Minnesota Twins News
9-26-16: The Twins’ seven-game losing streak finally ended on Saturday, but they then lost their 100th game of the season in Sunday’s rubber match. Starting pitcher Hector Santiago, who allowed a combined five runs in his four starts from August 29 to September 15, gave up a whopping 10 runs in his last two starts, including Sunday.
9-12-16: In Sunday’s rubber match against the visiting Cleveland Indians, Corey Kluber was too much for Minnesota’s offense, as the Twins scored just one run and lost in a blowout at the hands of the Indians. Minnesota’s lone run batted in came from Byron Buxton, who had two singles in the contest.
8-29-16: The Twins’ struggles continued this past week, as they lost their season-worst 10th consecutive game on Sunday. Josh Donaldson and his three home runs were too much for Minnesota in the contest. On the bright side, Joe Mauer, Trevor Plouffe and Miguel Sano each had two-hit games on Sunday. Minnesota next heads to Cleveland to try to end the losing streak.
8-22-16: The Twins, who promoted pitching prospect Adalberto Mejia over the weekend, swept their two-game series at Atlanta last week, but then struggled mightily at Kansas City. Minnesota was hoping to salvage the final game of its four-game series against the Royals, but Ervin Santana’s seven innings of two-run ball were not enough.
8-15-16: The Twins are struggling mightily, but Brian Dozier has been a bright spot for the team. Although Minnesota lost Sunday’s rubber match to the visiting Kansas City Royals, the second baseman homered for the third consecutive game. Unfortunately, Hector Santiago allowed seven runs in four innings in Sunday’s 11-4 loss.
8-10-16: The Twins impressed last week, as they had both of the American League’s Co-Player of the Week (Joe Mauer and Max Kepler). Not only were they playing well when the Twins won their third straight series on Sunday, but Miguel Sano homered twice in that rubber match victory. Although Brian Dozier’s career-long 16-game hitting streak ended on Sunday, he homered on Tuesday.
8-1-16: The Twins, who traded Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants for left-hander Adalberto Mejia, bounced back from their three-game losing streak to win three of their last four games. On Sunday, Ervin Santana threw six innings and allowed just one earned run, as the Twins won the rubber match against the White Sox, 6-4.
7-25-16: The Twins went on the road for a seven-game road trip and finished with a strong 4-3 record. They took two of three games from the Detroit Tigers. In the middle game of the series, Tommy Milone threw 8.1 innings of two-run ball, as the Twins won, 6-2. However, Milone lost his next outing; he threw 4.2 innings and allowed three home runs in Sunday’s 8-7 loss at Fenway Park.
7-18-16: The Twins hosted the Cleveland Indians for a quick three-game homestand before going out on a seven-game road trip. Mike Napoli’s home runs were the reason the series was bookended with Twins losses, but Minnesota’s Trevor May won his first game of the season on Saturday when the Twins won in walk-off fashion in extra innings.
7-14-16: Over the weekend, Brian Buxton sat with a knee injury, but the Twins continued their success against the American League-leading Texas Rangers. On Sunday, the Twins took another series from the Rangers, as everyone in Minnesota’s starting lineup tallied at least one hit and one run in the contest. In July, Minnesota has just three losses by a combined four runs.
7-5-16: The Trevor Plouffe-less Twins tried to extend their winning streak to three games on Monday, but they went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position in Monday’s 3-1 loss to the visiting Oakland Athletics. Right fielder Max Kepler, whose seven-game hitting streak ended on Monday, drove in the Twins’ only run of the contest.
6-27-16: The Twins ended the New York Yankees’ three-game winning streak on Sunday, as Minnesota rode six home runs, including back-to-back-to-back home runs, to victory. Tyler Duffey took a perfect game into the sixth inning and finished with eight innings of one-run ball and eight strikeouts. Minnesota next heads to U.S. Cellular Field to start a three-game series against the White Sox.
