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Over the Baggy

  1. Twins drop series opener to Royals

    What happened to all that offense that showed up for the Cleveland series? Or pitching for that matter?

    After scoring 24 runs, averaging six per game against the Indians, the Will Smith and the Royals stop the Twins bats cold and Kansas City would, as Ron Gardenhire would say after the game, hit the fire out of the ball.

    The Twins offense was far from the productive group it has shown against Cleveland, and gave the Royals pitchers very little to sweat about.
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  2. Mauer sidelined with back spasms

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Size:  24.6 KBHeading into Tuesday’s game, Joe Mauer had played in 131 of the 141 games. That was quite a remarkable run considering the amount of time he missed just a year ago. Mauer, however, would not make it to game number 132 just yet as back spasms prior to the game would keep him unavailable.

    Said Mauer after the game:

    "As soon as I got on the field to stretch, it just started to come on. It seemed the more I did the worse it got. Right before my BP ...
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  3. Morneau's fast(ball) improvement

    What was interesting about Justin Morneau’s second home run of the game yesterday (and the walk-off winner which John Bonnes detailed here) is that it happened to be just his third home run he has hit which was thrown over 90 miles per hour this year.

    On his second homer of the year back on April 18, he turned on a 91.7 mile an hour Hiroki Kuroda fastball. On July 6, he redirected a 96-mile an hour Tanner Scheppers fastball into the Rangers Ballpark stands. Yesterday’s walk off that ...
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  4. Should the Twins shop for a shortstop this offseason?

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ID:	2295When the Twins front office begins to renovate this mess of a house in the winter, at the top of the list the highest priority has to be fixing the starting rotation. It is the home’s crumbling foundation and that needs the most attention.

    Afterwards, item number two could be repairing the all-important middle infield position.

    Offensively, over the past two seasons the Twins shortstops have hit a combined .241/.303/.326. It was this kind of ...
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  5. What has happened to Joe Mauer's defense?

    Concerns over Joe Mauer’s defense has grown exponentially as the number of opposing kleptomaniacs have continued to accumulate more and more bases.

    A one-time Florida State quarterback recruit, earlier in his career Mauer had thwarted over 30% of would-be base-stealers but has seen that number drop to league average as injuries and age have taken a toll on him. This year, however, that rate has dropped to a league-worst six percent – stopping just three runners with his own arm. What’s ...
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  6. Look for Plouffe to rebound

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ID:	2182It was not more than a month or so ago that third baseman Trevor Plouffe was the hottest thing in the Twin Cities. Essentially, he was “Call Me Maybe” personified.

    Prior to taking a Luke Hochaver offering on the right thumb back on July 20, Plouffe was compiling decent number – including otherworldly stats in the power department such as 11 home runs in 26 games. However, since his return on August 20 he is now just 8-for-56 (.142) and has yet to hit for ...
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  7. Twins injury policy needs rehabilitation

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Size:  52.2 KBOn Thursday night, Denard Span played in his first game in 10 days since injuring his clavicle on a Jeff Keppinger line drive on August 12.

    Span’s absence triggered yet another debate amongst Twins fans and pundits alike who questioned the team’s inability to properly handle their disabled. Rather than place Span on the DL a day or two after the injury appeared to be more than simply a day-to-day situation and keep the dugout stocked with healthy bodies, ...
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  8. Quick Hits: Pavano's injury, Hendriks recalled & Mastroianni to second?

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    Word spread on Tuesday that Carl Pavano had been re-diagnosed with a bruise on his humerus bone. Pavano, who had made two appearances with the Fort Myers Miracle in hopes of rehabbing what was assumed to be a strained shoulder, told reporters that he’s frustrated that it took several months to get the diagnosis correct but is happy that it does not require surgery to heal.

    The Star Tribune’s La Velle Neal writes that the Twins medical staff should ...
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  9. Blackburn should pitch like his scholarship is on the lilne

    At last Saturday’s home game against the Tampa Bay Rays the Twins reached the 2 million mark in attendance for the eighth consecutive season. In honor of the milestone, Nick Blackburn went out and tried to distribute home run balls to everyone at the game.

    Blackburn’s recent stint in Rochester was supposed to be the fix. He tinkered with his mechanics and was going to return as the pitcher with better command and good movement on his pitches.

    To his credit, he did improve ...
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  10. Ben Revere proving baseball is a game of inches

    On Tuesday night, in a 8-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers, Ben Revere went two-for-five on the night and had his average settle in at .317 – one one-hundredth of a point behind teammate and three-time American League batting champion Joe Mauer. This average was a far cry from his numbers last year when on this same day he was hitting a paltry .245.

    After being sent to Rochester in the early part of 2012, Revere worked with Red Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky to get his swing back to the ...
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  11. Why Minnesota Twins' Scott Diamond Continues to Shine

    One of the biggest surprises of the Twins season has to be the performance of starter Scott Diamond. Written off by many as just another “soft tossing pitcher” in the organization, Diamond has shown mastery of the strike zone and has been getting ground outs by the barrelful. This has led to a 10-5 record and a 2.91 ERA – the sixth best in the American League.

    While radar gun enthusiasts and strike out fanatics are not likely thrilled by his skill set, Diamond is proving that it is ...
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  12. Morneau no longer thrown for a curve

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Size:  17.0 KBLast night Justin Morneau hit multiple home runs in a game for the third time this season. As impressive as that is, the most noteworthy aspect about that feat is that the Twins first baseman hit both of those off of curve balls – something that he had done only once since 2010.

    Heading into Monday’s game against the Indians, Morneau’s numbers against curves had been very underwhelming. According to Fangraphs.com, his Pitch Value on curveballs had been 5.7 ...
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  13. Morneau is steadily improving

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ID:	1749In early July Justin Morneau had been plodding through a season in which he was completely lost at the plate against left-handed pitching.

    Even though his performance against right-handed pitchers was classic Morneausie, against the sinister his swing was basically a clusterbleep. His front side leaking so far open, he was left with little choice but to pull the ball. Left-handed opponents attacked this weakness by throwing more sliders which would run away ...
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  14. The Francisco Liriano Postmortem

    Last night saw a near vintage Francisco Liriano carving up his now former team. In six innings of work, the lefty punched out eight Twins batters, showcasing a well-placed 94 mile per hour fastball and a devastating slide piece.

    It was this first weapon, the well-placed fastball, which would have been inconceivable in the season’s opening months.

    Liriano’s first half of the season was marred by lack of command of his fastball. Unable to get ahead of hitters properly, the ...
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