Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Twinsights: Buck Showalter calls Twins a budding "force"
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 01, 2014 at 07:11 PM

BALTIMORE -- -Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire have become friendly in recent years. After failing to complete a four-game sweep of the last-place Twins on Monday, Showalter had some words of praise for his friendly rival’s club. “You’d like to finish it off, but the Twins are a very proud organization,” Showalter told reporters. “You can tell they’re an up-and-comin

Twinsights: Terry Ryan explains reasoning behind September call-up decisions
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 01, 2014 at 02:29 PM

BALTIMORE -- As Twins general manager Terry Ryan once famously said of A.J. Achter: “All he does is get guys out.” Starting Tuesday at Target Field, the former 46th-round pick out of MichiganState will have the opportunity to do that at the big-league level. The 26-year-old right-hander posted a 2.44 earned run average and six saves in 70 innings at Triple-A Rochester to join seven other September

Twinsights: Aaron Hicks heads list of eight September promotions
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 01, 2014 at 11:41 AM

BALTIMORE -- Aaron Hicks is getting another crack at the big leagues. Despite falling into a late-season funk that saw him go 4 for 30 (.133) at Triple-A Rochester, the Twins’ Opening Day center fielder the past two years will headline the group of eight September call-ups that will report to Target Field on Tuesday. Also earned promotions as rosters expand are catcher Josmil Pinto, catcher-outfie

Postgame Twinsights: The Baltimore bunt that set up biggest blast
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 31, 2014 at 06:47 PM

BALTIMORE -- Lost in a 33-hit afternoon was a bunt single for Baltimore's David Lough that should have given Ricky Nolasco a much-needed out in the sixth. Lough, who also sacrificed in the first, popped up his bunt this time along the third-base line. It was left to catcher Eric Fryer to race out from behind the plate and try to throw out Lough, which he couldn't. Adam Jones followed with a two-ru

Postgame Twinsights: Aaron Thompson makes it all the way back
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 31, 2014 at 06:41 PM

BALTIMORE -- That was a nice moment of redemption within a 12-8 Twins loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday afternoon. There was Aaron Thompson, a left-handed reliever who had a cup of coffee with Pittsburgh in 2011, finally making it back to the majors. He retired all three lefties he faced, secured four outs without giving up a run and completed his rehabilitation after serving a 50-game suspe

Twinsights: Sore left shoulder puts Joe Mauer at DH for third straight day
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 31, 2014 at 11:35 AM

BALTIMORE -- Joe Mauer spent a third straight game at designated hitter with what Twins manager Ron Gardenhire termed minor soreness in his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Rookie Kennys Vargas once again replaced Mauer in the field. “It’s not an issue. It’s not a big deal,” Gardenhire said. “Joe’s had a little soreness in his shoulder from diving and everything (in Kansas City). He can play.” Accord

Twinsights: Alex Meyer to DL, J.O. Berrios to Triple-A Rochester
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 31, 2014 at 11:05 AM

BALTIMORE -- Prized right-hander Alex Meyer, the Twins’ top-ranked pitching prospect, was placed on the seven-day disabled list with shoulder inflammation at Triple-A Rochester on Sunday. Right-hander J.O. Berrios, 20, was called up from Double-A New Britain and will start a must-win game for the Red Wings Sunday night at Pawtucket. He will oppose Pawtucket lefty Henry Owens, one of Boston’s top p

Postgame Twinsights: What's driving Kyle Gibson's improved strikeout rate?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 30, 2014 at 11:41 PM

BALTIMORE -- Through his first 200 major league innings, sinkerballing Kyle Gibson hasn’t missed very many bats. His career nine-inning strikeout rate heading into Saturday’s start against the Baltimore Orioles was just 5.17, which placed him fourth-lowest out of the 184 starters given at least 100 big-league innings since the start of 2013. Of the three starters with lower K/9 rates in that span,

Twinsights: Alex Meyer removed from start following velocity drop
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 30, 2014 at 07:11 PM

BALTIMORE -- Triple-A right-hander Alex Meyer, the Twins’ top-ranked pitching prospect, left his start Saturday night for Rochester after facing two batters in the second inning. Meyer, 24, walked off with a Red Wings trainer after failing to hit 90 mph on the stadium radar gun. Meyer’s velocity also was down in his previous start on Monday, although nothing as alarming as what he showed Saturday.

