Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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Latest Content from Twins Now - Pioneer Press

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

Twinsights: Brian Dozier "shocked" by Ron Gardenhire's departure as manager
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 01:29 PM

Even in the final days of a fourth straight 90-loss season, there were no signs that Ron Gardenhire thought he was about to be replaced as Twins manager. “That’s one of the personality traits, why we love him so much as a manager,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “He never hinted anything toward that, even to our last meeting before we took off on our separate ways. It was all talking abou

Ron Gardenhire out after 13 seasons as Twins manager
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 01:05 PM

For the first time in a generation, the Twins appear to have fired their manager. Ron Gardenhire was dismissed Monday after 13 years as Twins manager and more than a quarter century in the organization. Gardenhire, 56, had a year left on the contract extension he received after last season. Not since Tom Kelly replaced Ray Miller with 23 games left in the 1986 season have the Twins fired their man

Twinsights: Rick Anderson discusses pros and cons of Twins pitching staff
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 29, 2014 at 11:05 AM

DETROIT--During the final series against the Tigers, Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson discussed the successes and failures of the 2014 season in terms of his pitching staff, which ranked 29th in the majors in earned run average (4.57). Here are some of the highlights from his conversation with the Pioneer Press: On 13-game winner Kyle Gibson: “I’m real pleased with Gibby. I’m real pleased with h

Twinsights: Kurt Suzuki credits Twins training staff for renewed durability
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 28, 2014 at 04:41 PM

DETROIT -- All-star catcher Kurt Suzuki credited the Twins training staff with helping him reclaim the durability and production he had seemingly lost over the past few seasons. Making 115 starts behind the plate, Suzuki collected all $500,000 in a series of four available bonuses atop his $2.75 million contract for 2013. He also made his first all-star game despite being down for the count at lea

Twinsights: Japan tour likely out for Phil Hughes
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 28, 2014 at 11:35 AM

DETROIT -- Phil Hughes passed up a chance to make an extra $500,000 this weekend by pitching out of the Twins bullpen. “For a lot of the same reasons,” the Twins right-hander said, he is likely to remove his name from consideration for Major League Baseball’s first exhibition tour of Japan in eight years. “I’m sort of leaning 90 percent against doing that,” Hughes said. “I’d have to continue throw

Postgame Twinsights: Updates on Josmil Pinto and Danny Santana
via Twins Now - Pioneer Press September 27, 2014 at 11:35 PM

DETROIT -- Ricky Nolasco was warming up with Eric Fryer before the bottom of the first inning, fully expecting Josmil Pinto to emerge from the Twins dugout and take over catching duties, per the lineup card. As Nolasco used up his allotment of warmup pitches, both he and Fryer kept looking into the dugout until finally it became apparent that Pinto could not stay in the game. "I didn't know what w