According to Elias

 

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

 

Larry Hisle

Larry Hisle

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

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

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Twins minor league player of the week

Mike Kvasnicka trying to make a "circus" catch

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

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

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

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

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

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According to Elias

 

Kevin Correia

Kevin Correia

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

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According to Elias

Phil Hughes

Phil Hughes

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

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1965 All-Star game crossword puzzle

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

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

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

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

1965 All-Star game puzzle

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

1965 All-Star game puzzle answers

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Self-serve beer stations make debut at Target Field

Courtesy Delaware North

Courtesy Delaware North

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

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From 50-game suspension to All-Star

 

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

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

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

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

Nelso Cruz

Nelso Cruz

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

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Twins minor league player of the week

Doug Bernier

Doug Bernier

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

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

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

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

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How rare is 4 XBH in a game?

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

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

Puckett 1987 Topps

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

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

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According to Elias and a little extra

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

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

Rick Renick

Rick Renick

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

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

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

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

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

American League

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

National league

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

 

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Former Twins pitcher Bobby Castillo passes away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Welcome to pro baseball Nick Burdi

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

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

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

Nick Burdi

Nick Burdi

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

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

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A-ball to the big leagues

Jorge Polanco

Jorge Polanco

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

Jim Manning

Jim Manning

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

Butch Wynegar

Butch Wynegar

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

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

Jim Eisenreich

Jim Eisenreich

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

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

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Twins minor league player of the week

Taylor Rogers

Taylor Rogers

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

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

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Twins minor league player of the week

DJ Baxendale

DJ Baxendale

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

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

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

Oswaldo Arcia

Oswaldo Arcia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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According to Elias

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

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

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

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

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Did you know?

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

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

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

Twins career QS leaders from 1961 to present day

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

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

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

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

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According to Elias

 

Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier

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

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

Yohan Pino

Yohan Pino

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

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

Andrew Albers

Andrew Albers

Alex McColl

Alex McColl

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

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

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

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

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

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

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According to Elias

Fien, Casey 2013J.D. Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the ninth inning that plated the winning run for the Tigers in their 4-3 triumph over the Twins. Twins reliever Casey Fien, who was tagged with the loss for Minnesota, has been on the mound for three walkoff defeats this season (game-ending singles by Cleveland’s Mike Aviles on May 7 and Toronto’s Kevin Pillar on June 9 before Martinez’s game-winner on Sunday), tying him with Boston’s Andrew Miller for the most in the major leagues.

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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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