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    by 08-23-2012, 07:12 AM

    I was at the Rock Cats game this evening. It wasn't a great game for New Britain -- not nearly enough offense, and our pitchers had some trouble keeping the ball down. Terry Ryan was in attendance. I spoke to him for a few minutes, and it sounds like he plans to follow the team through its upcoming weekend series in New Hampshire, as we get closer to the date when a few players on this team might get a call-up to Minnesota (or, if the Rock Cats make the playoffs, after their playoff stint ends). Ryan was scoring the game and taking furious notes, but he was very nice in person and willing to chat between innings. Here's a rundown of tonight's minor league action:
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    by 08-23-2012, 03:16 AM
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    The Twins organization is filled with players from all over the globe. They scout the entire country, Canada and Puerto Rico for the draft. Theyíve done a nice job signing international players in recent years. The Twins do a great job in Australia. They have players from Europe and talent from Taiwan. They have players from Central and South America, but also from South Africa.

    The last couple of seasons, the Twins have gone in a direction that is likely most rare. In the last two seasons, the Twins have signed four players out of the independent leagues. To this point, none of them have made it to the big leagues, and often, these players are not signed to get to the big leagues.
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    by 08-22-2012, 04:41 PM

    Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
    ----
    Here is this week's installment:


    • When Nick Blackburn was put on waivers this week, there was some confusion about that meant. Blackburn and Nishoka did not get Designated For Assignment, they got outrighted. There are four types of waivers in baseball, all explained really well here (this is a must read and bookmark link) :
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    by 08-22-2012, 12:34 PM

    Can you come out and play?

    We're having a last-minute meetup to watch the Twins-Rangers game at 7:00 PM this Thursday night at Park Tavern in St. Louis Park. John, The Voice of Reason, Nick, Parker, Brock (I think), Aaron Gleeman, Lindsay Guentzel and a bunch of other luminaries will all be there.

    So show up, wear some Twins gear and join us for general merriment. We would love to meet you.
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    by 08-22-2012, 06:36 AM

    Brett Andersen made his first start in just over a year since he had Tommy John surgery, and the lefty was back in fine form. He gave up just one run on four hits and no walks in seven innings. Sean Doolittle pitched a perfect eighth. Then former Twins reliever Grant Balfour recorded his 12th save with a perfect ninth. In other words, the Twins offense just did not show up. Trevor Plouffe was again 0-4 and is now 2-29 in eight games since his return from the DL. Jamey Carroll was 0-3, and he now has one hit in his last 22 at bats over six games. Ryan Doumit is 3-22 in his last six games (yet still is hitting .290).
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    by 08-22-2012, 12:46 AM


    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 heís frustrated that it took several months to get the diagnosis correct but is happy that it does not require surgery to heal.
    Scott Diamond Sits Atop The Pitching Depth Chart
    by 08-21-2012, 11:25 PM
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    The status and outlook of the rotation is bound to be the biggest storyline for the Twins down the stretch and into the offseason. Clearly, there is no unit on this roster in a greater state of flux.

    As a new feature here on Twins Daily, we thought we'd start taking periodic glances at the starting pitching depth chart to provide a big-picture look at what the club currently has and what's in the pipeline. We'll post updates every few weeks, adjusting for performance swings, injuries and roster additions/subtractions.
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    by 08-21-2012, 11:41 AM


    Most baseball fans can remember a time when they sat down to sort through shoe boxes full of cardboard with the faces of their favorite players on the front. I grew up in a small town in North Dakota without cable so one of the easiest ways for me follow my favorite players was to collect their trading cards. The hobby has changed a lot since the late 80s and early 90s but some fans still flock to get their hands on the latest edition of Topps Baseball Cards.

    The year on the field hasn't been that great for the Twins but there have been some unique and popular card that feature members of the Twins. Here is a rundown of all of the releases so far with a few of the best cards to feature the Twins in 2012.
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    by 08-21-2012, 04:43 AM

    The Twins have 41 games to go which seems like a lot. However, there are just ten days before we reach September when rosters can expand. With the Twins moves yesterday, outrighting Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka, the Twins 40 man roster now sits at 38. This is great because that means that the Twins can add two players to the 40 man roster without dropping anyone else. Then again, there are a few players that could be removed without much heartache in Twins Nation.
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    by 08-21-2012, 03:10 AM

    The Twins got big offense from their nine through four hitters and came away with a nice 7-1 win over the Oakland Aís, one of baseballís hottest teams. Of course, the biggest story was the performance of Brian Duensing. The lefty gave up two runs (1 earned) in six innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Quite the improvement over his mid-July start against the Aís when he gave up six runs on seven hits (3 HR) in just two innings. Casey Fien pitched two scoreless innings in relief, followed by a scoreless ninth by Alex Burnett.

