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Article: What To Do With Byron Buxton?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:53 PM
On Tuesday, the Minnesota Twins activated Byron Buxton from his fourth separate stint on the disabled list this season. It's been a night...
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Article: Twins Prospect Pulse: Trade Deadline Brings New...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:47 PM
Welcome to another edition of the Twins Prospect Pulse. Over the past month the system got a big boost from additions made around the tra...
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Article: Looking Back: Twins Take Four Prep Hitters Atop...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:45 PM
In 2015, first-year manager Paul Molitor led the Minnesota Twins to an 83-79 win, the team’s first .500 season since 2010. Because of tha...
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Game Thread (8/14): Twins vs. Pittsburgh, 7:10 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:43 PM
Twins | 54-63 overall, 33-24 at home, 5-5 last 10 Jake Odorizzi, RHP | 4.50 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 2.45 K:BB in 120.0 IPPirates | 61-58 overall,...
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Article: Twins Minor League Report (8/14): Buxton’s Back,...

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:11 PM
As Nick wrote about tonight, it’s hard to know what to do with Byron Buxton for the rest of the 2018 season. The Twins aren’t going to th...
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Recent Blogs


Twins Make Cuts, Name Starters

The Minnesota Twins made several significant moves on Saturday morning. Read all about them in the latest Report From The Fort.
Image courtesy of Jonathon Dyer-USA Today
Twins Trim Roster To 31

The Twins trimmed their roster to 31 this morning with the announcement that Aaron Hicks, Eddie Rosario and Trevor May will be optioned, while Mark Hamburger will be reassigned to the minor league camp.

Hicks acknowledged that players have to continue to show results but didn’t necessarily think his spring training stats played a role in the decision.

“You gotta show that you are producing,” Hicks said. “You gotta show that you’re having good ideas. You gotta show that you are driving guys in and moving them along, you’re doing all that stuff. Whether it is spring training or not. They're looking to make the best team for this team. Every spot is not certain.”

“You gotta prove that you are the best player at that position, at that time and that’s what it is about.”

Hicks had made inroads towards improving his offense, incorporating a leg kick in his swing to generate more power.


“I feel like I am making more aggressive swings, attacking in the zone and I feel like I was making good swings. I feel like I lined out a couple times and sent the ball deep and that’s the results that I want.”

Molitor confirmed that the move was predicated on Hicks’ entire body of work in March.

“I told him I appreciate his work down here and his desire to try to improve various aspects of his game. I think the bottom line was that he didn’t perform particularly well. There were times when we saw some good things obviously," said Molitor

Molitor said his message to Hicks was clear: Work hard and there is a chance he will be back in Minnesota soon. "Let him know that the opening day roster isn’t critical to what his year can be about. He needs to be a good defender and a guy who knows how to score runs and consistency in the quality of at-bat.”

When asked if some of the mental mistakes such as the base-running issues and forgetting how many outs there were in an inning were factors in the decision to go a different direction, Molitor admitted it did.

“You take full consideration of how spring goes, obviously. I told him after that happened that the next day after we talked about it that I like to move on and wipe the slate clean. But when you look at the body of work you have to consider all things that happen down here that was part of that. He understands that he needs to be engaged in the game.”

“He’s a guy who if he defends well and has good at-bat and stays aggressive on the basepaths he can be helpful up here. And not make mental mistakes.”

Center Field Picture Becoming Clear

With Hicks’ demotion, the Twins’ center field race has been won by Jordan Schafer and Shane Robinson, who will share duties in the field.

“We’re going to have to probably use more than one person out there in center field, at least in the short-term.” Molitor said this morning after cuts were announced. The Twins manager, however, stopped short of declaring the situation a platoon. “Because you have Hunter that needs rest, you have Arcia who you want to get better against lefties and some days you might feel that it is not a good lefty to do that one. That’s why I would say it is not a straight platoon.”

The right-handed hitting Robinson does not have an overly impressive track record against left-handed pitching. Since 2011, he’s batted .248/.333/.296 in 142 minor league plate appearances and .220/.308/.283 in 237 major league plate appearances against southpaws

In addition to Schafer and Robinson, Molitor said that Eduardo Escobar will be used to spell some of the outfielders on occasion but tiptoed around the idea of using Eduardo Nunez in the outfield, suggesting his role is on the bench.

