on the road
  • April 23 – Lost to the Angels 4-3
  • April 24 – Beat the Angels on the road 5-3
  • April 25 – Lost to the Tigers 3-0 on the road
  • April 26 – Postponed in Detroit
  • April 27 – Postponed in Baltimore
  • April 28 –  Postponed in Baltimore
  • April 29 – Postponed in Washington DC
  • April 30 – Postponed in Washington DC
  • May 1 – Split a doubleheader with the Washington Senators on the road.

You can read more about this Twins streak of bad weather as well as several other interesting Twins articles dating back to 1966 in the Sporting News PDF below.

Sporting News 05141966 P11

 

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This Day in Twins History – First ever walkoff loss is a strange one

Bill Pleis April 28, 1961 – The Twins and the Los Angeles Angels are tied 4-4 after 9 innings at Wrigley Field. The Twins score an unearned run in the top of the 12th and take the lead 5-4. Twins skipper Cookie Lavagetto pulls starter Pedro Ramos who has pitched the first 11 innings and brings in reliever Bill “Shorty” Pleis to close out the victory. Pleis gets the first out but then gives up a game tieing home run to Ken Hamlin. The next two hitters get singles but Pleis retires Leon Wagner for the second out. The Twins decide to intentionally walk Ted Kluszewski to load the bases. So what happens next? Shorty Pleis hits Ken Hunt and the Angels have a walk-off hit-by-pitcher win. Yikes!! It was the thirteen game the new formed Minnesota Twins had ever played and it turns out to be their first ever walkoff loss. Boxscore

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According to ELIAS

Miguel Sano

Miguel Sano

Jacque Jones

Jacque Jones

Miguel Sano hit a walkoff RBI single as the Twins downed the Indians, 6-5. It was the second straight game in which Minnesota won in walkoff fashion, with Oswaldo Arcia ending Monday’s game with a solo homer. It’s been over 10 years since the Twins last won consecutive games, with each coming of the walkoff variety. On July 19, 2005, Jacque Jones hit a walkoff single to defeat the Orioles and a day later, Jones did it again, ending the game with a home run.

Did you know: That in their history since 1961, the Twins have been walkoff winners 403 times and walkoff losers 407 times?

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This Day in Twins History – April 27, 1961

1961 Los Angeles AngelsThe expansion Los Angeles Angels play their first home game bowing to the Minnesota Twins at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles, 4-2. The 74-year old baseball legend Ty Cobb, in his last-ever visit to a ballpark, throws out the first ceremonial pitch. This was the first American League game to ever be played in Los Angeles.

Wrigley Field - Opened in 1925, closed in 1965 and demolished in 1966. Wrigley Field's brief major league status ended after the 1961 season. Most people remember Wrigley Field as the backdrop for the old TV series home run derby. It was also the site for several baseball themed movies including pride of the Yankees, and the old Munsters TV show

Wrigley Field – Opened in 1925, closed in 1965 and demolished in 1966. Wrigley Field’s brief major league status ended after the 1961 season. Most people remember Wrigley Field as the backdrop for the old TV series home run derby. It was also the site for several baseball themed movies including pride of the Yankees, and the old Munsters TV show

Twins outfielder Lenny Green had the first hit and Earl Battey homered for the Twins as they beat Eli Grba and his Angels 4-2. Camilo Pascual was the winner for the Twins and Ray Moore got the save in front of 11,931 fans. Boxscore

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Former Twins pitcher Bill Whitby passed away March 12, 2016

Bill Whitby

Bill Whitby

I found out just recently that former Minnesota Twins pitcher Bill Whitby had passed away on March 12, 2016 in Huntersville, North Carolina at the age of 72 from heart disease.

William Edward Whitby was born in Crewe, Virginia on July 29, 1943. Bill was a star athlete at Victoria High School (Virginia) and after his high school graduation signed as a 17-year-old amateur free agent with the Minnesota Twins for $10,000, a substantial bonus back then.

