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Article: How Fast Is Byron Buxton?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 12:05 PM
Major League Baseball’s Advanced Media arm released a new set of data to the public on Tuesday: the Sprint Speed metric.Sprint Speed was...
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Article: Coming Soon: Starting Pitching (But How Soon?)

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:59 AM
Anyone who is reading this site is a big Minnesota Twins fan. Anyone who is a big Twins fan realizes that this team needs pitching. A lot...
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Article: Red Sox 4, Twins 1: Sale Outduels Berrios

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:58 AM
Jose Berrios pitched much better than the box score suggests, as he went blow-for-blow with Chris Sale before the Twins bullpen allowed a...
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Examining the Twins Position Player-wise

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:58 AM
Can we just get this out of the way? I know...you know...we ALL know the Twins need pitching help. Were it possible to drain internet ink...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (6/26): Lewis Homers,...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:54 AM
The Twins opened a series in Boston on Monday night and the affiliates played eight games, six of which will be profiled here. (The two D...
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Three-Bagger: Pelfrey's Progress, Plouffe's Paradox & Rebounds

* Last week I wrote that Mike Pelfrey's struggles had a reached a point where he should be removed from the rotation until he demonstrated legitimate signs of progress. In his next start, which came Sunday afternoon in Cleveland, that progress was plenty evident. Go figure.

Sure enough, Pelfrey delivered his best start of the season, by far, with six innings of one-run ball. His fastball flashed a couple ticks higher on the gun than we ever saw in April, and the added velocity (along with noticeably improved command) paid clear dividends.
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For the first time this year, hitters seemed to struggle at times to catch up to his heater, increasing the effectiveness of his off-speed offerings. After striking out only seven hitters in his first five starts for an MLB-worst 6.5 percent K-rate, Pelfrey notched seven strikeouts Sunday, with a few coming at crucial moments. He induced a season-high 13 swings and misses.

Whether it's the warmer weather, or the kinks being worked out after a month's work, or some combination, Pelfrey looked like a different guy on Sunday. And it was an opportune time, because on the same day, three hurlers with eyes on his job – Samuel Deduno, Alex Meyer and Cole De Vries – were all pitching for minor-league affiliates.

* Trevor Plouffe displayed again in Sunday's game why he might be the team's most intriguing yet frustrating player.

His two-run homer in the second gave the Twins an early lead that stuck. The dinger was Plouffe's fourth this season, placing him second on the team behind Josh Willingham.

Attached Image: plouffe.jpg
But in the field there was yet another lapse. In the fourth inning Asdrubal Cabrera attempted to steal third base and Joe Mauer's throw had him beat handily. Plouffe went down to apply the tag but, rather than holding his glove down, he made a quick swipe maneuver. Cabrera took advantage, stopping short with one hand and reaching around Plouffe with his other arm to touch the base safely.

It's these kinds of little things that drive Ron Gardenhire crazy. Plouffe has shown again and again that he's capable of making all the plays at third, but his flashiness and inattention to detail will do him no favors with a manager who lives and breathes fundamentals.

We've already seen Plouffe benched multiple times this season for offenses of a similar nature. Gardy's patience appears to be running thin. But at the same time the Twins can't afford to take the slugger's potent bat out of the lineup. The manager will just have to find it within himself to live with the miscues, because sliding Plouffe to the outfield no longer looks like a feasible option.

* With Sunday's win, the Twins were able to fend off the brooms in Cleveland, marking the third straight series in which they fell behind 0-2 and rebounded to avoid a sweep. To date, the Twins have only come away winless in one series – an early-April set in Kansas City. By this point last year, they'd already been swept four times.

Granted, winning one game per series is hardly ideal if it becomes an ongoing trend, but the Twins are showing some resilience, and in the process they're avoiding extended losing streaks.


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