“For Nunnie, it is possible that he could see play out there,” said Molitor, “but realistically he’s gonna be a good guy and you want to use all your players at some point but he’s a guy who can pinch run and pinch hit and you want to get him some at-bat to keep him sharp.”

Tommy Milone Named Fifth Starter

With May’s demotion, the Twins announced that Tommy Milone would start the year as the fifth man in the rotation.

Milone pieced together a spring performance that saw 15 hits and 7 runs over 14 innings but Molitor said that the staff was impressed by his ability to “minimize” damage. “Tommy pitched fine down here. He’s healthy. We saw glimpses that were really good. He never pitched poorly,” said Molitor. “He minimized, he’s experienced and when evaluating my options in the short-term here get him off to a good start from the left-side.”

Milone’s edge over the other two candidates was not that significant.

“I thought May and Pelfrey didn’t really pitch themselves out of that role and it wasn’t like Milone was way better than those guys but given all variables, it makes the most sense for Tommy to be our guy.”

Mike Pelfrey To The Pen

With Milone as the final member of the rotation, Mike Pelfrey was informed that he would be moving to the bullpen. The decision did not sit well with Pelfrey as he told reporters that he would be open to a trade if it would lead to a spot in a rotation.

For now, Molitor said he would treat him as a member of his bullpen.

“He’s stretched out, he can pitch multiple innings if we run into trouble early in the game. I told him in the short-term that I was going to stay away from bringing him in in the middle of an inning until he figures out his routine for getting ready out there. He’s gonna get some opportunities out there this week.”

Molitor said he was aware that Pelfrey was disappointed but wouldn’t address his comments.

“I’m sure he’s disappointed. He put in a lot of effort to get himself back to a competitive spot. He’s looking at a little bit of a crossroad with his career after his injury and contract and all those things. I tried to be as transparent and forthcoming as I could.”

Danny Santana At Short

It may have been inevitable but Molitor made it official: Danny Santana will be his opening day shortstop in Detroit.


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71 Comments

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 28 2015 09:47 AM
Gardy took the team to the ALCS his first year, and Kelly won the World Series, so I'm setting a high bar for Molitor :)
    • gil4, big dog and KGB like this
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jorgenswest
Mar 28 2015 10:03 AM
The Twins might find better solutions than Nunez and Robinson among those DFA'd. Sounds like Nunez doesn't have the ability to defend anywhere. The Yankees came to that conclusion a year ago. If he is only a bat, wouldn't there be better options among those DFA'd? Maybe the Twins can hit on a Sam Fuld type for the fourth OF again.

They should be looking for bullpen upgrades among the DFA's also.
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HitInAPinch
Mar 28 2015 10:03 AM

I don't believe the primary reason of Hick's new leg kick had anything to do with generating more power.It's a timing mechanism to just hit the ball. 

 

 

 

The Twins might find better solutions than Nunez and Robinson among those DFA'd. Sounds like Nunez doesn't have the ability to defend anywhere. The Yankees came to that conclusion a year ago. If he is only a bat, wouldn't there be better options among those DFA'd? Maybe the Twins can hit on a Sam Fuld type for the fourth OF again.

They should be looking for bullpen upgrades among the DFA's also.

 

Based on Molitor acknowledging that Hunter is going to need time off, perhaps the Twins should be/are seeking a 5th OF with a little pop?  It would sure be nice to have all three OF positions potentially covered by stronger defenders at times (and actual OFers, not fish-out-of-water shortstops), particularly in late-inning situations, and with Escobar now the utility guy, Nunez being on the team is superfluous (and he very well might pass through waivers if timed right).

First Nickname Overvaluation Alert:

 

 

“For Nunnie, it is possible that he could see play out there,” said Molitor, “but realistically he’s gonna be a good guy and you want to use all your players at some point but he’s a guy who can pinch run and pinch hit and you want to get him some at-bat to keep him sharp.”

 

    • USAFChief, USNMCPO, Willihammer and 4 others like this

 

Milone pieced together a spring performance that saw 15 hits and 7 runs over 14 innings but Molitor said that the staff was impressed by his ability to “minimize” damage. “Tommy pitched fine down here. He’s healthy. We saw glimpses that were really good. He never pitched poorly,” said Molitor.  “He minimized...."

