Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Latest Content from Twins Now - Pioneer Press

Twinsights: Twins lefty relievers suffer through nightmare outings
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 30, 2015 at 10:27 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Before Monday night, six of Brian Duensing’s seven outings this spring had been scoreless. Then the Boston Red Sox tagged him for six earned runs on eight hits, including a Mike Napoli broken-bat home run, in a single inning of work. Just like that Duensing’s earned run average nearly quadrupled (from 2.25 to 8.00). The last seven batters Duensing faced reached on hits: homer,

Twinsights: Twins batting order begins to take shape
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 30, 2015 at 07:15 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins manager Paul Molitor plans to mix and match with much of his batting order this year, but he does seem to have achieved clarity on the first three spots. Monday night at the Boston Red Sox, the Twins had Danny Santana, Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer at the top of their lineup, and it could stay that way for awhile. “I like Brian in that two-hole,” Molitor said. There had been

Twinsights: Josmil Pinto cleared for return to game action
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 30, 2015 at 09:33 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Twins catcher Josmil Pinto passed the ImPACT test on his second try Sunday and has been cleared to return to game action, a person with direct knowledge said Monday morning. Pinto, out since March 21, figures to make his return on the minor-league side on Monday afternoon. The Twins play host to the top two minor league affiliates for the Baltimore Orioles today. It was Baltimo

Postgame Twinsights: Ricky Nolasco rebounds well
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 29, 2015 at 04:45 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. -- --Right-hander Ricky Nolasco overcame back-to-back homers in the first inning to work six solid innings in his penultimate spring outing. Nolasco settled down to retire 10 straight after Adam Jones jumped on a first-inning curveball and Travis Snider with a solo shot on a fastball. Nolasco, who threw a lot of changeups in his 83-pitch start against Baltimore, plans to scale back

Twinsights: Terry Ryan has 'healthy exchange' with unhappy Mike Pelfrey
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 29, 2015 at 01:09 PM

SARASOTA, Fla. --Twins general manager Terry Ryan and disgruntled right-hander Mike Pelfrey had a conversation in the wake of Pelfrey’s demotion to the bullpen on Saturday. “It was a healthy exchange,” Ryan said. “I listened and so did he. It’s one of those situations.” Asked if Pelfrey had requested a trade, Ryan would not say. “I’m not going to address that either,” he said. “I don’t want to get

Twinsights: Time could be running short for Josmil Pinto
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 29, 2015 at 11:51 AM

SARASOTA, Fla. -- Entering Sunday’s play, Chris Herrmann and Eric Fryer had taken a combined 56 at-bats this spring as they compete for the backup catcher role behind Kurt Suzuki. Josmil Pinto, the injury-marred frontrunner, has hit .353 in just 17 at-bats. While Pinto awaits the results of a second concussion test administered Sunday, Twins manager Paul Molitor expressed concern that time might b

Postgame Twinsights: Tom Brunansky's called shot (for Joe Mauer)
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 04:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Joe Mauer has just three extra-base hits this spring. Two of them have now gone to right field. Saturday's was a two-run homer to right off Philadelphia Phillies retread Jerome Williams, who tried to sneak a 2-0 curveball past Mauer. As Mauer walked to the plate, Twins hitting coach Tom Brunansky turned to manager Paul Molitor with a prediction. "He's going to hit a homer," Brun

Twinsights: If Mike Pelfrey wants to talk, Terry Ryan 'will be very available'
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 01:33 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Mike Pelfrey wouldn’t mind being traded for the first time in his career so he could potentially start elsewhere. Twins general manager Terry Ryan didn’t show much interest in that scenario on Saturday. “I understand the frustration. It happens every time,” Ryan said. “It’s not like he’s the first to ever be frustrated with where he’s going to be at. I’ve thought we’ve been pret

Twinsights: Terry Ryan discusses Tommy John surgery for Lewis Thorpe
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 01:03 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Australian left-hander Lewis Thorpe, 19, will undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, the Twins announced. No determination had been made yet on which orthopedist would perform the surgery on the Twins’ top left-handed pitching prospect. Thorpe is ranked slightly ahead of fellow lefties Stephen Gonsalves and Taylor Rogers. “It’s not good,” Twins general

Twinsights: Paul Molitor explains decision to demote Aaron Hicks
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 11:27 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Aaron Hicks fell short of becoming the Twins’ Opening Day center fielder for the third straight year. The former first-round pick was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday after hitting just .206 in 34 spring at-bats. Hicks also had some misadventures on the bases and in the outfield which didn’t help his cause. “I told him I appreciated his work down here and his desire to

