Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Latest Content from Twins Now - Pioneer Press

Twinsights: Could Joe Maddon be the next Twins manager?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 24, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Back on Sept. 29, Day 1 of a Minnesota Twins manager search that has now reached 26 days, I asked Twins CEO Jim Pohlad about the value of managers in the modern game. If you want to know if there's ANY chance whatsoever that the Twins will get into the bidding for Joe Maddon, who opted out of the last year of his contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday, it seems this is the best way to read the

Twinsights: Ron Gardenhire raves about Paul Molitor as potential successor
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 23, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has made his first public comments since Sept. 29, the day he was fired after 13 seasons. Those comments came on MLB Network Radio, where Gardenhire has made frequent appearances over the years. Thursday, he was asked about hall of famer Paul Molitor as a potential replacement, and Gardenhire gave what sure sounded like an endorsement of his long-rumored success

Twinsights: Mientkiewicz family eyeing another championship
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 23, 2014 at 11:05 AM

While waiting for the Twins’ marathon manager search to reach its conclusion, Doug Mientkiewicz is hard at work in South Florida, plotting his next championship course. Steel Mientkiewicz, his 9-year-old son, plays on a U-10 youth soccer team that is off to a 7-0 start. His father is the head coach. “I know I’m coaching a soccer game on Saturday for my son,” Doug Mientkiewicz said this week in a p

Twinsights: Kris Johnson's rights sold to Japanese team
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 22, 2014 at 06:53 PM

You can close the book on the August 2013 deal that sent Justin Morneau to the Pittsburgh Pirates. According to a source, the Twins sold the rights to left-hander Kris Johnson to the Hiroshima Toyo Carp of the Japanese Central League. Johnson, who turned 30 last Tuesday, went 0-1 with a 4.73 earned run average in three starts for the Twins this season. The Twins will receive a sum in the "mid six

Twinsights: Relief prospect Mason Melotakis undergoes Tommy John surgery
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 22, 2014 at 04:11 PM

Twins pitching prospect Mason Melotakis is expected to miss the vast majority of the 2015 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on his left (throwing) elbow last week. Melotakis, 23, was a second-round draft pick in 2012 out of Northwestern (La.) State. He showed the ability to start or relieve, but in 2014 he made all but two of his 38 outings in relief. He posted a 3.14 earned run average i

Twinsights: Paul Molitor says meeting with Terry Ryan "went fine"
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 21, 2014 at 06:41 PM

Paul Molitor had his second full-length meeting with Twins general manager Terry Ryan on Tuesday regarding the team’s open manager position, and the hall of famer apparently came away encouraged by the discussion. “I think it went fine,” Molitor told the Pioneer Press in a text message. No job offer was extended, Molitor said, but the incumbent Twins infield coach remains the apparent frontrunner

Twinsights: Former pitcher breaks down Gene Glynn, John Russell as managers
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 17, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Newly retired right-hander Virgil Vasquez has a unique perspective on two reported candidates to be the Twins’ next major league manager. In 2009, Vasquez made 14 appearances (seven starts) for a 99-loss Pittsburgh Pirates team managed by John Russell. “I enjoyed him as a manager,” said Vasquez, hired Thursday as the pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Twins. “He was kind of a quiet manager,

Twinsights: Twins reportedly interested in Toronto's DeMarlo Hale
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 16, 2014 at 07:53 PM

The Toronto Blue Jays recently granted permission for the Twins to interview bench coach DeMarlo Hale for their vacant managing position, according to the Toronto Sun. The Twins requested permission to interview Hale on Oct. 7 and were granted permission at the start of this week, the report said. Hale, 53, has made a number of stops in a well-traveled baseball career. After a long and highly succ

Twinsights: Virgil Vasquez goes from no-hitter to pitching coach
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 16, 2014 at 04:41 PM

Virgil Vasquez can still pitch. The veteran right-hander showed that in his penultimate start for Triple-A Rochester this August, striking out 11 and walking just one in seven strong innings against the New York Yankees’ top farm team. He also showed it on Aug. 16 in throwing a seven-inning no-hitter against Harrisburg for Double-A New Britain. At 32, however, the former big-league pitcher with th

Twinsights: Phil Hughes heads list of Diamond Awards winners
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

As free-agent bargains go, it would be hard to do much better than Phil Hughes. Hughes' record-setting debut season with the Twins will be honored Jan. 22 at the 10th Annual Diamond Awards, when he will be recognized as the Twins' 2014 Most Valuable Player and Pitcher of the Year. The Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America handled the voting. The program at Target Fiel

