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    by 05-11-2014, 08:18 PM
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    Sponsored by Switch My Trip

    Phil Hughes Big Switch pitching performance on Friday night successfully stared down a three-game losing streak and Justin Verlander. It was also his fourth straight quality start, suggesting that Hughes is in the midst of his own Big Switch. That switch is half of what we thought it would be, but half unforeseen, though maybe we should have expected it.

    When the Twins signed Phil Hughes this offseason to a 3-year, $24 million contract, reactions to the deal were split, with very little middle ground. The agreement was an easy target for
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    by 05-09-2014, 04:04 PM
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    Trevor Plouffe was essentially an afterthought this winter viewed as a third base placeholder until Miguel Sano takes the position from him. By the grace of the inelasticity of an elbow ligament, Plouffe's job security increased considerably. Sano's misfortune would be Plouffe's godsend.

    And, to his credit, the 27-year-old has made the most of this opportunity.

    After several seasons of mishandling the hot corner and minimal offensive contributions, Plouffe's game took giant leaps forward in 2014. Defensively he has looked improved and the magical defensive metrics reflect it. Offensively, there have been signs that he has matured as a player like using the entire field and laying
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    by 05-09-2014, 12:23 AM
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    Sunday is Mother’s Day! (All of you guys, after you’re done reading this, go to the store and pick up some flowers or at least a nice card for your mom)

    Two years ago before Mother’s Day, Trevor Plouffe donated his hair to Locks of Love in honor of his mother, Diane, who is a breast cancer survivor. Today, Diane Plouffe was kind enough to write for us and give us some insight into what it’s like to be the mother of a Major League Baseball player. Thank You, Diane!


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    A Mother’s Perspective
    by Diane Plouffe
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    by 05-08-2014, 10:57 PM
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    Without exception, each spot on a team's 25-man roster is important.

    In any given week, it is likely that every last one of those players will see action in a game. On a contending team, all 25 openings should ideally be filled by guys who can play a meaningful and valuable role.

    Those roster spots can also be used to protect assets. A rebuilding team might choose to put a Rule 5 pick in the last bullpen slot, or stash a project who's out of options at the end of the bench.

    What is puzzling is seeing a future-focused team such as the Twins using its 25-man roster spots in a way that could only be described as haphazard.

    In their ongoing mission to reassemble veterans
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    by 05-07-2014, 11:26 PM
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    Following the Minnesota Twins’ 4-3 loss in Cleveland on Wednesday night, the team announced that Logan Darnell was being optioned to Rochester and former Twins reliever Matt Guerrier was being added to the 25 man roster. At the same time, they acknowledged that on Thursday the team will make the corresponding 40 man roster move to make room for the 35-year-old right-hander.

    Logan Darnell certainly made a strong impression in his major league debut on Tuesday night in Cleveland when he came out of the bullpen and threw three perfect innings. He even hit 95 MPH on the radar gun once or twice. He will return to the starting rotation in Rochester where
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    by 05-07-2014, 06:48 PM
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    3. MLB Draft 2014

    This is the third in a series of (somewhat) weekly installments leading up to the June 5th through 7th draft. The focus is intended to be very Twins-specific.

    Part 1: Locals
    Part 2: The Top
    ---

    Thursday is Draft Day! Well, the NFL Draft anyway. We're also within a month of the MLB draft. Time to shed some light on recent happenings.


    When we left off in this series in late April, we looked at a handful of guys that the Twins would possibly consider at #5. Since that point, a lot has happened.

    As Carlos Rodon rebounded from a rough start and both Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek jumped up draft boards, many people started projecting that Alex Jackson could be the target for
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    by 05-06-2014, 11:28 PM
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    He's at it again.

    Chris Parmelee's 2012 season could be looked at in two different ways. On the one hand, you had a rookie hitter who looked overwhelmed against major-league pitching. On the other hand, you had a 24-year-old absolutely demolishing in his first exposure to Triple-A pitching. He was far and away the best hitter in the International League that year.

    He followed up with a 2013 season that was simply a mess, both in the majors and the minors, and as a result he was outrighted from the 40-man roster this spring. He passed through waivers (somewhat surprisingly, from my view) and now he's
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    by 05-06-2014, 01:19 PM
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    The Minnesota Twins’ starting pitching shortage of strikeouts has continued into 2014.

    That’s not anything new but it makes you wonder if the fumes from the garbage burner are causing pitchers to simply lob the ball into the strike zone. As of Tuesday, the Twins were owners of the bottom three strikeout rates in the American League.