Twinsights: Mike Pelfrey open to a trade after demotion to bullpen
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 10:45 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Twins right-hander Mike Pelfrey stopped short of asking for a trade Saturday after he was demoted to the bullpen, but the veteran workhorse made it clear he would not be opposed. “Obviously if some team realizes I’m healthy for the first time in years,” Pelfrey told the Pioneer Press, “and this is probably the best I’ve felt and thinks I can help them, let’s do it. I think I sho

Twinsights: Josmil Pinto fails concussion test, must retake it Sunday
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 28, 2015 at 10:15 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Twins backup catcher Josmil Pinto did not pass the concussion protocol test that was administered on Friday and will must retake the test Sunday before he can be cleared to return to games. “There was one thing that held him up from being able to play (Saturday),” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He feels really good and he was disappointed, so we have to obviously follow proto

Twinsights: Lewis Thorpe remains upbeat as he awaits elbow evaluation
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 07:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Lewis Thorpe, the top left-handed pitching prospect in the Twins' organization,  was still unsure as of Friday morning what would come next in the wake of a recent elbow setback. The 19-year-old Australian said he was still waiting to hear the results of his magnetic resonance imaging exam, noting there is too much swelling in his injured left elbow to read the MRI properly. "I

Twinsights: Payroll carries 'total flexibility' if Twins contend, Jim Pohlad says
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 06:45 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Even with a projected Opening Day payroll of $106 million, the Twins would still have room to make talent additions should be they remain in contention this summer. “That would be a great situation,” Twins CEO Jim Pohlad said Friday. “There would be total flexibility.” Pohlad authorized the signing of free-agent hitter Kendrys Morales last June for what could have cost the Twins

Twinsights: J.R. Graham closing in on big-league opportunity
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 05:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Rain was pouring down in the eighth inning, causing umpires to call Friday’s game in the top of the eighth inning, but J.R. Graham stood there a few moments longer on the water-logged mound. “I wanted to get out of the inning,” the young fireballer said. Five more outs for Graham, with just a walk and an infield single allowed, lowered his spring earned run average to 0.84 in s

Twinsights: New MLB commissioner see parallels between Twins, Pirates
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 03:57 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Rob Manfred, recently installed as Major League Baseball commissioner, had encouraging words for the Minnesota Twins after making a stop at Hammond Stadium on Friday. "I think the buzz in baseball is that the Twins have a great farm system," Manfred said. "Paul Molitor is going to be a great manager, and I’m sure you will see the Twins’ talent mature in the same way you have see

Twinsights: Rob Manfred and a Twins-Yankees series from long ago
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 11:21 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Rob Manfred was 9 years old when he attended his first major league baseball game. It was August 1968, and the future Major League Baseball commissioner rode to Yankee Stadium in the family Buick with his two siblings and their parents, Bob and Phyllis. They attended a weekend series between the New York Yankees and the Minnesota Twins. The Twins scored a three-game sweep, but M

Twinsights: Blaine Boyer polishes his changeup
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 27, 2015 at 08:15 AM

FORT MYERS, Fla. --Right-hander Blaine Boyer was scheduled to pitch again Saturday. He requested an unscheduled bullpen session on Wednesday to polish his changeup. Of the 18 pitches he threw before pitching coach Neil Allen, Boyer estimated 16 were changeups. “It went really good,” said Boyer, who last worked Monday at Clearwater against the Philadelphia Phillies. In six spring outings, Boyer has

Twinsights: Tommy Milone gets the best of Big Papi (with video)
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 26, 2015 at 09:03 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In nine regular season plate appearances against Tommy Milone, David Ortiz has hit three home runs and posted a combined on-base/slugging percentage of 2.270. So when Milone was able to retire Ortiz three times without incident on Thursday, including a first-inning strikeout on a changeup, it was a pretty good indicator for the Twins left-hander. “I felt comfortable. I was able

Twinsights: Jake Reed meets up with Rusney Castillo again (with video)
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press March 26, 2015 at 04:39 PM

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- This wasn’t the first time Twins pitching prospect Jake Reed had crossed paths with Rusney Castillo. In July 2012, the summer after his freshman year at Oregon, Reed was part of Team USA when it played a five-game international friendship series against the Cuban national team in Havana.  “I faced him, threw him a slider and he hit a bomb off me first pitch,” Reed said Thursday