Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Latest Content from Twins Now - Pioneer Press

Twinsights: Talking hitting (and strikeouts) with Adam Brett Walker II
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 20, 2015 at 09:15 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Lost in the mania over Miguel Sano’s arrival in 2015 was his alarmingly high strikeout rate: 35.5 percent. Add the 68 strikeouts the Twins rookie accumulated over the first half at Double-A Chattanooga to his big-league total in the second half, and you get 187 strikeouts. Or just eight fewer than Adam Brett Walker II piled up for the Lookouts in becoming the first Twins farmh

Twinsights: Shane Robinson expected to sign with Cleveland Indians
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 19, 2015 at 09:15 PM

Outfielder Shane Robinson, a valuable reserve for the Twins last season, is expected to sign a minor-league deal with the Cleveland Indians, according to two people familiar with the situation. Robinson, 31, elected free agency after he was taken off the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Rochester last month. He hit .250 with a .299 on-base percentage in 197 plate appearances (83 games) aft

Twinsights: Pitching coaches help Nick Burdi get back on the fast track
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 18, 2015 at 09:15 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Even for a 22-year-old with a 100-mph fastball and a blindingly bright future, confidence sometimes wanes. Such was the case for Twins relief prospect Nick Burdi, who got bounced back a level in early July after posting a 5.93 earned run average over his first 22 outings at Double-A Chattanooga. In 30 1/3 innings, he allowed 32 hits and 22 walks to go with 33 strikeouts. Six w

Twinsights: Kennys Vargas drawing interest from Asian club
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 16, 2015 at 09:15 PM

The Twins still have three-plus weeks to work out a contract with Korean slugger Byung-ho Park, but there could be a potential companion move to help partially offset the cost. Kennys Vargas, a power-hitting revelation as a rookie in 2014 who struggled last season, has drawn interest from at least one professional team in Asia, according to a person with direct knowledge. That interest is mutual,

Twinsights: Free agent Blaine Boyer remains interested in Twins return
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 14, 2015 at 09:15 PM

Veteran free-agent reliever Blaine Boyer is receiving solid interest from a handful of clubs after posting a career-best 2.49 earned run average with the Twins this season. The Kansas City Royals, fresh off their first World Series title in 30 years, are among the clubs that have checked in on Boyer, who pitched in Triple-A for them in 2013 before finishing that season in Japan. Boyer, 34, would l

Twinsights: Stuart Turner and the search for a two-way catcher
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 13, 2015 at 07:11 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- At 23 Stuart Turner is just seven months younger than John Ryan Murphy, the potential Kurt Suzuki successor the Twins acquired from the New York Yankees this week. While Murphy was a second-round pick in 2009 out of a Bradenton, Fla., high school, Turner landed with the Twins in the third round out of Ole Miss four years later. Murphy went 76th overall to the Yankees. Turner w

Twinsights: Can Max Kepler make the jump?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 12, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Even though Max Kepler has just seven career plate appearances in the majors, the chances of him being the Twins' Opening Day right fielder next season cannot be dismissed. Torii Hunter's retirement opened up one spot in the Twins' outfield, and dealing Aaron Hicks to the New York Yankees on Wednesday for young catcher John Ryan Murphy opened up another. Miguel Sano is supposedly taking fly balls

Twinsights: Twins deal Chris Herrmann for Daniel Palka
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 10, 2015 at 09:35 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Daniel Palka's power-hitting potential is widely known. In 2014, Midwest League managers voted him the loop's best power prospect in Baseball America's annual midseason survey. At this year's Arizona Fall League, the 24-year-old outfielder/first baseman was hitting .304 with an .813 combined on-base/slugging percentage in 69 at-bats. That, however, didn't keep the Arizona Diam

Twinsights: Durable Taylor Rogers closing in on Tyler Duffey's innings mark
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 10, 2015 at 02:53 PM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Taylor Rogers just laughed when asked if he thought Tyler Duffey was aware of his mounting innings total, which reached 195 on Monday with a four-inning start in the Arizona Fall League. “Oh, he’s aware, yeah,” said Rogers, a left-handed pitching prospect for the Twins. “That will be fun, to mess with him.” You’ll recall that Duffey, Rogers and another Rochester lefty, Pat Dea

Twinsights: Twins win bidding rights for Korean slugger Byung-ho Park
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 09, 2015 at 10:17 AM

The Twins were the surprise winners of the bidding for negotiating rights with Korean slugger Byung-ho Park, who bashed 53 home runs for the Nexen Heroes this season. The Heroes accepted the Twins’ bid of $12.85 million. Early speculation has the cost for Park, 29, climbing to an additional $40 million over five years, but it’s possible the Twins will be able to secure his services more affordably