Bill WhitbyBill started his professional pitching career as a 17 year old in class D ball with the Wytheville Twins and played there with future Twins to be Jim Manning, Tony Oliva, Frank Quilici, and Ted Uhlaender. Whitby climbed the Twins minor league ladder quickly and found himself pitching for the AA Charlotte Hornets late in 1963. In 1964 Bill started the season in Charlotte again but got the call that all players wait for, the call to the big leagues. Bill Whitby made his big league debut at the age of 20 on June 17, 1964 at Cleveland Stadium in game 2 of a doubleheader in the 8th inning with two runners on and two out with the Twins trailing 4-0. He retired Indians second baseman Larry Brown for the final out but in the ninth inning he got the first batter out before giving up a home run (Pedro Ramos) and a single before retiring the final two batters. Whitby made three more relief appearances in a Twins uniform before being returned to Charlotte.

Sadly for Bill, it turned out that those four appearances for the Twins would be his only pitching opportunities in the big leagues. Bill started the 1965 season in Charlotte but after posting a 10-8 record with a 2.61 ERA (including pitching a no-hitter) he was promoted to AAA Denver where it turns out he spent the next four years. The Twins traded RHP Bill Whitby to the St. Louis Cardinals on July 1, 1969 and in return received 1B Bill Davis and RHP Mel Nelson. Bill pitched briefly in 1970 for AAA Denver which was then a Washington Senators affiliate before encountering some shoulder issues that prompted him to  hang up his baseball spikes for good at the age of 26.

Bill and his wife Donelle were married for over 50 years and actually met when Donelle was selected as “Miss Hornet” in 1964 and Bill who was playing for Charlotte at the time served as her escort. As part of being selected “Miss Hornet”, Donelle Ranson was also given a trip to spring training in Melbourne, Florida where she and Bill started dating and on February 12, 1966 they were married and went on to have two children, son’s Brian and Kevin.

After baseball was in his rear view mirror Bill and Donelle returned to their farming roots and bought a farm near Huntersville, North Carolina where they raised beef cattle and some crops. When I talked with Donelle she was very grateful to the Minnesota Twins because they provided the opportunity for her and Bill to meet and share a wonderful life together.

William Whitby Obit

Remembering Bill Whitby…

The Fleeting Baseball Memories of Bill Whitby

Bill’s son put together this  YouTube video about his Dad’s life

Sporting News August 28, 1965 P37

Sporting News March 26, 1966 P12

Our condolences to Bill Whitby’s family and friends and to Bill Whitby, thank you for the memories!

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According to ELIAS

Dusty Baker‘s first win like this one

The Nationals defeated the Twins in 16 innings on yesterday after trailing in the ninth and 15th innings. Dusty Baker has won 1,685 games as a major-league manager, but this was his first in which his team trailed in the ninth inning and again in extra innings.

The last time that a major-league team tied a game with a bottom-of-the-ninth home run and won it in the 15th-inning or later with another homer came on May 25, 2008 when the Padres defeated the Reds, 12-9, in 18 innings. Scott Hairston hit a game-tying ninth-inning home run and Adrian Gonzalez had a walk-off home run off of Edinson Volquez.

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Swing and a miss – Twins high strikeout games

strikeoutTwins batters wore themselves out yesterday swinging and missing Tanner Roark pitches at Nationals Park when they whiffed 18 times and were shutout by the Washington Nationals 2-0 in 2 hours and 39 minutes. This is the second time in Twins history that they have struck out 18 times in a nine inning game. Their high water mark of striking out 19 times has been achieved three times in extra inning games.

The Minnesota Twins have struck out 15 or more times in a game on 46 occasions and their record in those games now stands at 10-36.

