• Parker Hageman

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    by 04-23-2014, 12:21 AM
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    The narrative for Joe Mauer this offseason was that the transition to first base was going to heal his legs, provide him with superhuman power, and maybe help him find the missing Malaysian plane in his spare time.

    So far, none of that has happened.

    To Twins fans, the most relevant is the power. Through 19 games this year, he has just three extra base hits in his back pocket - two doubles and a home run. Beyond that, Mauer has accumulated 24 strikeouts in 90 plate appearances, an extremely high rate by his standards. While the conversation revolving around his lack of dingers and ribbies is mindbogglingly shortsighted, there are some elements to his early season numbers that may help confirm some of what the “eye-testers”
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    by 04-18-2014, 08:44 AM
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    Over his career, Phil Hughes has seemingly been one solid secondary pitch away from taking over the world.

    Since his prospect days, his curveball was considered this dangerous weapon. For Hughes, unfortunately, the pitch never manifested as that killer pitch as projected. Eventually, the pitch was unceremoniously dropped from his arsenal in 2012.

    When asked why the deuce took the backseat to other pitches in his repertoire, Hughes cited his inability to execute as one of the main reasons.

    “It was one of those things where basically it became a first-pitch strike pitch and that’s all I was using it for, and that’s not what I want it to be,” Hughes said in the clubhouse this spring.
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    by 04-11-2014, 10:33 AM
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    Let’s just say Jason Kubel’s return to Minnesota was not exactly met with wild enthusiasm from Twins fandom.

    Based on the previous season’s production -- a stomach-turning batting line of .216/.293/.317 (avg/obp/slg) with just five home runs in 290 plate appearances -- you could not fault anyone on the outside looking in for faulting the acquisition. Nevertheless Kubel and those close to him maintained that, at 31-years-old, the left-handed outfielder-slash-designated hitter was not over the hill. After all, I’m 33 and if I can still dress myself, cook my own meals and wipe my own bottom, surely Jason Kubel, a finely tuned athlete, could still hit a sphere thrown at him.

    When he
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    by 04-07-2014, 10:32 PM
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    Chris Colabello is a player who refuses to take a hint when he is no longer wanted.

    This past winter, the Twins were up against a roster crunch and decided that Colabello, who hit below .200, accumulated a waist-high pile of strikeouts and had positional inflexibility, not to mention he was at an advanced age for a prospect, was expendable. When they signed catcher Kurt Suzuki in December, they negotiated with a Korean team to move Colabello off the 40-man roster. If he agreed, Colabello would receive upwards of a million dollars -- well above the amount he stood to make playing with the Twins and the pittance he made in independent ball.
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    by 04-04-2014, 08:50 AM
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    How Phil Hughes Worked
    Of all starting pitchers who threw more than 100 innings last year, Phil Hughes led the group with a first-pitch strike rate of 71% -- one of only two pitchers who cracked the 70% mark (Arizona’s Patrick Corbin being the other). Naturally, Hughes continued that first-pitch strike tendency in his first start with the Minnesota Twins, turning the count over to 0-1 on 19 of the 24 batters he faced.

    Yesterday, sticking mainly with his heat in those situations (20 of 24), Hughes has been known to flip a get-me-over curveball on the first-pitch (21% of the time last year). However he twisted just one curve in yesterday’s game.

    While with the Yankees, when Hughes had his opponents on the ropes, he turned to his fastball
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    by 04-03-2014, 08:31 AM
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    Joe Mauer’s 8 Balls-In-Play Have Been Grounders



    So, yeah, infinitesimally small sample of eight plate appearances in which Joe Mauer has put the ball in play have resulted in grounders. One of those games was against Chris-Freaking-Sale who was so dominant against left-handed opponents that he only faced 163 in 2013 because no manager in his right mind would trot his lefties out there to spin holes in the batter’s box (Sale led the league with a .133 batting average against). With all that in mind, Mauer’s put eight balls in play, all have been on the ground, and (AND!) only one has been slashed the other way. ONE.
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    by 03-30-2014, 08:34 PM
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    This offseason the Minnesota Twins found themselves with the difficult task of attempting to replace something irreplaceable.