6-20-16: The Twins prevented the New York Yankees from the four-game sweep, as Minnesota delivered its home crowd a 7-4 victory on Sunday. Although first baseman Trevor Plouffe and relief pitcher Taylor Rogers each committed errors in the final game of the series, Max Kepler and Brian Dozier homered to help the Twins get their 21st win of the season.
4-20-16: All signs point to 2016 being a down year in Minnesota. The Twins have compiled a 4-10 record through their first 14 games and appear poised to sit in the cellar of the A.L. Central for the majority of the season. With 73 games remaining at Target Field this season, the average price for Minnesota Twins tickets is $80.42 on the secondary market.
9-28-15: The Twins’ six-run second inning led Minnesota to its second straight series victory. The Twins took advantage of Nick Castellanos’ 10th error of the season to score two unearned runs against Randy Wolf, as they knocked him out of the game with the offensive explosion in the second frame. Minnesota next heads to Cleveland for a four-game series.
9-25-15: The Minnesota Twins have enjoyed veteran outfielder Torii Hunter being back with the season in 2015 and have openly expressed a willingness to sign him for one more season in 2016. Through Hunter’s first 516 plate appearances this season the veteran right fielder has posted a .245/.298/.414 triple slash which is well below his career triple slash batting line of .277/.332/.462 but his veteran leadership and teaching skills on a young team are almost invaluable. For what it’s worth Hunter has expressed a willingness to go year to year with the rest of his career so if he wants to play in 2016 his most likely landing spot looks to be back inside Target Field in Minnesota. To end the week the team made a last ditch effort to make the postseason by calling up top prospect Max Kepler. Kepler is listed as a first baseman and an outfielder in Double-A and was named the Southern League’s Player of the Year at just 22-years old. Kepler has slashed .322/.416/.531 in 382 plate appearances this season with nine home runs and 18 stolen bases.
9-21-15: On Sunday, the Twins salvaged the final contest of their four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels. Tyler Duffey threw seven shutout innings with seven strikeouts in the 8-1 win. Torii Hunter, Eddie Rosario and Joe Mauer each homered in the win that got the Twins back to even with the Angels in third place in the wild card standings.
9-18-15: The Minnesota Twins may have the 2015 Major League Baseball Rookie of the Year Award winner on their team this season in Miguel Sano if it wasn’t for the Houston Astros rookie shortstop Carlos Correa. Sano has impressed everyone around the league with his play this season including his teammates and manager Paul Molitor. Sano returned from Tommy John surgery this season and seemingly had lingering effects from the ulnar collateral ligament replacement surgery at the beginning of the season before turning it on midway through the 2015 campaign. Not only was Sano hitting the ball much better when he returned to the majors in July but he was taking pitching and having productive at bats, something that did not go unnoticed by Twins GM Terry Ryan. Sano joins outfielder Aaron Hicks as the beginning of a young core in Minnesota that may help the team contribute not only in 2015 but well beyond this season. Hicks is a former first round draft pick by Minnesota and has struggled to date before absolutely breaking out and being overshadowed by Sano for much of the 2015 season. Hicks has slashed .262/.323/.412 this season with 11 home runs and 12 stolen bases.
9-14-15: The Twins won yet another series on Sunday, as they moved to 74-68 in 2015. Minnesota delivered Chris Sale his ninth loss of the season, as the Twins scored six runs in his three innings pitched. In the first inning, Torii Hunter, who had at least one hit in all three games of the series, launched his 19th home run of the season in the first inning on Sunday.
9-11-15: The Minnesota Twins signed rookie Miguel Sano as an international free agent back in 2009 for $3.15 million over six seasons in what has turned out to be an absolute bargain for the organization. The Twins were able to outbid teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates who reportedly offered $2.6 million and the New York Yankees who reportedly offered something in the neighborhood of $3 million. The Twins may have another Sano or two coming through the organization as well as Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler, both of whom also signed as an IFA’s in 2009 for $775K and $800K respectively, with Polanco cracking MLB’s Top 100 prospects this year and Kepler on the cusp of joining Polanco on the list. Speaking of Sano the talk around the league, albeit premature, is that the Twins youngster may have a real shot at winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award despite a strong season by the Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa. Sano has outhit Correa this season by a wide margin, albeit in around 100 less plate appearances, but what he leads in when it comes to offense he gives back and then some on the defensive side. Sano is an outfielder while Correa plays a premium position at shortstop.