 Twins high strike out games

Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H BB SO Attendance
1 2013-07-10 MIN TBR L 3-4 51 50 3 12 1 19 12,757
2 1968-07-03 MIN CLE L 0-1 36 35 0 6 0 19 21,135
3 1967-08-09 MIN WSA L 7-9 80 75 7 17 4 19 16,901
4 2016-04-23 MIN WSN L 0-2 33 29 0 2 4 18 35,974
5 1995-09-13 MIN SEA L 4-7 36 33 4 6 2 18 16,469
6 2014-09-13 (1) MIN CHW L 1-5 32 30 1 4 2 17
7 2013-09-23 MIN DET W 4-3 50 44 4 14 5 17 24,647
8 1993-08-31 MIN CLE W 5-4 85 78 5 17 7 17 17,968
9 1986-06-09 MIN TEX W 3-2 40 37 3 9 3 17 10,782
10 1972-09-30 MIN CAL L 2-3 35 32 2 5 3 17 5,901
11 1967-08-22 (2) MIN DET L 1-2 43 39 1 7 3 17 40,921
12 2015-10-03 MIN KCR L 1-5 36 32 1 6 4 16 30,181
13 2015-08-23 MIN BAL W 4-3 46 46 4 7 0 16 35,144
14 2015-05-10 MIN CLE L 2-8 31 29 2 2 2 16 13,769
15 2013-09-29 MIN CLE L 1-5 34 32 1 5 1 16 30,935
16 2013-08-07 MIN KCR L 2-5 39 35 2 10 4 16 20,198
17 2012-05-26 MIN DET L 3-6 34 34 3 8 0 16 37,360
18 2000-09-28 MIN CLE W 4-3 41 34 4 7 6 16 42,821
19 1999-08-24 MIN BOS L 1-7 31 30 1 5 1 16 12,332
20 1998-08-02 MIN TOR L 4-6 37 36 4 9 1 16 40,096
21 1997-09-27 (1) MIN CLE L 6-10 42 41 6 14 1 16 42,854
22 1997-08-23 MIN BAL L 4-5 39 35 4 8 3 16 48,263
23 1973-09-27 MIN CAL L 4-5 49 42 4 10 7 16 9,100
24 1972-08-10 MIN CAL L 1-3 36 32 1 5 4 16 7,865
25 1972-05-12 MIN MIL L 3-4 92 77 3 17 12 16 8,628
26 1968-09-09 MIN CLE L 1-6 35 32 1 5 3 16 7,042
27 2015-08-26 MIN TBR W 5-3 42 39 5 13 1 15 9,205
28 2014-09-21 MIN CLE L 2-7 35 34 2 7 1 15 24,451
29 2013-08-09 (1) MIN CHW W 7-5 42 34 7 7 8 15 17,439
30 2013-07-26 MIN SEA W 3-2 48 45 3 8 2 15 23,162
31 2013-05-06 MIN BOS L 5-6 49 42 5 10 6 15 31,088
32 2009-05-30 MIN TBR L 2-5 37 34 2 6 3 15 36,052
33 2003-05-15 MIN KCR L 5-9 60 49 5 12 9 15 17,219
34 2000-08-01 MIN BAL L 0-10 32 30 0 1 2 15 35,107
35 1997-05-10 MIN TOR L 4-6 37 35 4 10 1 15 20,932
36 1995-06-28 MIN CHW L 3-4 38 33 3 7 4 15 15,982
37 1995-06-18 MIN SEA L 1-2 37 31 1 5 5 15 24,707
38 1995-05-04 MIN KCR L 0-6 35 34 0 7 1 15 11,935
39 1993-05-22 MIN TOR L 0-7 36 33 0 6 2 15 50,510
40 1982-05-30 MIN NYY L 6-8 46 38 6 7 8 15 16,352
41 1980-08-07 MIN CAL L 2-4 63 58 2 16 4 15 24,195
42 1975-06-30 MIN CAL L 3-10 37 34 3 8 2 15 7,033
43 1974-09-28 MIN CAL L 0-4 35 27 0 0 8 15 10,872
44 1973-08-30 MIN TEX W 5-2 45 37 5 7 6 15 4,012
45 1965-06-20 (2) MIN NYY W 7-4 41 38 7 10 3 15 71,245
46 1964-10-01 MIN KCA L 4-5 54 46 4 13 6 15 2,728
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/24/2016.

UPDATE: So what happens the day I post this blog? Later that afternoon the Twins play the Washington Nationals and lose 6-5 in the 16th inning and they strike out 20 times, just a day after striking out 18 times. I watched the entire 5 hour and 56 minutes of the game on TV. Boxscore

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Twins minor league player of the week – Stephen Gonsalves

Stephen Gonsalves

Stephen Gonsalves

Ft. Myers (High A) left-handed pitcher Stephen Gonsalves is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Gonsalves made the start Tuesday night vs. Jupiter, allowing two runs (1 earned) on five hits in 7.0 innings pitched, with one walk and eight strikeouts, earning the win. Gonsalves has made three starts for the Miracle this season, going 1-1, 1.89 ERA (19.0 IP, 4 ER) with four walks and 18 strikeouts.