If it's "minimization" as the quality we're looking for, I've got other guys who demonstrated that "battling" skill more markedly, including one with the best "minimizing"-related skill:

 

Milone 14 IP H/9 9.6 WHIP 1.357 ERA 4.50 K/9 5.1 Earned Runs 7

Pelfrey 13.2 IP H/9 9.9 WHIP 1.244 ERA  1.32 K/9 4.6 Ernd. Runs 2

Meyer  5.2 IP  H/9 6.4 WHIP 1.946 ERA 1.59 K/9 9.5 Earned Runs 1

 

Now, can the "staff" seriously say they were more impressed by "damage minimization" by Milone than the other two?

    • Paul Pleiss, Oxtung, h2oface and 1 other like this
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Parker Hageman
Mar 28 2015 11:09 AM
I don't believe the primary reason of Hick's new leg kick had anything to do with generating more power.It's a timing mechanism to just hit the ball.

 

 

The crux is as a timing mechanism but being able to engage his lower half better than he did before (see: http://twinsdaily.co...be-fixed-r3262)

 

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bluechipper
Mar 28 2015 11:16 AM

I have to break my silence and make my first post after reading this article.

 

I'll start by saying that I believe Trevor May and Aaron Hicks should have made the team based on their current talent and their future contributions to this team. We all know that Tommy Milone and Shane Robinson are in the range of bad and mediocre at best, and they have little to no chance at becoming anything of value for the Twins in the future.

 

What a joke.

    • DAM DC Twins Fans, notoriousgod71, COtwin and 1 other like this
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whosafraidofluigirussolo
Mar 28 2015 11:21 AM

 

 

"For Nunnie, it is possible that he could see play out there,” said Molitor, “but realistically he’s gonna be a good guy and you want to use all your players at some point but he’s a guy who can pinch run and pinch hit and you want to get him some at-bat to keep him sharp.”

 

Now here's a money quote. This rivals Gardenhire - or anyone really - for saying nothing and needing a lot of words to say it.

    • USAFChief, jokin, Oxtung and 1 other like this

 

I have to break my silence and make my first post after reading this article.

 

I'll start by saying that I believe Trevor May and Aaron Hicks should have made the team based on their current talent and their future contributions to this team. We all know that Tommy Milone and Shane Robinson are in the range of bad and mediocre at best, and they have little to no chance at becoming anything of value for the Twins in the future.

 

What a joke.

Indeed. 

 

Hicks has taken it well. I imagine May did as well. Pelfrey did not, which comes as no surprise.

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Hosken Bombo Disco
Mar 28 2015 11:36 AM

If it's "minimization" as the quality we're looking for, I've got other guys who demonstrated that "battling" skill more markedly, including one with the best "minimizing" skill:
 
Milone 14 IP H/9 9.6 WHIP 1.357 ERA 4.50 K/9 5.1 Earned Runs 7
Pelfrey 13.2 IP H/9 9.9 WHIP 1.244 ERA  1.32 K/9 4.6 Ernd. Runs 2
Meyer  5.2 IP  H/9 6.4 WHIP 1.946 ERA 1.59 K/9 9.5 Earned Runs 1
 
Now, can the "staff" seriously say they were more impressed by "damage minimization" by Milone than the other two?

"Tommy Milone: why the hell not." What an endorsement!

Meanwhile, back in AAA,...
    • jokin and Platoon like this

Color me unsurprised with those (or partially surprised with Milone over May, but after May's last outing...)Unsurprised does not mean not disappointed, on the other hand, because I am not sure that the Twins will bring the best 25 up North.

 

That said, both surprised and disappointed that they released Tyler Jones and Matt Koch (among 5 total) today.

I'm fine with Hicks going down but don't get Milone. Other than being left handed, what does he bring to the table?

This is just me but I'd rather bring north the guy who doesn't get into jams rather than the one who has to consistently battle to get out of them. But that's just me I'm sure....
    • Jerr, jokin, TheLeviathan and 2 others like this
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GMinTraining
Mar 28 2015 12:24 PM

I'm truly surprised about the release of Tyler Jones.  Led his minor league teams in Saves the last 2 seasons and throws 95+.  Somebody will pick him up for sure.

 

Loved Grimes and hate to see him go, but I also understand that every player has to leave the game at some time.

 

Can't wait to see these minor league clubs final rosters within the next week.  Is assuming Rosario will be in AAA smart on my part?