    When Joe Mauer made his decision that he would no longer be putting on the tools of ignorance, the front office and manager reviewed their options. Internally, they were high on Josmil Pinto’s bat but felt his defense needed further refinement before being promoted to full-time catcher.
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    by 03-29-2014, 05:06 PM
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    Based on what has been seen this spring, if Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire still had hair on top of his head he would likely have scratched himself bald trying to figure out how to score runs with his lineup.

    For an entire week leading up to the season, it has felt like a broken record (or skipping iPod, or whatever): How is this lineup going to score runs? There has been little demonstration of power before Saturday’s three home run binge. Timely hitting has been off-the-clock. They haven’t even accidentally manufactured runs.
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    by 03-28-2014, 03:56 PM
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    When it was announced Minnesota Twins pitcher Scott Diamond went unclaimed through waivers and would not be named the fifth starter, the left-hander doffed his cap to his competition in Kyle Gibson.

    The decision was a tough one, with the left-hander being out of options, but Gibson’s strong spring showing ultimately won him the job. What solidified his spot in the rotation, in the manager’s mind, was a combination of his stuff and his demeanor.

    “The big power sinker. Right out of the get-go his ball was at a great angle and it was diving down. He just didn’t look like he was overwhelmed,” said Ron Gardenhire after the final spring training game
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    by 03-27-2014, 10:14 PM
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    When the Minnesota Twins unloaded Denard Span and Ben Revere in one offseason, they envisioned Aaron Hicks being the bridge in center field to their super prospect, Byron Buxton. The torch, for the time being, was being passed along from Kirby to Torii to Denard to Aaron.

    “I would love to be the next in line,” he proclaimed in the Twins’ clubhouse on Opening Day last year before everything went awry.

    Perhaps in hindsight it was unfair of the Twins to lean on a kid fresh off a Double-A season and expect him to fill the integral role of leadoff hitter while
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    by 03-27-2014, 03:13 PM
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    The Twins clubhouse had a vibe to it that can only be appropriately summarized by a line from the movie, Major League: You don’t want to celebrate too hard in front of guys who just died.

    After news broke yesterday that Scott Diamond was on waivers, he learned he cleared today and faces a career decision of either accepting an assignment to Rochester or find another organization that will take him. In addition to Diamond, Chris Parmelee and Alex Presley were also placed on waivers.

    The Twins now have 36 of 40 roster spots accounted for however Jason Kubel and Jason Bartlett will be placed on the 40-man sometime this week, likely Saturday.
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    by 03-26-2014, 04:16 PM
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    There have been few examples of teams having their Opening Day starter the previous season see his value deflate to the point where he clears waivers a year later and is traded for a stack of dollar bills.

    But that’s exactly what the Twins did with Vance Worley when they traded him to the Pirates for cash considerations.

    The interest was understandably minimal, said Twins assistant GM Rob Antony, after the 26-year-old right-hander passed through the waiver system unscathed but, based on his age and his past track record, there were several teams that inquired about him.

    “There was some (interest) right after he cleared waivers, some teams looked at
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    by 03-26-2014, 12:08 PM

    Greetings from surprisingly chilly Hammond Stadium. I know it is below freezing back in Minnesota but for the locals here, this means breaking out the heavy gear. The good news is it is sunny and the team has had an opportunity to have a full day of workouts.

    More notes:

    The Twins traded Vance Worley to the Pittsburgh Pirates for cash after last night’s game (and there will be more on that later). Interest in the right-hander who cleared waivers the previous week was lukewarm but there were several teams that called on him.


    The Twins ability to score
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    by 03-25-2014, 09:58 AM
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    The Twins have 29 listed on the roster as of this morning, with four cuts coming. Among those remaining the team has 13 pitchers, 7 infielders, 6 outfielders and 3 catchers. At some point this week four of those guys will be gone.

    The obvious subtraction is the third catcher, Dan Rohlfing, which would leave Kurt Suzuki and Josmil Pinto as the pair of backstops heading to Chicago. The other position player moves may be interesting. Manager Ron Gardenhire has grown increasingly fond of Jason Bartlett and his versatility, giving the veteran every opportunity to secure a job. There are also some rumblings
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