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    by 05-11-2012, 04:54 PM

    Thursday night's loss to the Blue Jays was down right humiliating--running into a tag for a double play, pop up falling to the ground while three Twins players watch it from two feet away, another four inning stink-fest from a starting pitcher. Need I continue? Any more memories and I might need to pull out my brown paper bag to keep from hyperventilating.

    In one of my early blogs, I said that the Twins are giving the term "the Bad News Bears" a whole new meaning. I wish I had saved that for this blog. The Twins have been playing horribly all year but Thursday night took it to a whole new level. Manager Ron Gardenhire said in his post-game comments that "Things happened out there that don't really happen in high school." Understatement of the year. The Twins are doing things that even little leaguers know better than to do. For a team that once prided itself on its defensive prowess they sure put on a clinic of how not to take care of business.
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    by 05-11-2012, 07:09 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Another week has come and gone for Twins Territory and the hometown nine have started to stir the pot a little bit when it comes to their roster. Brian Dozier, the organization's minor league player of the year from 2011, made his debut earlier in the week. He has been impressive so far and the Twins hope he can continue to play at a high level.

    After leading all American League third basemen in games played in 2011, Danny Valencia has found himself back in Triple-A. In 2010, Valencia looked great for the Twins but he has failed to get back to that form in the last two years. His minor league track record suggested something like this might happen and now the Twins might try and trade Mr. Valencia.
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    by 05-11-2012, 01:20 AM

    On April 29th, while catching Joe Mauer took a Brayan Pena sharp foul ball off the inside part of his left knee. Up to that point, the seemingly healthy Mauer was hitting a robust .325/.419/.438. He had hit a home run, triple and four doubles in those 93 plate appearances. Since then, he has gone to hitting safely in just four of his last 31 at-bats (.129), including a gentle double and a ground ball that Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan likely should have converted.

    Now, many wonks will argue comparing 93 plate appearances to the outcome of another 36 plate appearances is the ultimate exercise
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    by 05-11-2012, 12:18 AM

    The Twins lost 6-2 to the Blue Jays. Jason Marquis was able to go just four innings. The game was ugly for Twins fans. There were base running errors. There were several defensive errors. There was bad pitching, and bad hitting. Josh Willingham did home for the second straight night. As Gardenhire told the Twin Cities media following the game, “Things happened out there that really don’t happen in high school.” I guess it’s fair to say that things have to get worse before they get better, but hopefully that means we’ll start seeing the ‘better’ soon!
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    by 05-10-2012, 10:33 PM

    After seeing the two starters who were supposed to serve as veteran leaders in the rotation exit after recording only 12 outs on successive nights, it's not hard to understand why the Twins have been carrying 13 pitchers on the roster for much of the year.

    What is hard to understand is why, with all these different relief slots, and with so many different guys being shuffled in and out, the Twins still haven't been able to find room for Anthony Slama on the major-league roster.
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    by 05-10-2012, 12:29 AM

    At some (very depressing) point, as a season turns into an extended offseason, the focus needs to change. For the Twins, that change has been coming since the middle of last week. The turning point was tonight.

    At some point, the focus changes from the team to the players. The moves become less about what the team needs, and more about what each player needs. It doesn’t necessarily mean coming down on one side or the other, but the balance changes. That balance changed tonight.

    Tonight third baseman Danny Valencia was sent to AAA-Rochester and starting pitcher Francisco Liriano was sent to the bullpen. I like both moves, because I agree with the change in focus.
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    by 05-09-2012, 11:58 PM

    The Twins just finished a three game series against the Angels, and on Thursday night, they will start a four game set at Target Field against the Toronto Blue Jays. To say that the Blue Jays have had the Twins numbers in recent years is a massive understatement. Let’s take a look:



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    by 05-09-2012, 10:48 PM

    The Twins lost again, 6-2 tonight. I had hope that they would win this series against the Angels, especially after impressive performances last night by Brian Dozier and Scott Diamond, but it was not to be. Josh Willingham, with a home run and a double, continues to swing the bat well, but with the offense mustering only 6 hits, the chances of victory were slim tonight.

    Here's a look at how the Twins' minor league affiliates fared Wednesday night.
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    by 05-09-2012, 10:24 PM

    Immediately following the Twins loss tonight against the Angels, the team announced that they had optioned 3B Danny Valencia and Designated LHP Matt Maloney for Assignment. The selected the contract of RHP PJ Walters and OF/2B Darin Mastroianni.

    Valencia has really struggled with the bat and glove throughout the season, and yet the timing here is a little surprising. The hope would be that he is able to figure things out down in Rochester and come back and resume his role as the team's starting 3B.
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    by 05-09-2012, 12:21 AM

    Only eight short months ago, Chris Parmelee was the talk of what was left of this baseball town in the aftermath of a 99-loss season.

    A September call-up, straight from Double-A no less, Parmelee went out and mashed pitching at the major league level. In a short span of time, he impressed people by demonstrating a keen batting eye, an excellent line drive swing and was able to put the occasional charge into the ball.

    He seemed immune to the crumbling franchise around him. While the other youngsters of the team, reportedly referred to as “the fun bunch”, enjoyed simply being called major leaguers, Parmelee went out and produced, even when
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    by 05-08-2012, 11:21 PM

    I was scanning through box scores this morning, pausing on the box score of the Twins' latest defeat and suddenly I had a particular curiosity. After writing yesterday about how an organizational change in philosophy is needed, I thought, "Besides the Twins current lot of mediocre pitchers, who else is out there that has come through the Minor League system with the club...what have been their results?" As I compiled the list, with the the help of some of my twitter followers (@KirbysLeftEye, @Robert_Short, @trtx84, @thisisbeth, and @SethTweets), another question became rather obvious... what has the Twins farm system really produced in the way of pitching in the last 10-15 years?
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    by 05-08-2012, 11:15 PM

    Scott Diamond and Liam Hendriks switched teams for their starts on Tuesday night and both players found success at their different levels. Liam Hendriks had struggled in his outings with the Twins so he was sent back down to Rochester. He didn't make it out of the sixth inning but he only gave up one earned run with eight strikeouts.
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    by 05-08-2012, 11:15 PM

    Scott Diamond and Liam Hendriks switched teams for their starts on Tuesday night and both players found success at their different levels. Liam Hendriks had struggled in his outings with the Twins so he was sent back down to Rochester. He didn't make it out of the sixth inning but he only gave up one earned run with eight strikeouts.

    Diamond found himself on the mound at Target Field with a team struggling to score runs. He put together an outstanding start as he lasted seven innings and didn't allow a run. There were some excellent defensive plays made behind him especially by newly called-up Brian Dozier. The Twins would go on to win the game by a score of 5-0 and they will look for the series win tomorrow against the Angels.

    Here is a quick look at what happened in the Twins minor league system on Tuesday:
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    by 05-08-2012, 11:02 PM

    The true importance of the strikeout is a subject of much debate in baseball circles. It is generally agreed, though, that the K is a powerful weapon for pitchers, one with strengths (it's the most reliable method of recording an out) and weaknesses (pitching for strikeouts requires more pitches and taxes the arm).

    Dennis Brackin wrote a great piece for the Star Tribune last week on the subject of pitching to contact, which is a philosophy that the Twins have notoriously espoused. Brackin's article sought to clarify some misconceptions about the phrase. Most notably, that coaches are actively encouraging pitchers not to strike anyone out.

    A severe strikeout deficiency is currently the greatest downfall for Minnesota's pitching staff, but it's not the coaching approach that is at issue. It's the personnel.

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