9-7-15: Tyler Duffey threw 6.2 innings of two-run ball, but the Twins’ bullpen struggled mightily and the Twins fell to the Houston Astros, 8-5, on Sunday at Minute Maid Park. Aaron Hicks, Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar each homered in the game, but the Astros scored five runs in the seventh inning and three runs in the next frame.
9-4-15: The Minnesota Twins started their week off by announcing their roster moves and September call ups this week. That list of players included first baseman Kenny Vargas, shortstop Danny Santana, catcher Eric Fryer and right-handed relief pitchers Michael Tonkin and A.J. Achter. The Twins top pitching prospect Jose Berrios was surprisingly not called up to the Major Leagues this week but that doesn’t mean he won’t be called up before the calendar turns to October. Another Twins pitcher that may not see the field again this season is closer Glenn Perkins who has been battling a back injury in recent weeks. At the beginning of this week Perkins was quoted as saying that he could barely walk due to the severity of his back injury which comes at the absolute worst time for Minnesota. The Twins bullpen has been one of the worst in the American League and could be the worst bullpen of any of the playoff contenders this season with an extremely solid Perkins in the fold. Now Minnesota will be without his 2.68 ERA, 154 ERA+, 32 saves and 46 strikeouts in 50.1 innings this season.
8-31-15: The Twins won the rubber game of their weekend series against the visiting Houston Astros, as Minnesota scored the first seven runs of Sunday’s 7-5 victory. Miguel Sano’s 13th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the seventh inning, proved to be the difference in a game that the Astros scored all five of their runs in the ninth frame.
8-28-15: The Minnesota Twins were named as the mystery team that put in a waiver claim for Milwaukee Brewers veteran relief pitcher Neal Cotts. Minnesota finalized the trade with Milwaukee this week by sending a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Brewers for the big left-hander. Cotts has been used as a lefty specialist, or a LOOGY, this season and has held left-handed batters to an .185/.230/.346 slash this season. Minnesota will be on the hook for an addition $727K in salary for the remainder of the season as the team continues their attempt to chase down one of the two Wild Card slots in the American League while Milwaukee opened up a roster spot for recently claimed Cesar Jimenez. The team now has their bullpen hopefully solidified allowing the team to possibly focus on their first base situation going forward. Ever since he was 16 years old the Twins have scouted Japanese slugger Byung-ho Park and may make a run at him this winter if he’s posted by his Japanese team. Park may be too expensive for the Twins budget but no team has scouted the first baseman as much as Minnesota so there’s always a chance.
8-24-15: The Twins bounced back from a three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Yankees to win all four contests against the Baltimore Orioles. On Friday and Saturday, reliever Casey Fien collected victories, and he has not allowed a run in any of his last five outings. Then on Sunday, Minnesota finished the sweep with an extra inning win.
8-21-15: The Minnesota Twins continued their mission to lock down one of the two available Wild Card berths in the American League this week but their bullpen took big blows along the way. The team first learned this week that closer Glen Perkins was sent back to Minnesota to get an MRI on his neck that cost him a nice chunk of time during the 2014 season. Perkins was diagnosed with a nerve injury in his last season which ultimately ended his season and is facing similar symptoms this go around with his neck. The Twins will give Perkins a cortisone shot in hopes of bringing back their best relief pitcher in an already ailing bullpen. The Twins bullpen is one of the worst in the American League this season and cannot afford to lose Perkins and his 1.21 first half ERA for any amount of time. The Twins bullpen situation got especially worrisome when the team learned that right-hander Ryan Pressly was shutdown for the remainder of the season after suffering a setback in his rehab from a lat strain injury. Pressly, along with Perkins, was one of the few bright spots in the Twins bullpen this season posting a 2.93 ERA in his 27.2 innings before the injury.