Twinsights: Behold the Miguel Sano Experiment ... in left field?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 06, 2015 at 01:59 PM

Two games into his stint with Estrellas in the Dominican Winter League, Miguel Sano has played third base each time. That could soon change if the Twins get their wish. In an effort to increase their options next season, the organization has asked Sano and Estrellas to include some work in left field, Twins manager Paul Molitor revealed Thursday. Sano, who finished his rookie season north of 260 p

Twinsights: Could Justin Morneau stage the next Twins homecoming?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 05, 2015 at 03:47 PM

Justin Morneau tried to suppress a smile Thursday when asked if he might be part of the next Twins’ homecoming. “Well, I’m a free agent,” the veteran first baseman said. “I’m open to pretty much anything at this point.” The Colorado Rockies recently paid him $750,000 to buy out a $9 million option for 2016. After winning the National League batting title in 2014, when Morneau returned to Target Fi

Twinsights: Justin Morneau pays his respects to Torii Hunter
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 05, 2015 at 02:47 PM

In town for his infant daughter’s baptism, Justin Morneau made a point of attending Torii Hunter’s retirement news conference on Thursday morning at Target Field. He sat in the first row next to Joe Mauer and Katrina Hunter, Torii’s wife. “I want to thank Mauer and Morneau, my two youngsters that I really crushed,” Torii Hunter said. “Morneau, you were unexpected. I love that brother right there.

Twinsights: Torii Hunter honors Kirby Puckett in heartfelt retirement speech
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 05, 2015 at 01:47 PM

Next March will mark the 10th anniversary of Kirby Puckett’s death. Thursday, on the day Torii Hunter officially retired after 19 seasons in the major leagues, he made a point of thanking one of his earliest mentors with the Twins. “Watching him carry himself, you had no choice but to be infected,” Hunter told a packed news conference at Target Field. “He had a great smile. The way he moved about

Twinsights: Twins hoping to re-sign outfielder Shane Robinson
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 04, 2015 at 03:41 PM

The Twins have interest in a reunion with versatile outfielder Shane Robinson, according to a person with direct knowledge. Robinson, 31, elected free agency after he was taken off the 40-man roster and outrighted to Triple-A Rochester last week. He hit .250 with a .299 on-base percentage in 197 plate appearances (83 games) after signing a minor-league deal with the Twins last offseason. Robinson

Twinsights: Torii Hunter returns to Target Field Thursday
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press November 02, 2015 at 07:11 PM

Newly retired Twins right fielder Torii Hunter will return to Target Field for a proper send-off on Thursday morning. Hunter, who announced his retirement  on Oct. 26 after 19 big-league seasons, will hold a 10:30 a.m., news conference along with Twins general manager Terry Ryan and manager Paul Molitor. While both the Twins and Hunter have interest in keeping him on board in some capacity, perhap

Twinsights: Peers name Paul Molitor AL Manager of the Year
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 27, 2015 at 01:53 PM

Due to his hall of fame playing career, Paul Molitor had the respect of his players and his peers from the outset upon moving to the Twins dugout this year. Those peers apparently thought he did a pretty good job as a rookie manager, too, voting him American League Manager of the Year in polling conducted by the Sporting News. "I think he did a remarkable job for a guy that's never done it," Twins

Twinsights: Torii Hunter decides to retire after 19 seasons
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 26, 2015 at 08:11 PM

Torii Hunter’s return engagement with the Twins will be a one-and-done affair after all. The five-time all-star and nine-time Gold Glove Award winner informed the Twins on Monday that he was retiring after 19 seasons. A team official confirmed the news via Twitter. Hunter, 40, spent 12 of those seasons with the Twins, for whom he 214 of his 353 career home runs. The popular right fielder finished

Twinsights: Twins outright three off 40-man roster
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 21, 2015 at 04:35 PM

The Twins kicked off the roster-management portion of their offseason Wednesday, outrighting the contracts of three players off their 40-man roster. Left-hander Aaron Thompson, outfielder Shane Robinson and catcher Eric Fryer all cleared waivers and have 48 hours to elect free agency, which players in their position typically do. It's possible the Twins will re-sign all three to minor-league deals

Twinsights: Miguel Sano leads Twins annual award winners
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press October 20, 2015 at 11:11 AM

By all accounts, Miguel Sano’s long-awaited arrival was a smashing success for the 2015 Twins. The 22-year-old slugger’s impact was reaffirmed Tuesday with the announcement of his selection as both the Most Valuable Twin and the team’s most outstanding rookie. Sano joins Tony Oliva (1964) as the only Twins rookies to sweep both awards. Voting was conducted by the Twin Cities chapter of the Basebal