Twinsights: Aaron Hicks heads to Venezuela
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 15, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Big news out of the Venezuelan Winter League on Tuesday night. Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks made his 2014 debut for Bravos de Margarita. Hicks, who turned 25 shortly after the regular season ended, flied out as a pinch hitter and played the final two innings in center field for a team that boasts Triple-A Rochester manager Gene Glynn as its bench coach. Hicks and longtime girlfriend Lauren Roberts

Twinsights: Terry Ryan on Doug Mientkiewicz the manager
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 09, 2014 at 01:53 PM

There's been a lot of talk lately about Doug Mientkiewicz's managing style as the Twins consider whether to make him just their third manager since September 1986. Former Fort Myers pitching coach Gary Lucas recently had great things to say about the club's manager after they combined (along with hitting coach Jim Dwyer) to push the Miracle to its first Florida State League title in 22 years as a

Twinsights: On the passing of Janet Thielbar, Caleb's mother
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 07, 2014 at 03:29 PM

On behalf of everyone here at the Pioneer Press, I'd like to extend our deepest condolences to Twins reliever Caleb Thielbar and his family after the death of his mother on Monday. Janet Thielbar was 56. Visitation will be 4-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Lundberg Funeral Home in Cannon Falls. Funeral services will be Thursday morning at 11 at the Randolph Baptist Church. You can sign the online guest bo

Twinsights: Doug Mientkiewicz picks up another endorsement for Twins manager
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 03, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Gary Lucas has a unique perspective on two of the Twins' top minor-league managerial prospects, having spent the past two seasons at Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Fort Myers, respectively Lucas served as pitching coach under Jake Mauer, Joe's older brother, with the Kernels in 2013. This season it was Doug Mientkiewicz at the reins as the Miracle stormed to its first Florida State League title

Twinsights: Longtime pitching coach Gary Lucas 'blindsided' by dismissal
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 02, 2014 at 11:05 AM

As a former major league closer with the Padres, Expos and Angels for eight seasons in the 1980s, Gary Lucas understands the highs and lows of baseball. Even in his 15th season as a pitching coach in the Twins’ minor league system, he would remind himself not to get too comfortable. He would pass on that advice to the 23 different pitchers he worked with on the Class A Fort Myers Miracle, even as

Twinsights: Bad news for Eduardo Escobar on salary arbitration
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 30, 2014 at 04:29 PM

The Twins may have sliced $1 million or more off their 2015 payroll without lifting a finger. According to a source, unofficial estimates have the Super Two cutoff for salary arbitration settling at two years, 133 days of service time. That would leave shortstop Eduardo Escobar five days shy of qualifying after enjoying a 35-double breakout season. Escobar, who earned $508,000 in 2014, projected t

Twinsights: Does the Twins Way still exist?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 10:05 PM

Before I ever got to my current post at the Pioneer Press in 2013, I used to hear about the Twins Way. I grew to admire it from afar, placing it right up there with the Cardinals Way and the Braves Way and what used to be called the Oriole Way, going back to the reign of the Earl (Weaver) of Baltimore in the late 1960s and 1970s. Heck, the very address of Target Field, this beautiful outdoor jewel

Twinsights: What role did business factors play in Ron Gardenhire's dismissal?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 08:41 PM

Despite declining attendance over the past several seasons at Target Field, Twins officials insisted business considerations played little role in the decision to dismiss Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons as manager. “I would say virtually zero,” Twins CEO Jim Pohlad said on a conference call with reporters Monday evening. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you the effect on ticket sales of four co

Twinsights: Terry Ryan sketches out what he's looking for in a manager
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 07:35 PM

Terry Ryan never kept a list of potential managerial replacements for Ron Gardenhire because he felt it would be disrespectful. That process began in earnest on Monday as Ryan, in his second tour of duty as Twins general manager, went about trying to find the right man to return the Twins to their misplaced winning ways. “We want him to be a strategy guy,” Ryan said. “I’d like to have him be an at

Twinsights: Former Twins manager Tom Kelly resting at home following "very minor stroke"
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 05:53 PM

Former Twins manager Tom Kelly was back home in Maplewood on Monday and doing well after suffering a minor stroke last week. According to Twins general manager Terry Ryan, it was a “very minor stroke” that led to Kelly, 64, being hospitalized for multiple days. Kelly was due to broadcast the entire three-game home series last week against the Arizona Diamondbacks but was not on the air with Fox Sp