8-18-15: The Twins fell back to .500 on the season, as they dropped Monday’s contest at Yankee Stadium. Every Minnesota starter had a hit in the 8-7 walk-off loss. The Twins scored in five consecutive frames, but did not score after the sixth inning. Minnesota will need some more wins down the stretch, as the team is 2.5 games out of a wild card spot.
8-14-15: The Minnesota Twins began this week by activating top prospect Byron Buxton off the disabled list after a lengthy DL trip. Buxton was immediately optioned to Triple-A where he will likely stay until September call ups start and Major League rosters expand. Buxton played in a total of 11 games in the Major Leagues before a thumb injury derailed his season. Buxton did not impress in that extremely small sample size slashing just .189/.231/.270 in 39 plate appearances. The Twins put outfielder Aaron Hicks into the outfield rotation when Buxton went down and Hicks has done nothing but take advantage of the opportunity since coming to the Major Leagues. Hicks has slashed .316/.380/.526 during the 32 games that Buxton was on the disabled list thus explaining the demotion for Buxton. Buxton was called up originally from Double-A and has never played a game in Triple-A before the demotion. Buxton is currently the teammate of Jose Berrios but with the Twins struggling rotation that may not last too much longer. Minnesota is at least considering calling up Berrios to the Major Leagues to help in the rotation, especially with right-hander Phil Hughes now on the disabled list.
8-7-15: The Minnesota Twins stood relatively pat at the trading deadline this week as the team only made one notable trade, the trade that brought in relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen. Jepsen was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays for minor league pitchers Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia. To make room on the active roster for Jepsen the team made the tough decision to designate Caleb Thielbar for assignment. Minnesota attempted to make other trades before the deadline that came to light this week including a deal that would have sent Ricky Nolasco and his two years of team control after the 2015 season to San Diego for an unreported return. Minnesota was looking for bullpen upgrades during the entire month of July so you would have to think that the Twins at least discussed both set-up man Joaquin Benoit and closer Craig Kimbrel with San Diego during their talks. Benoit would be more realistic than Kimbrel at this point as Benoit is two months away from free agency while Kimbrel is still owed roughly $28 million for many years going forward. Trading Nolasco’s salary could open way for Minnesota to be able to acquire Kimbrel fiscally so be sure to watch out for that in August.
8-7-15: On Thursday, the Twins suffered their fifth loss in a row, and they fell to 54-54 on the season. After scoring seven runs on Wednesday night in Toronto, Minnesota’s offense went back to struggling the next night. Trevor Plouffe and Aaron Hicks each homered, but the team tallied just five hits in Thursday’s 9-3 loss.
8-3-15: The Twins struggled last week, as they had a four-game losing streak, including a two-game sweep at the hands of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Then, Minnesota split its four-game series with the Seattle Mariners, including a 4-1 extra inning loss on Sunday. The Twins acquired Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for two minor leaguers last week.
7-31-15: The Minnesota Twins came into this final week before the July 31st trading deadline as big time buyers in the market. The Twins made a relatively minor deal with the Tampa Bay Rays before the deadline came and went as the team agreed to send two minor league RHP’s to the Tampa Bay Rays for middle relief pitcher Kevin Jepsen of the Rays. Jepsen was sent to the Minnesota Twins in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Chih-Wei Hu and Alexis Tapia. Jepsen will look to fill the bridge to Glen Perkins in the Twins bullpen, which has been a huge issue for Minnesota this season. Minnesota has thrown Trevor May, Blaine Boyer, Aaron Thompson, Brian Duensing and Casey Fien at the position this season with few notable results. Jepsen should bring a veteran arm and a veteran presence to the club that is intent on making a serious run at not only an American League Central Division title but also a possible deep October playoff run in 2015.
7-28-15: The Twins received hits from seven of their nine position players and out-hit the New York Yankees, 10-7, on Sunday at Target Field, but Minnesota collected only one extra-base hit. By going 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, the Twins could get just two runs in the 7-2 afternoon loss.