    As for the offense, #9 hitter Pedro Florimon went 3-3 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored. Leadoff man Ben Revere went 2-5. 2-hitter Darin Mastroianni was 2-3 with a sacrifice bunt and a sacrifice fly, two runs and two RBI. He also stole his 15th base. Joe Mauer went 3-5 with two RBI. Josh Willingham went 3-5 with a double and two RBI.
    Before the game was over, the teamís learned that the Aís had traded for Diamondbacksí shortstop Stephen Drew who will improve the Aís.
    As If A Baseball Fan Needs Reasons To Watch
    by 08-20-2012, 11:39 PM
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    Tonight The Voice of Reasonô and I went to a St. Paul Saints game. We soaked in a gorgeous Minnesota summer night, watched a bunch of kitsch and thoroughly enjoyed a game in which we had almost no emotional investment. Because itís baseball. And it doesnít last forever.

    I hear Minnesota sports fans lauding the turning of the calendar page, anxious for football and the (albeit limited) hope new seasons bring. Iíll enjoy watching the Gophers and Vikings too. But Iím a baseball guy, and I canít devise a night much better than I just had.

    So go ahead, tell me how tough it is for you to watch a Twins game right now. Or take it a step further; tell me how you wonít watch a Twins game right now. I wonít be upset. More like puzzled, because I see all kinds of things that are exciting to watch over these last six months of the season. Letís count down the top six.
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    by 08-20-2012, 03:44 PM
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    Twins announce that they will outright Nick Blackburn and Tsuyoshi Nishioka off the 40-man roster.

    Since being recalled from Rochester, Blackburn had made six starts only to compile a 0-4 record with an pear-shaped 6.11 ERA while opponents hit .351/.367/.576. The Twins, who had beat the drums that there would be no more "scholarships" for their players, reacted swiftly to Blackburn's struggles and recent quotes which seems to irk the front office.

    Clearly the Twins were not sold on Blackburn's ability to bounce back. As assistant GM Rob Antony told reporters
    What Can (Should) We Reasonably Expect From Brian Dozier
    by 08-19-2012, 10:33 PM
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    Aaron and John talk about Brian Dozier's demotion to Triple-A, Nick Blackburn's ongoing awfulness, whether the Twins are collapsing down the stretch again, the latest "day-to-day" injury proving anything but, where and when Chris Parmelee will play, KFAN producer Ryan Donaldson's puking story, and preparing for the return to full-time podcasting. Here are:


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    by 08-19-2012, 09:46 PM

    The Twins fell to 50-70 on the season after a weekend sweep at the hands of the Seattle Mariners. On Sunday, Sam Deduno gave the Twins another Quality Start despite doing his best Deduno impersonation. The effectively wild righty gave up just two runs despite allowing five hits and walking six batters. He walked in the tying run and the go-ahead run scored on a double play. Jeff Gray pitched in the seventh inning and gave up three runs to put the game out of reach. Glen Perkins came in and struck out the side in the 8th inning. Ryan Doumit was the only played with two hits. Josh Willingham and Pedro Florimon each hit doubles.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Sunday:
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    by 08-19-2012, 08:34 PM
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    The second-best pitcher in Minnesota's rotation is a 29-year-old journeyman with five innings of previous major-league experience who has issued 36 walks in 46 innings this season.

    Obviously, that speaks to how bad the club's starting pitching has been, but it also speaks to the success Sam Deduno has enjoyed in spite of his outrageously bad control. The right-hander has tallied five quality starts in eight turns, and with a little run support on Sunday he would have improved to 5-0 on the season.
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    by 08-19-2012, 08:11 AM

    The new guys continued to impress in their second games with the Twins, and Scott Diamond put in another quality start, but on this night, there wasnít enough offense and the team lost in walk-off fashion in the ninth.

    Scott Diamond started and gave up two runs on nine hits over 6.2 innings to keep his ERA below 3 (2.95). Alex Burnett got him out of the 7th, and Jared Burton worked a scoreless eighth frame. Tyler Robertson came out to start the ninth inning. He gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. Casey Fien came in to try to get out of it, but John Jaso hit a sacrifice fly to end the game.

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