Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Latest Content from Twins Now - Pioneer Press

Twinsights: Neil Allen explains his approach to mound visits
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 20, 2014 at 04:29 PM

One of Terry Ryan’s favorite phrases is “Let’s go,” so it definitely grabbed my attention this morning when Neil Allen used those same words to describe his approach to mound visits. I had heard Allen, the former big-league closer who is one of two finalists for Twins big-league pitching coach, liked to sprint to the mound to impart wisdom to his pitchers at Triple-A Durham. “I don’t know where yo

Twinsights: Breaking down Jason Wheeler, newly added to Twins' 40-man roster
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 20, 2014 at 03:29 PM

It says a ton about the work Jason Wheeler has put in that the Twins added the former eighth-round draft pick (2011) to their 40-man roster today. In going with Wheeler, a 6-foot-6, 251-pound left-hander out of Loyola Marymount, the Twins will leave exposed in next month's Rule 5 draft former first-rounders such as Levi Michael (2011), Alex Wimmers (2010) and Sean Gilmartin (2011). Also available

Twinsights: Pitching coach Neil Allen hopes to bring Rays experience to Twins
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Neil Allen has come close to landing a major-league pitching coach job in recent years, going to the wire with the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies. Still, the former big-league closer with the New York Mets in the early 1980s was pleasantly surprised to hear from the Twins about the same opening. “It shocked the heck out of me,” Allen said Thursday in a phone interview from his Sarasota,

Twinsights: Bobby Cuellar carries no bitterness after Twins dismissal
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 19, 2014 at 09:47 PM

This has been quite a November for Bobby Cuellar. On Nov. 4, the Twins’ former bullpen coach finally had his left knee replaced after years of pounding his lead foot into dusty mounds while throwing batting practice at ballparks all over the hemisphere. “I wouldn’t want anybody else to go through this,” said Cuellar, who is looking at the middle of January (at best) before he’ll be back up to spee

Twinsights: Frank Viola falls short in bid to become Twins pitching coach
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 19, 2014 at 11:53 AM

The disappointment in Frank Viola’s voice was impossible to mistake Wednesday morning. “I’m out,” the Twins’ 1987 World Series hero said by phone. “From what I gathered, they’re down to their final two.” Viola, 54, said he spent more than an hour interviewing by phone for the Twins’ pitching coach opening. Twins general manager Terry Ryan and newly installed manager Paul Molitor were on the confer

Twinsights: Carl Willis has interviewed for Twins pitching coach opening
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 19, 2014 at 11:05 AM

The Twins could soon reach back to their championship past for their next big-league pitching coach. Carl Willis, a key reliever for Tom Kelly’s teams of the early 1990s, told the Pioneer Press on Wednesday he has interviewed for the position held by Rick Anderson over the past 13 seasons. Willis spent the bulk of 11 seasons (2003-13) as pitching coach for the Cleveland Indians and Seattle Mariner

Twinsights: Aaron Hicks released from Venezuelan winter team
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 13, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks postponed his wedding in order to play winter ball. Someone apparently forgot to inform Bravos de Margarita management of that part of the narrative. As often happens in the hyper-competitive winter leagues, Hicks was released recently from the Venezuelan Winter League team amid a 2-for-21 slump. His last game was on Nov. 2, and the Twins were powerless to stop the tra

Twinsights: Ex-Gopher Jim Brower draws raves as pitching coach
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 10, 2014 at 11:23 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --In Paul Molitor, the Twins already have an ex-Gopher in the manager’s chair. Could they soon add another as their big-league pitching coach? Jim Brower, 41, has made a smooth transition to the coaching ranks after wrapping up a 17-year pitching career with Rimini in the Italian Baseball League in 2010. Currently the pitching coach at Double-A Northwest Arkansas Naturals in the

Twinsights: Hitting coach Bill Springman signs on with Kansas City Royals
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 07, 2014 at 12:59 PM

Bill Springman, who spent 14 years as a hitting instructor in the Twins organization before his contract wasn’t renewed in September, has been hired by the Kansas City Royals. Springman, 58, will be a senior roving hitting adviser in the Royals’ player-development department. Former outfielder Terry Bradshaw serves as minor-league hitting coordinator for the Royals, who fell just shy of the second

Twinsights: Carl Crawford on what Miguel Sano should expect in 2015
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 07, 2014 at 11:53 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Good news for Miguel Sano. Even though he won’t play winter ball and might feel a little rusty when he returns to game action next March, Carl Crawford believes there will be no impact on Sano’s thunderous bat when he ultimately receives full clearance after Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow. “It never was a problem for me hitting,” said Crawford, the Los Angeles Dodger

