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    by 05-31-2012, 01:49 AM

    Prior to the start of the season, I called Jamey Carroll "the latest passenger on Minnesota's never-ending shortstop carousel," noting the position's instability over the past decade. As it would turn out, the veteran's ride didn't last long, as he ceased drawing regular starts at short by early May.

    Granted, this had as much to do with external factors Ė most notably Danny Valencia's struggles at third Ė as Carroll's own play. But it quickly became apparent that the light-hitting 38-year-old is not suited to be a quality regular at this point in his career. Even in the short-term, the Twins knew they would have to look elsewhere for a fixture at shortstop.

    They would like it be Brian Dozier. More accurately, they need to it to be Brian Dozier.
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    by 05-30-2012, 10:08 PM

    The June 4, 2012 edition of Sports Illustrated had a story by Tom Verducci where he attempts to document... well, he's a better writer than I'll ever be, so let's let him tell you...

    ďThis is a story about the real cost of steroids in baseball -- not the broken records, not the litigation, not the talk-show drone about the elite players who juiced and how to weigh their Hall of Fame candidacy. This is a story about the hundreds, even thousands, of anonymous ballplayers whose careers and lives were changed by a temptation that defined an era. It is also a story about the secrets we keep and the casualties we create when we allow the corrupt to go unspoken -- especially when the corrupt is something far more horrific than steroids.Ē

    The story is especially interesting to Twins fans because it is mostly about Dan Naulty, a reliever from the Twins from 1996-98 who came up through the Twins farm system.
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    by 05-29-2012, 10:49 PM

    Tommy Watkins has been in the Twins organization since 1998 when he was the team's 38th round draft pick of the Twins. He spent two seasons in the Gulf Coast League, one year in Elizabethton and one year in Quad Cities. He spent two years playing for his hometown Ft. Myers Miracle. After two-and-a-half seasons with New Britain, he was promoted to Rochester. He spent three-and-a-half seasons there before retiring. However, in late 2007, all the time and all the work paid off when he was called into his manager's office and told he was going to the big leagues. He played in nine games for the Twins and hit .357 (10-28). Watkins is now in his third season as the hitting coach of the Beloit Snappers where this year he gets to work with a team that is currently four games ahead of its nearest competition in its division.

    Tonight, I was joined by Watkins on the SethSpeaks Weekly Twins podcast. We talked about his career, but mainly about his coaching with the Snappers. We talked about Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, AJ Pettersen and more players. It was a fun conversation.
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    by 05-28-2012, 10:45 PM

    I donít want to trade Justin Morneau. I donít want to be rational about it. I want to clutch onto his comeback, keep it for my own, separate it and gaze at it among the dreck that this (and probably next) season has become. Iíve waited for this, Iíve craved it, and dammit, now I want it.

    Weíll see if I feel the same way in a couple of months, because thatís when the decision will need to be made. For there to be a decision, Morneau needs stay healthy, and he needs show the same kind of production occasionally that heís shown this week. Those are two huge ďIfs.Ē And even then, would there be a market for his $14 million/year contract that goes through 2013?

    I think so. A quick look at the standings and depth charts show a few teams that might be interested. Letís count down the top four that jump out at meÖ.
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    by 05-27-2012, 09:04 PM

    Aaron and John talk about Justin Morneau's resurgence, the Twins' options with the No. 2 pick, Jason Marquis' departure, Francisco Liriano's move back into the rotation, the best baseball movies of all time, first impressions of Cole De Vries, their PickPointz MVP picks, Johan Santana's return to greatness, and why Anthony Slama can't catch a break. Here are:

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    by 05-26-2012, 09:56 PM

    On Saturday night, Twins Daily tonight learned that the Twins have decided to promote right-handed pitcher Jeff Manship from AAA Rochester. He will be pitching out of the bullpen for the Twins.Manship was scheduled to start on Sunday afternoon in Gwinnett (Georgia) against the Braves affiliate, but instead he will be hopping on an airplane to join the Twins.

    Overall this season, Manship is 4-1 with a 3.08 ERA for the Red Wings. He pitched eight times out of the bullpen and made four starts. As a reliever, he threw 18 innings. He walked eight and struck out 18. In his four starts, he has thrown 20 innings and given up 16 hits, seven walks and struck out ten.
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    by 05-25-2012, 08:52 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Twins have been playing a little bit better baseball and the team has been able to put together a few wins since the last time we were together for "Friday Links-N-Thinks." The rotation has been overhauled with a youth movement coming into the fold. The likes of Scott Diamond, PJ Walters, and Cole DeVries have been added to the roster to throw the ball over the plate.

