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    by 07-26-2012, 05:39 AM

    Since the start of the 2011 season, the Twins have a recordof103-157. Only the Houston Astros have a worse record in that time (90-170).As the trade deadline approaches, it is striking how active the Astros have been in making trades while the Twins have been pretty quiet to this point.

    Since the beginning of July 2011, the Twins have made the following moves:

    • August 2011 – Traded Delmon Young to Detroit forRHP Lester Oliveros and LHP Cole Nelson.
    • August 2011 – Traded Jim Thome to Cleveland for cash.
    • December 2011 – Traded Kevin Slowey to Colorado for RHP Daniel Turpen
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    by 07-26-2012, 12:23 AM

    Two big pitching trades have been made this week and several more have been close. With all that activity, could it be that Terry Ryan has missed his chance to maximize his return on Francisco Liriano?

    I don’t think so, but I also doubt we’ll see a move soon.

    Still Lots Of Interest
    The Tigers acquired Anibal Sanchez on Monday and the Pirates traded for Wandy Rodriguez on Tuesday. Both are top notch pitchers that could be viewed as comparable (or better) than Liriano. Furthermore, yesterday Dan Gladden revealed that the Twins had long talks with the Pirates before they walked away and the Pirates worked out a deal with Houston for Rodriguez.
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    by 07-25-2012, 11:16 PM

    The Twins were swept by the White Sox. I didn't watch the game, but apparently this was ugly -- even by 2012 Twins standards. Luckily, there are other things on which to focus our attention, especially the Twins' affiliates. Let's take a look at the action down on the farm.

    Esmerling Vasquez got the win for the Red Wings tonight, throwing 5 and 1/3 innings, and giving up 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits, striking out 7 and walking 3. Luis Perdomo tossed the rest of the game, 3 and 2/3 innings, giving up only 2 hits and striking out 2 while walking 1.
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    by 07-25-2012, 10:00 AM

    The Twins bullpen was shelled for nine runs last night as the White Sox drubbed Minnesota 11-4. Wasting a quality start from Cole De Vries (6 IP, 2 runs, 1 earned), the Twins pen disintegrated, allowing nine runs in three innings pitched with five walks. Not the type of performance you want to make against a division rival.

    In the getaway game, we'll see a rejuvenated Nick Blackburn take on a rejuvenated Jake Peavy. Pitching well in his last start, Blackburn looks to cement his spot in the rotation for the rest of the
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    by 07-24-2012, 11:05 PM

    The Twins seemed to be sitting pretty on Tuesday evening after a couple of long balls from Josh Willingham and a very solid start from Cole DeVries. The bullpen took over in the seventh inning and the White Sox decided to put on a slugfest for the rest of the game. During the explosion by the bullpen in the final two innings, the Twins offense failed to score any more runs and the game ended with a final score of 11-4, an ugly blowout loss at the hands of the White Sox.

    Tomorrow afternoon, the Twins will try and salvage one game out of the series before heading home for six-games against Central Division foes. Nick Blackburn will take the mound to face off against Jake Peavy. But before we turn our heads to tomorrow, let's look at what happened today across the farm system for the Twins.
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    by 07-24-2012, 08:13 PM

    The Big Picture
    San Francisco leads Los Angeles by a game and a half for the NL West lead. As is typically the case, the G-Men have excelled on the mound, ranking fourth in the NL in ERA, while struggling on offense, ranking 11th in runs per game.

    The Dodgers have proven pesky and the Diamondbacks – currently six games back – are always a threat to make a late-season run (last year they went 45-25 after the break), so one would have to think the Giants are very interested in making a move.
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    by 07-24-2012, 03:00 PM

    Francisco Liriano had a disappointing night against the Sox last night, giving up seven runs before getting the hook in the third inning. It could deal quite a blow to the front office's trade expectations from the player but thankfully, Liriano will be able to make one more redemption start before the trade deadline is over, should teams need reassurance.

