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Over the Baggy

  1. Plouffe Answering the Call

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ID:	1149On May 13, not long after sending down incumbent third baseman Danny Valencia to AAA, the Twins GM Terry Ryan called out the option-less Plouffe to step up his game:

    “I’d like to think we’re going to give Plouffe an opportunity here to step up and see what we’ve got. Eventually, we’re going to have to find out.”

    Heading into the May 16 contest in Detroit, he was staring down a .133/.288/.217 batting line in 73 plate appearances. The lack ...
  2. On Draft Day Two, Twins Will Likely Shift Focus to More Pitching

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ID:	1135Pitching, it has been said, is a war of attrition.

    The acronym, TINSTAPP, was invented and has been thrown around a lot in reference to this phenomenon. It means, “There Is No Such Thing as a Pitching Prospect”. Think your club has just landed the next big arm in the draft? Nope, there goes his elbow. Or shoulder. Look no further than the Twins organization and pitcher’s draft in recent years.

    Alex Wimmers (2010, 21st overall), Kyle Gibson ...
  3. Teams Adjust and Dozier Slumps

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ID:	1081Brian Dozier’s profile was elevated quickly thanks to a strong spring training performance. The shortstop was lifted on to Twins fan’s radars when favorable reports emerged from Florida, touting him as the Twins’ next “big” prospect -- ignoring for a moment that at 25 years old he was far from a rising prospect or the fact that when he was excelling in the minors he was doing so at levels in which he was much older than the surrounding competition.

    Dozier ...
  4. Ben Revere and The Real Estate Market

    The book on Ben Revere is that he is a slap-hitting, bloop-knocking, fast-running, somersaulting offensive contributor.

    In his first full season at the major league level last year, he demonstrated outstanding contact. Of course, the catch was that his contact did not go anywhere. Revere would drive the ball into the ground and try to leg it out. In fact, among those with at least 400 plate appearances last year, his 68.5% ground ball rate led baseball. When he did put the ball in ...
  5. Teams Throwing Morneau a Wrinkle

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Size:  8.1 KBSince his return to the lineup this month, Justin Morneau has seemingly been driving the ball to the opposite field not only better but also more frequently.

    In Detroit, the big left-hander crushed a home run over the left-center field fence and then went the other way with pitches in Milwaukee over the weekend – one for a bloop single and the other for a sacrifice fly. In all, nine of his 17 balls in play prior to last night’s game went to the left of dead ...
  6. Shoulder stifling Pavano's repertoire

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ID:	982It was revealed a week ago that Carl Pavano’s shoulder was hurting and that the team had him undergo an MRI for precautionary measures.

    Fortunately for the already thin pitching staff, the MRI showed nothing more than inflammation and, in preventative efforts, the Twins eased up on their workhorse, limiting his pitches and allowed him to miss the recent series in Detroit to have some soft-tissue therapy on his shoulder. The hopes are that by lightening his ...
  7. Jason Marquis and that sinking feeling

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ID:	963Once upon a time, in a land far away on the other side of downtown, covered by a beautiful white bubble – where the weather was always a pleasant 72 degrees – there was a starting pitching staff who understood the intrinsic value of working ahead of opponents.

    In the last decade, from 2000 to 2010, one of the pillars of the Twins Way was to dominate the airspace above the plate. The starters made it their business to pepper the strike zone from the get-go, ...
  8. Is Joe Mauer hurt or just slumping?

    On April 29th, while catching Joe Mauer took a Brayan Pena sharp foul ball off the inside part of his left knee. Up to that point, the seemingly healthy Mauer was hitting a robust .325/.419/.438. He had hit a home run, triple and four doubles in those 93 plate appearances. Since then, he has gone to hitting safely in just four of his last 31 at-bats (.129), including a gentle double and a ground ball that Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan likely should have converted.

    Now, many wonks ...
  9. What Happened to Chris Parmelee?

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ID:	904Only eight short months ago, Chris Parmelee was the talk of what was left of this baseball town in the aftermath of a 99-loss season.

    A September call-up, straight from Double-A no less, Parmelee went out and mashed pitching at the major league level. In a short span of time, he impressed people by demonstrating a keen batting eye, an excellent line drive swing and was able to put the occasional charge into the ball.

    He seemed immune to the crumbling ...
  10. Positive steps for Liriano?

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ID:	837I have stated for some time that I believe Francisco Liriano’s greatest impediment to success is his erratic mechanics. One can argue that he may be struggling mentally but that would be a chicken-and-egg argument – is he getting down on himself because his inconsistent delivery or is his delivery out of whack because he is in his own head? Either way, getting him back to a consistent base in his mechanics would likely alleviate the mental side of his game.

  11. A Spantastic start to his season

    Heading into the 2012 season, the Twins had plenty of question marks throughout the lineup. Among those unanswered questions was center fielder Denard Span.

    The concern was Span, like Justin Morneau to a less extent, would be unable to play consistently throughout the season at a high level. After all, Span’s concussion in the middle of the 2011 season sidelined him for an extended period of time and, when he returned for 14 games in August and September, he provided minimal production, ...

    Updated 04-27-2012 at 01:10 AM by Parker Hageman

  12. What Happened To All The Swagger?

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ID:	734After punishing spring training pitchers and promoting himself this offseason, Danny Valencia’s output in the regular season has left something to be desired. Coming off a down year in 2011 and made promises of rebounding and rededicating himself for this season. Rather than coming out the gates to a hot start, he now finds himself on the hot seat poised to lose starts.

    What has gone wrong for the Twins third baseman?

    In 2011, I attributed his ...
  13. Twins tweaking Liriano's repertoire

    On Friday night’s Fox Sports North broadcast of the Twins game, Dick and Bert talked about some things the coaching staff had relayed to them about Francisco Liriano and his upcoming start. Pitching coach Rick Anderson said that the key to getting Liriano back to his spring training form in which he was producing a lot of strikeouts and keeping from walking hitters was to ease up on throwing his two-seamed fastball so much.

    Interestingly enough, the Twins insistence a year ago for ...
  14. The Tale of Two Starters

    After the split series in New York - one in which the bullpen absorbed 70% of the innings in four games - the Minnesota Twins relievers head to Tampa feeling more taxed than the Dutch population.

    (Yeah, that’s right: tax humor.)

    On Thursday, Anthony Swarzak, a rotation fill-in who is lobbying for a more permanent position, coaxed Ron Gardenhire out of the dugout once again prematurely, ending his night without getting out of the third inning.

    Swarzak, in his ...
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