    While Kevin Correia and Kyle Gibson are thought of as contact-oriented pitchers, it is Ricky Nolasco’s inclusion on the list which is a bit surprising. After all, Nolasco held a 19% strikeout rate over his career. Though a drop in the strikeout rate is expected during the switch in
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    by 05-04-2014, 09:38 PM
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    As April has shifted into May, the Minnesota offense has cooled off a bit but continues to get the job done. On Friday they were shut out for just the second time all year, but they bounced back to score 11 runs in a pair of wins on Saturday and Sunday. The series victory over the weekend brought the Twins back within a game of .500.

    The offense seems sustainably effective, with Joe Mauer starting to heat up, Oswaldo Arcia preparing to return and several other lineup fixtures continuing to look good.

    So the club's ability to stay around the .500 mark will probably hinge on the rotation's ability to deliver quality starts, as it did in all three games against the Orioles.

    There's much change afoot in the starting corps, so let's examine the state of the unit as we head into the second month.

    * Following another poor start on Thursday, the Twins finally
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    by 05-04-2014, 11:54 AM
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    Sponsored by Switch My Trip

    May arrived three days late, but Saturday The Sun found clouds it could occasionally hurdle. The gloom passed and Twins Territory awoke from abad dream, one filled with wind and rain and Dodgers and losing baseball stacked on top of losing baseball on top of desperate roster moves and game-winning line drives that die an early death, suffocated by leather.

    But on Saturday The Sun shone, warming the fans who sat down the third base line, which was almost all of them, because SUN. It warmed Twins bats and fueled the ongoing transformation of Trevor Caterpillar to Butterfly Plouffe, who sprung forth and staked the Twins to an early 1-0 lead in a very unbutterfly-like way, because butterflies don't know what a gapper is, let alone how to hit one.

    The Twins are looking to
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    by 05-02-2014, 05:33 AM
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    From a source with direct knowledge, Twins Daily has learned that LHP Logan Darnell is on his way to the Twins Cities and will be with the Twins on Friday night.

    The other half of the transaction is not presently known. A player from the current 25-man roster will need to be optioned or placed on the disabled list to make room for Darnell. The Twins will re-evaluate Aaron Hicks on Friday morning, and he could be placed on the 7 day concussion list. They could also option a reliever to Rochester.

    After the second game on Thursday night, Game 2 starter and 26th man Kris Johnson was sent back
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    by 05-01-2014, 10:57 PM
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    ~~~ sponsored by Ticket King ~~~
    OK, you can come out now. The bad weather has (mostly) passed. It’s going to be 60 degrees, one of the best young players in baseball will be visiting and Mike Pelfrey will not be pitching. That sounds like a pretty fair weekend to grab some great seats at Target Field. In fact, it sounds like a pretty fair weekend to all the Twins Daily guys, who will be attending Saturday’s game. (Say “Hi.”)

    Slogging Along
    It’s been a sluggish start for the Orioles who entered May with a .500 record, the first time they’ve started that “poorly” over the last three years. By May
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    by 04-30-2014, 09:54 AM
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    Although offense has hardly been a problem for the Twins here in the early going, finding a viable solution at shortstop remains a top-ranking priority for the long-term success of the club.

    It's one of the most important positions on the field and it's been a frustrating problem area for this franchise for many years. Rarely has the deficiency at short been more noticeable than it is now, with Pedro Florimon batting .115 and sporting a horrendous .366 OPS.

    At a position where the offensive expectations are relatively low, Florimon has been beyond inadequate. The lowest qualifying OPS for a shortstop is Zach Cozart's .473 in Cincinnati; that still beats Florimon's present mark by more than 100 points.

    No amount of defensive aptitude makes up for that kind of anemic production at the plate.
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    by 04-28-2014, 10:28 PM
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    ~~~ sponsored by Ticket King ~~~
    The Dodgers have been to Target Field before; just three years ago the Twins (despite a dismal year) took two of three, serving as dismal hosts. With Minnesota in the middle of a week-long rainstorm, the Dodgers might be back quite a bit sooner. There is no point in avoiding it: the story for this series is the weather, so let’s break it down….

    The Possible Makeup Dates
    There are three dates this year that the Dodgers and Twins both have open and they’re all on Mondays:

    May 19 – The Twins will be wrapping up a homestand against Boston and Seattle and the Dodgers will be leaving Arizona and be on their way to New York City to play the Mets

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