7-24-15: The Minnesota Twins were unable to sign their second-round pick from the 2015 MLB First Year Players Draft Kyle Cody before the deadline came and went on July 17th. Cody will instead return to the University of Kentucky for his senior season where he will look to sneak into the first round in the 2016 MLB Draft. There was some concern about Cody’s health which may have had to do with the fact that he was not signed but Twins general manager Terry Ryan dismissed those concerns in an interview early in the week. Speaking of pitching inside the Twins organization the team lost RHP Ricky Nolasco this week after he underwent ankle surgery over the All-Star break last week. Nolasco needed a bone fragment removed from his ankle and will be in a walking boot for a few weeks before the team can determine if he will pitch again during the 2015 season. This marks the second straight disappointing season for Nolasco after signing a four-year deal with the Minnesota Twins before the 2014 season worth $49 million. Minnesota is falling farther and farther behind in the American League Central Division and moves may need to be made sooner rather than later if the team wants to make a serious run at a playoff spot in 2015.
7-22-15: Since Glen Perkins blew his first save of the season on Saturday, the Twins have scored just one run. They lost Saturday’s game in 10 innings and dropped Sunday’s rubber match, 14-1. Then, on Tuesday, Joe Mauer and Eduardo Nunez were the only Twins to collect hits, as Minnesota lost, 7-0.
7-17-15: The Minnesota Twins started the week off by trying to make a move for former Rookie of the Year and Texas Rangers closer Neftali Feliz before Feliz ultimately signed with the Detroit Tigers. The Twins have closer Glen Perkins and relievers Blaine Boyer, Brian Duensing and J.R. Graham in their bullpen and every arm has struggled thus far this season. Feliz would have been a great and notable acquisition for a team that is trying to compete in the American League Central Division but Minnesota will have to look elsewhere to upgrade the team’s bullpen. The Twins have also looked at acquiring former closer Steve Cishek from the Miami Marlins in the club’s search for bullpen help this season. Cishek could essentially be acquired for relatively little in terms of dollars and prospects after the RHP had fallen out of grace with Miami this season. The bullpen isn’t the team’s only weakness this season though and the team has considered acquiring Jimmy Rollins from the Los Angeles Dodgers to solidify the shortstop position. The Twins have run with Danny Santana and Eduardo Escobar for much of this season at short with lackluster results and could buy low on Rollins. Rollins would open the roster spot for top prospect Corey Seager for Los Angeles while Minnesota gets an upgrade at both the offensive and defensive side of the game.
7-13-15: The Twins had a very strong week heading into the All-Star break. They won the final three games of their four-game series against the Detroit Tigers. Sunday’s 7-1 victory gave Minnesota its sixth win in its last seven games. Kyle Gibson threw seven innings and allowed one unearned run to get his eighth win of the season.
6-30-15: For the second time in June, Mike Pelfrey had more runs allowed than innings pitched in a start. He threw to four batters in the third inning, but only got six total outs on Monday night in Cincinnati. He allowed eight runs, nine hits and three walks in his fifth loss of 2015. On the bright side, Brian Dozier homered for the 16th time this season in the loss.
6-16-15: Minnesota’s top prospect Byron Buxton, who was called up over the weekend, tripled for his first hit as a Major League Baseball player on Monday. He also scored a run in the game, but the Twins fell to the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2. Torii Hunter, who returned from his two-game suspension, went 0-for-3 in the loss.
6-5-15: The Minnesota Twins are turning their attention to the MLB First Year Player’s Draft where the team owns the sixth overall pick this season. Whether the team goes pitching or hitting, college or High School, polished or not remains to be seen but one thing that will not factor into the team’s decision is health. The team has announced that they would not shy away from injured players like Brady Aiken or Michael Matuella despite both pitchers undergoing Tommy John surgery recently. Whoever the team drafts may join third baseman Trevor Plouffe who is on an absolute roll this season for the first place Minnesota Twins. Plouffe is sporting a 135 wRC+ as the week comes to an end as he continues to make large strides with his defense. Minnesota has top prospect Miguel Sano sitting down in the minor leagues waiting on his shot in the major leagues but with the emergence of Plouffe many are wondering if Sano will have to move positions or whether he will be traded this July or not. Plouffe is signed through the 2017 season and is set to get a raise from his $4.8 million salary he received in 2015 meaning it may be more fiscally responsible for the Twins to sign him to a long term extension now rather than waiting for free agency.