The 6’5″ Gonsalves was drafted (a real steal) by the Twins in the fourth round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft out of Cathedral Catholic High School in San Diego. Gonsalves entered the season as the Twins ninth best prospect by Baseball America.

Personally I think that Gonsalves can turn out to be as good a pitching prospect if not better than Jose Berrios. The 21-year-old Gonsalves is in his 4th year of pro ball and his record so far stands at 20-8, with a 2.55 ERA along with a WHIP of 1.08. In 247.1 innings he has struck out 258 batters and allowed only 177 hits. I really don’t understand why Gonsalves is even in High A, he should be in AA as he has proven in 2015 that he can handle High A.

Twins Minor League Report 04242016

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Looking back at franchise history

1959-1960 Washington Senators logoThe Twins entered Friday’s game with an all-time record (since 1961) of 4,362-4,425 and an all-time franchise record (Senators and Twins) of 8,585-9,289. For sixty years, the Senators played baseball in our nation’s capital, winning one World Championship and three AL pennants. In 1961, owner, Calvin Griffith, moved the Senators from Washington, DC to Bloomington, Minnesota. The Senators played from 1901-1960, compiling a record of 4,223-4,864. Some notable Hall of Famers from the Senators teams include: Goose Goslin, Sam Rice, Joe Cronin, Bucky Harris, Heinie Manush and Walter Johnson. The Senators beat the New York Giants in the 1924 World Series in seven games, marking the only World Series victory for the franchise during their first sixty-year tenure in Washington. Source: Twins GameNotes

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According to ELIAS

Twins win first road game in 2016

Brian Dozier and Miguel Sano each hit solo home runs as the Twins picked up their first road victory of the season, an 8-1 triumph over the Brewers. Minnesota started the season 0-7 away from home; that was their longest road losing streak to start a season, surpassing the previous mark of six in 1904, when the team was known as the Washington Senators. Over the last five years (since 2012), one other team started a season 0-7 on the road, the 2014 Marlins (lost first seven).

The Twins have hit two home runs in each of their last four games, their longest streak of games with multiple homers since September 2013 (also a four-game streak).

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On the road again..

Suitcase-with-Travel-StickersI don’t think that Willie Nelson and Jimmy Nelson are related but Jimmy made things tough for the Twins last night. Willie’s song “On the Road Again” should be added to all the Twins players listening lists so they can start to enjoy being on the road again.

The Twins are 0-7 on the road this season but that is a long ways from their longest losing streak that the team has encountered as road warriors. Back in 1961 the Minnesota Twins lost 14 road games in a row between May 16 and June 7 against the White Sox, Senators, Indians, Tigers and Yankees before finally breaking the road losing streak  with a 3-1 win over the Orioles in Baltimore. Road woes are nothing new to the Twins, over the years they have lost 8 or more consecutive games away from the home confines 19 times. Let’s hope that we don’t make it 20 today.

 

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Twins Minor League Player of the Week – Nick Gordon

Nick Gordon  2016Ft. Myers (High A) infielder Nick Gordon is the Twins minor league Player of the Week. Gordon played in six games for the Miracle, hitting .444 (12-for-27) with five doubles, one home run, four RBI, five runs scored, one walk and two stolen bases. Gordon spent 2015 with Cedar Rapids (Low A), hitting .277 (133-for-481) with 23 doubles, seven triples, one home run, 58 RBI, 79 runs scored and 25 stolen bases. The 20-year-old is the younger brother of Dee and the son of Tom “Flash” Gordon and was drafted by the Twins in the first round (5th overall) of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft out of Olympia (FL) High School and was signed by Minnesota for $3,851,000. Gordon entered the season as the Twins fourth best prospect by Baseball America.

Nick Gordon, son of Tom, brother of Dee, leads Fort Myers Miracle

Twins Minor League Report 4 17 16

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According to ELIAS

Twins and Braves rebound after 0-9 starts

The Braves and Twins both improved their records to 3-9 Sunday by completing three-game sweeps of the Marlins and Angels, respectively. Atlanta and Minnesota are the first teams in major-league history to win three straight games immediately after starting a season with nine or more consecutive losses.