    Tonight, Cole De Vries looks to build on his recent success against the Orioles. Countering him, the White Sox will send out lefty Jose Quintan, who has helped power the Sox to
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    by 07-24-2012, 07:27 AM

    One week from today, a lot of questions will be answered. One week from today is the non-waiver trade deadline. The Twins clearly need to be sellers at this point. They are 40-56 record, 16 games under .500 and 12 games behind the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers. They are nowhere near the Wild Card race.

    So with one week to go, what do we know? We have to watch what is going on around the rest of baseball to get a sense for what could be going on with the Twins. Some trades are starting to happen and they may (or may not) affect what happens going forward. They may help us project what the Twins could get in return for some of their players.
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    by 07-24-2012, 07:02 AM

    Two huge trades went through yesterday and both of them impact the Twins to some degree.

    Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki
    Yesterday the Yankees acquired Ichiro Suzuki (and cash) for little more than a lesser prospect and a waiver wire pickup. It had been reported that they had explored trades for both Denard Span and Shane Victorino of the Phillies, so this gives the Twins one less suitor to court. But it doesn’t properly reflect the market.

    In nearly all respects except name recognition, Denard Span is worth quite a bit more than Ichiro to a major league team.
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    by 07-23-2012, 10:09 PM

    In what may have been his final start with the Twins, starter Francisco Liriano threw his first clunker in over two months. The lefty gave up home runs to Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Alex Rios and could not complete three innings. The Twins got plenty of base runners. Denard Span had three hits, and Brian Dozier had two. The Twins grounded into five double plays in the game though which ended several scoring opportunities. Brian Duensing and Alex Burnett were very good in relief. Ryan Doumit did his best to keep up with Beloit's Kennys Vargas tonight. The big question now is whether tonight's pitching performance by Liriano affected the return they could get for him. We shall find out.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from the Monday games in the minor leagues.
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    by 07-23-2012, 03:00 PM

    Over the weekend, the Twins managed to take two of three from the Royals and now sit just one-half game back of Kansas City for fourth place in the AL Central. The Twins look to continue building on that momentum in what might be Francisco Liriano's last start in a Twins uniform. Tonight, he goes against right-hander Gavin Floyd in US Cellular Field.

    Liriano has been a monster for the Twins over the past two months, posting a 2.84 ERA while striking out well over 10 batters per nine innings. The Twins haven't seen this
    Francisco Liriano could be in a different uniform by week's end.
    by 07-22-2012, 10:09 PM

    On Monday night, Francisco Liriano is scheduled to make his 130th start in a Twins uniform. It might also be his last.

    With 25 strikeouts over his last two starts and a 2.84 ERA since the start of May, Liriano is the hottest pitcher in baseball. He also might be the most appealing rental available on the trade market, with Zack Greinke's market cooling and Cole Hamels perhaps closing in on an extension with the Phillies.

    Just over a week remains until the deadline, increasing the urgency for pitching-hungry contenders who could begin making hard pushes for the Minnesota left-hander, especially if he turns in another strong outing against the White Sox.
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    by 07-22-2012, 10:00 PM

    My usual edition of "Friday Links-N-Thinks" had to be pushed back because of some other commitments. Since I am in the process of moving back to North Dakota after two years in the Cities, it has been a crazy couple of weeks of packing boxes and moving furniture. Remember to keep checking in as I will continue to post about the Twins in the midst of moving back to my home state. My regular schedule just might need to switch itself up a little bit in depending on when I have internet access and when I am not busy moving boxes.

    The Twins put together a decent weekend in Kansas City with a series win for the first time in weeks. It was great to see Ryan Doumit get home runs from both sides of the plate on Sunday and Sam Deduno was able to pick up his first professional victory. Only a couple days before, Casey Fien had earned his first professional victory when the Twins won on Friday night. Now the team will head to Chicago to face a White Sox team that limped out of the weekend by being swept in Detroit.
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    by 07-22-2012, 09:59 PM

    The Twins got a great mound performance from Samuel Deduno who picked up his first MLB win, giving up just one run in 6.1 innings. He got plenty of run support on this day. Ryan Doumit was 3-4 hit two home runs, one from each side of the plate. He drove in four runs. Brian Dozier drove in two more runs with a double off the wall. The Twins bullpen struggled but hung on for a 7-5 win.

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from the Sunday games in the minor leagues.

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