    After the first game of the White Sox series, things looked to be going in the right direction for the Twins. A lot of fielding errors in the last two game put the team in a hole they would never be able to climb out of and the Sox won the final two games and the series. It was nice to see Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau hit a home run in the same game and hopefully the offense will follow the Twins back to Target Field.
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    by 05-25-2012, 01:36 AM

    The debut of Cole De Vries was a game with several ups and downs. De Vries struck out Alejandro de Aza, the first batter he faced. He threw a scoreless first inning. Then in the second frame, AJ Pierzynski got him. He was charged with three unearned runs in the third inning after an error, a pop up and a blooper. He then got seven batters out. Given a 5-4 lead, he went out for the 6th inning and served up back-to-back home runs to Paul Konerko and Alexi Rios and his debut was over. His line at the end of the day was six runs (3 earned) on six hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four, but three solo home runs added up.

    Brian Duensing came in and gave up three hits and a walk. The biggest hit in his inning was a grand slam. Jeff Gray threw a scoreless inning. Jared Burton gave up a run in the eighth inning.

    The Twins fell 11-8 to the White Sox. The highlight for the Twins had to be Justin Morneauís day at the plate. He was 3-5 with his seventh and eighth home runs, both long blasts. Joe Mauer was 2-4 with a walk and his second home run. Alexi Casilla was 2-4 with a double. Denard Span was 2-5 with his tenth double.

    If you missed it last night, be sure to listen to last nightís Twins Minor League Weekly. Seth was joined by Kyle Gibson, David Bromberg and Drew Leachman. Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from Thursday:
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    by 05-24-2012, 11:27 PM

    Early in the season, Justin Morneau looked a lot like he did last year at the plate. That is to say: he was tentative, consistently fooled by good breaking balls, and generally ineffective.

    At the end of April, he informed the team that his wrist had been ailing him for the better part of two weeks. He sat out a few days, then ended up on the disabled list, returning on May 16th.

    It would seem that the rest did him some good. Since coming back from the DL, Morneau has looked very much like his old self, and not just because he's once again playing first base on a regular basis after serving mostly as DH in the first month. He's locked in at the plate and crushing the ball in a way we haven't seen for almost two years.
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    by 05-24-2012, 01:34 AM

    Baseball is a great game. Almost every game has some sort of unique situation arise, allowing fans to try to get in to the minds of the players and managers. Is the starting pitcher beginning to lose his stuff or can he go another inning? Is the centerfielder cheating a bit by playing shallow to keep a runner from advancing or to cut off a short line drive and will the hitter be able to get something past him in to the gap?

    Yes, almost every game provides opportunities to wonder whatís going on in the minds of those on the field and in the dugouts. Even 16-4 games where the outcome was never in doubt past the second inning.
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    by 05-23-2012, 10:20 PM

    It was a risk without an acceptable backup plan. The Twins knew that. And it failed. And theyíre paying the price. And that price is a .192 batting average.

    Thatís the combined batting average of whoever the Twins have played in right field so far. Itís last in the majors. Their combined OPS is .594. Thatís the career OPS of Juan Castro. And there isnít anything close to a solution in sight unless the Twins want to mess with their best hitter.
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    by 05-23-2012, 12:00 AM

    The Minnesotan, Golden Gopher alum and baseball fan inside me all want to see Cole DeVries succeed in a Twins uniform. The analyst inside me knows that he probably won't.

    DeVries is a great story. He was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent back in 2006 after a solid career at the University of Minnesota, and has gradually worked his way up the organizational ladder. On Tuesday, the 27-year-old was called up to the majors to fill Jason Marquis' vacant roster spot. He'll make his big-league debut on Thursday in a start against the White Sox.
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    by 05-21-2012, 05:59 PM

    No surprise here, but the Twins have reportedly designated Jason Marquis for assignment after the veteran was tagged by the Brewers for eight runs while recording only five outs on Sunday.

    Marquis has never been a particularly good pitcher and I certainly wasn't high on his signing at the time, but I wouldn't have guessed he'd be the worst starter in baseball.
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    by 05-21-2012, 08:36 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    The Twins didn't put up much of a fight on Sunday afternoon and their four game winning streak came to an abrupt end at the hands of the Brewers. When the starting pitcher doesn't make it out of the second inning in a game following an extra-inning affair, it is going to be tough for a team to find success. The Twins offense did score the first run of the game and they were able to put some runs on the board in their last at-bat but the innings in between were ugly.

    While the front office of the Twins might have been cringing when Twins pitchers were on the mound, their eyes should have been clearly fixed on the starting pitcher for the Brewers in this game. Zack Greinke had been a standout pitcher in the AL Central for multiple seasons with the Royals so the Twins are well aware of his outstanding ability on the mound. On Sunday, Greinke was given a big lead and he knew what to do with it by pitching into the seventh inning and allowing a single earned run to cross the plate.

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