Twinsights: Aaron Thompson gets the call as Twins lefties falter
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 30, 2014 at 05:59 PM

BALTIMORE -- Aaron Thompson hasn’t been nearly as effective over the past two months as he was in the season’s first half, but the journeyman left-hander still got the call from Triple-A Rochester to the big leagues on Saturday. That could be another indication of weakening job security for Twins situational lefties Brian Duensing and Caleb Thielbar. “As you’ve seen, some of our lefties have had a

Twinsights: Houston Astros awarded waiver claim on Sam Deduno
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 30, 2014 at 03:05 PM

BALTIMORE -- Twins right-hander Sam Deduno was claimed by the Houston Astros on irrevocable waivers, meaning his time with the Twins organization is over. The Twins will make a corresponding move before Sunday’s game. Deduno, 31, made 41 starts for the Twins over the past three seasons, including eight in 2014. He was bounced to a long-relief role in June with the arrival of journeyman right-hande

Postgame Twinsights: Gardenhire rips replay crew after blown home run call
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 29, 2014 at 10:41 PM

BALTIMORE --Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has joked about getting on the umpires' headset and talking directly to the crew at the Replay Operations Center in New York City. Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter recently got ejected for doing just that following a replay review he didn't appreciate. Instead of trying to grab the headset Friday in the fifth inning, Gardenhire spent a solid minute

Twinsights: Jordan Schafer 'absolutely thrilled' with his fast start for Twins
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 29, 2014 at 05:41 PM

BALTIMORE -- Just over three weeks into his career reboot with the Twins, Jordan Schafer has zero complaints. Not only is his name on the lineup card virtually every day, but he’s putting up the best numbers of his career. “I couldn’t be happier,” the 27-year-old outfielder said Friday. “I couldn’t have walked into a better situation. I’m absolutely thrilled to be here and I’m extremely grateful f

Twinsights: All-star pressure got to Joe Mauer, manager says
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 29, 2014 at 04:59 PM

BALTIMORE -- Now it can be told. For the first time Friday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire shared his theory that Joe Mauer’s alarmingly slow first half was due to the pressure he felt in trying to make the first all-star game played in his hometown in a generation. “There’s no doubt he was pressing before the all-star game,” Gardenhire said. “It’s the first time in my career as a manager here that

Postgame Twinsights: What's holding back Tommy Milone?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tommy Milone knows he needs to be better. It's not just the 10.64 earned run average he has posted in his past three starts, covering a total of just 11 innings. It's his refusal to accept prosperity in repeatedly handing  back all or most of the cushions the Twins have  been producing for him. "That’s the most frustrating part," Milone said after the Twins surged late for an 1

Twinsights: Kennys Vargas employs 'creative sliding' to score from first
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 28, 2014 at 05:53 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Twins rookie slugger Kennys Vargas rumbled all the way from first base on Oswaldo Arcia’s double to score the team’s only run in Wednesday’s 6-1 loss. To top it off, he avoided the tag of all-star catcher Salvador Perez with a “hook slide around home plate or whatever you want to call it,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. Actually, there is a term within the organization for

Twinsights: Joe Mauer gets a break
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 28, 2014 at 05:29 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Twins first baseman Joe Mauer was not in Thursday’s starting lineup, marking the first time that has happened since he returned Aug. 11 from a six-week stint on the disabled list. “I just told him, ‘You’re out today,’ “ Twins manager Ron Gardehire said. “He just looked at me and he didn’t fight me, so that was good.” Mauer, still feeling the effects of a strained right oblique

Postgame Twinsights: What happened on that Mike Moustakas shift?
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 28, 2014 at 11:05 AM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was understandably frustrated after Wednesday’s 6-1 loss. One of his biggest frustrations, it seemed, on a night filled with soft hits for the Kansas City Royals was the eighth-inning infield single Mike Moustakas bounced into the teeth of a defensive shift. It came with nobody out after pinch runner Lorenzo Cain had stolen second with the Twins cli

Twinsights: Pitching prospect Jason Adam's work ethic impressed Billy Butler
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 27, 2014 at 06:53 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As pleased as Billy Butler was to see the Kansas City Royals trade for Josh Willingham a little over two weeks ago, he was sorry to see Jason Adam move on to the Twins. Not only is the Double-A right-hander from nearby Overland Park, Kan., but Adam impressed Butler, the Royals slugger, during their offseason workouts the past few years. “I’ve never seen somebody work so hard,”

Twinsights: Alex Meyer, Lester Oliveros among call-ups Twins are considering
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press August 27, 2014 at 05:11 PM

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Alex Meyer isn’t the only Triple-A Rochester pitcher the Twins will consider adding to their 40-man roster for a September audition in the majors. Right-handed reliever Lester Oliveros, 26, has put himself back on the organizational radar with a breakout campaign split between the top two minor-league levels. Entering Wednesday’s play, Oliveros had a 1.44 earned run average and