 

Noonie is earning respect in Minneapolis

Eduardo Nunez  2016Eduardo Nunez continues to make it look easy, going 2-for-4 in the Twins’ 7-4 win over the Brewers. That dropped-yes dropped-Nunez’ batting average to .545 this season, with 12 hits in 22 at-bats. Over the last 25 years, only one other Twins player maintained a batting average above .500 at least 20 ABs into a season. Josmil Pinto was 13-for-25 to start his brief MLB career in 2013, Kirby Puckett did it twice in the 1980’s (a 14-for-27 start in 1984, and 13-for-25 in 1987).

 

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According to ELIAS

Nunez is 7 for 7 in his two starts this season

Eduardo Nunez 2016Eduardo Nunez contributed three hits to the Twins’ first win of the season yesterday and he is 7-for-7 over his two starts this season. Nunez is the first Twins player since David Ortiz in July 2000 to go 7-for-7 (or better) over a span of two starts.

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According to ELIAS

The Braves and Twins both lost Thursday, dropping their records to 0-9. It’s only the third time in major-league history that two teams started 0-9 or worse in the same season. It also happened in 1884 when Detroit of the National League and Altoona of the Union Association did it; and in 1988 when Baltimore and Atlanta did it.

The Twins scored only one run in their loss to the White Sox yesterday and have scored only 14 runs in nine games this season. That matches the fewest runs scored over the first nine games of a season in Twins franchise history. The 1949 Washington Senators also scored only nine runs over the first nine games of the season. That team finished with a 50-104 record. The last major-league team to have that offensive futility over its first nine games of a season was the 2004 Expos (10 runs), the last American League team was the 2003 Tigers (14).

The Twins are the second team in major-league history to lose each of their first nine games, and score three or fewer runs in each. The other was the 1988 Orioles, who lost a record 21-straight games to start the season. Baltimore failed to score as many as four runs in any of the first 12 games that season.

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According to ELIAS

helpThe Twins fell to 0-8 when they dropped a 3-0 decision to the White Sox yesterday in which he managed only four hits while striking out nine times. In fact, the Twins are the first major-league team to have more strikeouts than hits in each of their first eight games of a season since the pitching distance was established at 60 feet, 6 inches in 1893. Source ELIAS

But that is not all, the Twins losing streak stands at 8 games in 2016 but when you add-on three straight losses to the Kansas City Royals at the end of 2015 and you have a 11 game losing streak on your hands, tied for the third longest losing streak in Twins history. The longest losing streak of course belongs to the 1982 Twins that lost 14 in a row and finished the season with a 60-102 mark.

Minnesota Twins longest losing streaks

Rk Strk Start End Games W L AB R H HR RBI SO BA
1 1982-05-19 1982-06-02 14 0 14 458 33 99 8 32 89 .216
2 1961-05-26 1961-06-07 13 0 13 426 33 88 5 31 56 .207
3 2015-10-02 2016-04-13 11 0 11 359 16 74 4 16 118 .206
4 2011-09-09 2011-09-21 11 0 11 379 37 93 4 33 76 .245
5 2013-05-14 2013-05-24 10 0 10 347 28 76 7 27 83 .219
6 1999-09-25 2000-04-03 10 0 9 328 27 77 5 27 65 .235
7 1998-09-09 1998-09-19 10 0 10 366 49 92 10 48 72 .251
8 1997-08-09 1997-08-19 10 0 10 350 26 88 3 25 69 .251
9 1985-05-21 1985-06-01 10 0 10 341 31 77 9 29 43 .226
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/14/2016.

My patience with this team is starting to wear thin but there are too many players sleep-walking through the beginning of this season to change out a player or two to send a message. Where is that tirade of a veteran player to wake this team up? Yes, I am looking at you Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier.

Can horrendous starts two years in a row just be a coincidence? I have never believed in coincidences. It is time for Dave St. Peter, Terry Ryan, and Paul Molitor to show that they can turn a ball club around that is sinking faster than Justin Spieth did at the Masters this past Sunday.

Six games out with just eight games played? This can’t be real, what a nightmare!

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