Twinsights: Resurgent Eddie Rosario plans to skip winter ball for first time
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 06, 2014 at 03:35 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When the Arizona Fall League ends late next week, Eddie Rosario will be done playing games until spring training. At the Twins’ suggestion, the Double-A outfielder/second baseman will skip winter ball in Puerto Rico for the first time in his professional career. Instead, after going home for a few weeks, he will head to Fort Myers, Fla., where he will live and train at the Twi

Twinsights: Who should the Twins hire as their next pitching coach?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 05, 2014 at 02:59 PM

As Paul Molitor begins the difficult and delicate process of putting together his first big-league coaching staff, the most important decision he faces is clear. Who will succeed Rick Anderson as pitching coach after 13 seasons on the job? Anderson's initial read was correct. According to a person with direct knowledge, the majors' longest-serving pitching coach will not return in 2015. A starting

Twinsights: Max Kepler hopes to impress Paul Molitor next spring
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 04, 2014 at 09:29 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Max Kepler was 16 years old and newly signed from Berlin, Germany when he first met Paul Molitor. That was at fall instructional league in September 2009, and Molitor was among the first Twins coaches he met. Over the next four seasons, Kepler came to value the time Molitor would spend with him in his former role as Twins minor-league baserunning and infield instructor. “It wa

Twinsights: What Paul Molitor hiring means for Twins' use of infield shifts
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 04, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Now that Paul Molitor has ascended to the manager’s chair, will that mean another exponential increase in the Twins’ use of infield shifts? "Shifts work," Molitor said at his introductory news conference on Tuesday at Target Field. "The information is in. They're taking away more hits than they're giving up." After shifting just 87 times on balls in play all of 2013, the Twins shifted on 553 at-ba

Twinsights: Trevor Plouffe progressing well following forearm surgery
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 03, 2014 at 05:17 PM

Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe continues to progress following Sept. 29 surgery to repair a fractured left forearm suffered during the season’s final homestand. “I wouldn’t say I’m full-go on everything in the gym,” Plouffe said Monday. “I’m letting it continue to heal, but I’m doing a lot of stuff. I’m not babying it or anything. This is my second week in. I’m basically using pain as a guide.

Twinsights: Twins players weigh in on Paul Molitor's hiring
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 03, 2014 at 03:59 PM

Trevor Plouffe frequently credits Paul Molitor with helping him make huge defensive strides last season. Now that Molitor has been named the Twins’ new manager, replacing Ron Gardenhire after 13 seasons, Plouffe is as eager as anyone to see how the first-ballot hall of famer will be able to impact the Twins’ overall play. “He’s the guy that everyone really wanted to replace a guy like Gardy,” Plou

Twins name Paul Molitor as 13th manager in team history
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 03, 2014 at 01:23 PM

Paul Molitor will be introduced Tuesday morning as the 13th manager in Twins history, the team announced Monday. Molitor, a 58-year-old native of St. Paul and a former University of Minnesota star, received a three-year contract to replace Ron Gardenhire, fired five weeks ago after 13 seasons. Molitor, a first-ballot hall of famer who ranks 10th all-time with 3,319 hits, spent 16 of the past 19 se

Twinsights: Eddie Rosario 'very happy' to see Paul Molitor chosen
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 03, 2014 at 11:35 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Eddie Rosario’s face brightened as soon as he heard the name. With Paul Molitor set to become just the third Twins manager in nearly three decades, Rosario, a promising position prospect, is among those most excited to see what this change might bring. “I like Molitor,” Rosario told the Pioneer Press after Saturday’s Fall Stars Game. “I am very happy. I think Molitor likes me.

Source: Paul Molitor has job offer, contract talks ongoing
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 01, 2014 at 07:59 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. --The Twins have asked hall of famer Paul Molitor to be their next manager. According to a person with direct knowledge, contract talks were still ongoing as of Saturday evening. The two sides were “still working on it,’ the person told the Pioneer Press. Twins general manager Terry Ryan, wrapping up a weeklong scouting trip to the Arizona Fall League, refused to comment on wheth

Twinsights: Terry Ryan says Twins 'weren't looking for yes men'
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 01, 2014 at 06:59 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- If the Twins have asked Paul Molitor to be their next manager, Terry Ryan isn’t saying. The Twins general manager, speaking Saturday on the final day of his Arizona Fall League scouting trip, declined comment on a 1500 ESPN radio report that the Twins were finalizing an agreement to hire Molitor as Ron Gardenhire’s replacement. While Ryan said last weekend he had yet to offer