6-1-15: The Twins have been playing very well recently, as they prepare to play four games in three days at Fenway Park after the postponement of Monday’s contest. Minnesota has won seven of its last eight games, including a sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Target Field, to vault to the top of the American League Central.
5-30-15: The Minnesota Twins started their week off by releasing 31 year old first baseman Brock Peterson after he put up just a .186/.289/.351 with five home runs in Triple-A this season. Peterson had a short cup of coffee in the major leagues with the St. Louis Cardinals back in 2013 before now finding himself a free agent once again in his professional career. Speaking of the team’s Triple-A affiliate the team decided this week to move their Top 100 pitching prospect Alex Meyer into their Triple-A bullpen. The team is trying to get him back on track in hopes of being able to call him up to the MLB bullpen. Meyer has struggled with his control for much of the 2015 season and the team has hopes of turning him around. The team is still competing in the American League Central Division race and may be able to call up Meyer late in the season for the playoff push if the team remains in contention. The Twins aren’t buyers yet despite their hot start but the team would rather wait on the return of Ervin Santana Casey Fein before trading away some of their young talent prematurely.
5-26-15: On Monday, the Twins won their fifth consecutive game started by Ricky Nolasco. The
32-year-old righty had his best start of the season, as he threw 7.2 innings of two-run ball
and moved to 5-1 in 2015. All nine of the Twins’ position players collected at least one hit in the 7-2 victory.
5-18-15: Although the Twins lost in blowout fashion on Sunday at Target Field, they still won their series against the Tampa Bay Rays. They struggled with just two hits in nine at-bats
with runners in scoring position in that contest, but Joe Mauer drove in his 20th run of the season, which put him one behind 39-year-old Torii Hunter for the team lead.
5-11-15: Although the Twins lost on Sunday to the Cleveland Indians, they remain one of the
American League’s best teams just over a month into the 2015 season. The Twins had
two hits in the game, one of which was a Brian Dozier solo home run. He is performing very well recently, as he homered in back-to-back games.
5-5-15: The Twins extended their winning streak to a season-best five games, as they defeated the visiting Oakland Athletics, 8-7, on Monday. The victory pushed Minnesota’s 2015 record to 10-4 at home and 14-12 overall. In addition, the Twins are two games above .500 for the first time since May 21, 2014.
4-28-15: The Twins won the final two games of their weekend series against the Mariners in Seattle, but Minnesota could not match its season-best three-game winning streak on Monday. The Twins hosted the American League-best Detroit Tigers and fell, 5-4. On the bright side, Minnesota turned four double plays in the contest.
4-21-15: Kyle Gibson came into Monday’s contest with a strong career against the Kansas City Royals, but he gave up four runs, four hits and four walks in five innings in the Twins’ 7-1 loss. However, Minnesota won its two previous series. On Friday, Trevor Plouffe hit his first career walk-off home run, and on Sunday, Torii Hunter’s three-run home run propelled the Twins to victory over the Cleveland Indians.
4-14-15: The Twins played their home opener on Monday at Target Field. Trevor Plouffe hit his first home run of the season, but the Kansas City Royals scored six runs in the eighth inning to beat the Twins, 12-3. On Saturday, the Twins placed right-handed pitcher Ricky Nolasco on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 9, with right elbow inflammation.
4-7-15: On Friday, Ervin Santana, who signed a four-year, $55 million contract over the offseason, was suspended 80 games for performance-enhancing drug use. Then on Monday, the Twins did not look so strong in their Opening Day game at Comerica Park. They had just five hits and did not draw a walk in the 4-0 loss to the Detroit Tigers.