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Over the Baggy

  1. Jason Kubel Off To A Fast Start

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ID:	7110Letís just say Jason Kubelís to Minnesota return was not exactly met with wild enthusiasm from the Twins fandom.

    Based on the previous seasonís production -- a stomach-turning batting line of .216/.293/.317 (avg/obp/slg) with just five home runs in 290 plate appearances -- you could not fault anyone on the outside looking in. Nevertheless Kubel and those close to him maintained that, at 31-years-old, the left-handed outfielder-slash-designated hitter was ...
  2. Chris Colabello Finds Comfort at the Plate

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ID:	7076Chris Colabello is a player who refuses to take a hint when he is no longer wanted.

    This past winter, the Twins were up against a roster crunch and decided that Colabello, who hit below .200, accumulated a waist-high pile of strikeouts and positional inflexibility, not to mention at an advanced age for a prospect, was expendable. When the they signed catcher Kurt Suzuki in December, they negotiated with a Korean team to move Colabello off the 40-man roster. ...
  3. Heated Observations: Game #3

    How Phil Hughes Worked
    Of all starting pitchers who threw more than 100 innings last year, Phil Hughes led the group with a first-pitch strike rate of 71% -- only one of two pitchers who cracked the 70% mark (Arizonaís Patrick Corbin being the other). Naturally, Hughes continued that first-pitch strike tendency in his first start with the Minnesota Twins, turning the count over to 0-1 on 19 of the 24 batters he faced.

    Sticking mainly with his heat in the situations (20 of 24), ...
  4. Heated Observations: Game #2

    Joe Mauerís 8 Balls-In-Play Have Been Grounders

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    So, yeah, infinitesimally small of eight plate appearances in which Joe Mauer has put the ball in play have resulted in grounders. One of those games was against Chris-Freaking-Sale who was so dominant against left-handed opponents that he only faced 163 in 2013 because no manager in his right mind would trot his lefties out there to spin holes in the batterís box (Sale led the league with ...
  5. Twins Looking for Leadership Out of Suzuki

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ID:	6918This offseason the Minnesota Twins found themselves with the difficult task of attempting to replace something irreplaceable.

    When Joe Mauer made his decision that he would not be returning to the tools of ignorance, the front office and manager reviewed their options. Internally, they were high on Josmil Pintoís bat but felt that his defense needed further refinement before being the full-time catcher. The search led them to the realization that they needed ...
  6. Big Question Remains: Will Twins Lineup Score Runs?

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ID:	6912Based on what has been seen this spring, if Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire still had hair on top of his head he would likely scratched himself bald trying to figure out how to score runs with his lineup.

    For an entire week leading up to the season, it has felt like a broken record (or skipping iPod or whatever): How is this lineup going to score runs? There has been little demonstrations of power before Sundayís three home run binge. Timely hitting ...
  7. Consistency Earned Kyle Gibson the Fifth Starter Job

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ID:	6905When it was announced that Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Diamond went unclaimed through waivers and would not be named the fifth starter, the left-hander doffed his cap to his competition in Kyle Gibson.

    The decision was tough numbers crunch based on the left-hander being out of options, but Gibsonís strong spring showing ultimately won him the job. What solidified his spot in the rotation, the managerís mind, was a combination of his stuff and his demeanor. ...
  8. Put Him in Coach? Aaron Hicks is Ready for Center Field

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ID:	6901When the Minnesota Twins unloaded Denard Span and Ben Revere in one offseason, they envisioned Aaron Hicks being the bridge in center field to their super prospect in Byron Buxton. The torch, for the time being, was being passed along from Kirby to Torii to Denard to Hicks.

    ďI would love to be the next in line,Ē he proclaimed in the Twinsí clubhouse on Opening Day last year before everything went awry.

    Perhaps in hindsight it was unfair of the ...
  9. Thursday Notes from Hammond: Diamond, Parmelee & Presley waived

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ID:	6898The Twins clubhouse had a vibe to it that can only be appropriately summarized by a line from the movie, Major League: You donít want to celebrate too hard in front of guys who just died.

    After news broke yesterday that Scott Diamond was on waivers, he learned he cleared today and faces a career decision of either accepting an assignment to Rochester or find another organization that will take him. In addition to Diamond, Chris Parmelee and Alex Presley were ...
  10. The Twins Thin The Pitching Herd

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ID:	6883There have been few examples of teams having their Opening Day starter the previous season then having the pitcherís value deflate to the point where he clears waivers and is traded for a stack of dollar bills.

    But thatís exactly what the Twins did with Vance Worley when they traded him to the Pirates for cash considerations.

    The interest was understandable minimal, said Twins assistant GM Rob Antony, after the 26-year-old right-hander passed ...
  11. Wednesday Notes from Hammond: Offense, Worley and Buxton

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ID:	6877Greetings from the surprisingly chilly Hammond Stadium. I know that it is below freezing back in Minnesota but for the locals here, this means breaking out the heavy gear. The good news is that it is sunny and the team has had an opportunity to have a full-day of workouts.

    More notes:

    The Twins traded Vance Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash after last nightís game (and there will be more on that later). Interest in the right-hander who
  12. Tuesday Notes from Hammond: Pelfrey Pranks and Impending Roster Crunch

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ID:	6866The Twins have 29 listed on the roster as of this morning with the four cuts coming. Among those remaining, the team has 13 pitchers, 7 infielders, 6 outfielders and 3 catchers. At some point this week, four of those guys will be gone.

    The obvious subtraction is the third catcher, Dan Rohlfing, which would leave Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto as the pair of backstops heading to Chicago. The other position player moves may be interesting. Manager Ron Gardenhire ...
  13. Overvaluing Suzuki behind the plate?

    The starting catcherís job is almost a forgone conclusion that the position belongs to Kurt Suzuki to start the year. Josmil Pinto, with his impressive September campaign, will be in the passengerís seat when the season begins on March 31 in Chicago.

    1500ESPN.comís Phil Mackey
    outlines a few of the reasons why the Twins are going that route:

    1.) The Twins have had some atrocious starting pitching lately, and they feel like Suzuki can help squeeze the most out of the current
  14. Phil Hughes' Long Curving History

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ID:	6667Phil Hughes has been somewhat of an indecisive pitcher over his career when it comes to his repertoire.

    Year in and year out, there has been an inability to choose a secondary pitch. While it has mainly been a big, slow curve, it has seen several variations followed by an abandonment in 2013 in favor of a slider. Hughesí Year of the Slider produced mixed results with the pitch as opponents struggled against his new weapon in the seasonís first-half, hitting ...
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