    • Oxtung and Jham like this

what a boring and uninspiring rotation yet again and our OF defense is going to be a joke yet again. are we really bringing our best 25 north?

    • Mike Sixel, h2oface and Sanjay Wolowitz like this

 

I'm truly surprised about the release of Tyler Jones.  Led his minor league teams in Saves the last 2 seasons and throws 95+.  Somebody will pick him up for sure.

 

Loved Grimes and hate to see him go, but I also understand that every player has to leave the game at some time.

 

Can't wait to see these minor league clubs final rosters within the next week.  Is assuming Rosario will be in AAA smart on my part?

 

Well, he's currently listed on the Red Wings roster, but he hasn't really mastered AA pitching yet.  And Chattanooga is still short an OF, depending on if/when Walker and Harrison are moved up.  And they may want him to take significant CF reps, which won't as likely happen with Buxton in AA.  So, it seems a slight edge towards him heading to Rochester to start out.

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nicksaviking
Mar 28 2015 12:42 PM
Tyler Jones misses too many bats for this team, a concerted effort needs to be made to stay at this level of futility. A league worst bullpen K/9 of 6.66 certainly would indicate they made a deal with the Devil.

Usually the Devil gives you something in return. I wonder what this team got?
    • jimmer likes this

listening to the game today the announcers are in midseason form.  defending the milone selection, talking about how walks allowed is the worst thing ever, talking about no pitch counts in Bert's pitching days, etc.

    • jokin and h2oface like this
Let me get this straight. Hicks didn't make the team and acted like a pro and was somewhat accountable. Pelfrey acted like a child.
    • VATwinsFan and nicksaviking like this
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Halsey Hall
Mar 28 2015 01:01 PM

 

Let me get this straight. Hicks didn't make the team and acted like a pro and was somewhat accountable. Pelfrey acted like a child.

Keep trying, you didn't get it straight yet.

 

The Twins might find better solutions than Nunez and Robinson among those DFA'd. Sounds like Nunez doesn't have the ability to defend anywhere. The Yankees came to that conclusion a year ago. If he is only a bat, wouldn't there be better options among those DFA'd? Maybe the Twins can hit on a Sam Fuld type for the fourth OF again.

They should be looking for bullpen upgrades among the DFA's also.

 

Good call on the DFA options > Nunez and Robinson.It seems like Twins always worry about covering every defensive four times and never have a single late inning bat.Maybe Pinto....but a pretty weak offensive bench again.

 

 

So no Meyer, no May, no Sano, no Buxton, no Rosario, no Polanco.  None of the kids making it.  Not even one. No surprises.  So far, this roster looks even less exciting than it did last year.

    • SydneyTwinsFan and Sanjay Wolowitz like this

If it's "minimization" as the quality we're looking for, I've got other guys who demonstrated that "battling" skill more markedly, including one with the best "minimizing" skill:
 
Milone 14 IP H/9 9.6 WHIP 1.357 ERA 4.50 K/9 5.1 Earned Runs 7
Pelfrey 13.2 IP H/9 9.9 WHIP 1.244 ERA  1.32 K/9 4.6 Ernd. Runs 2
Meyer  5.2 IP  H/9 6.4 WHIP 1.946 ERA 1.59 K/9 9.5 Earned Runs 1
 
Now, can the "staff" seriously say they were more impressed by "damage minimization" by Milone than the other two?

. This kind of make you wonder whether there was a battle for the 5th spot? It seems that May and Milone were both about even going into the last game, and both were less than impressive. So as per usual we go with the less talented player, with the least upside? Nothing like matching an extremely low strikeout pitcher, with one of the worst outfields in the game.

Why does anyone still believe the Twins when they say there is a competition for a starting job?

    • Kwak and Platoon like this

So no Meyer, no May, no Sano, no Buxton, no Rosario, no Polanco.  None of the kids making it.  Not even one. No surprises.  So far, this roster looks even less exciting than it did last year.

Thats just not true! Let's see, we have a different SS, and we made a major improvement in RF, and we added a veteran hurler, and we, and we, uh, well let me see? We ah, er, ah! Ok, enough sarcasm. In reality we have basically 7 of the 8 position players from last years underwhelming team, and if you count Milone pitching last year, 4 of the 5 starters from last years bottom of the league staff. What could possibly go wrong. What's that sayimg? "Stupidity is doing the same thing over And over and expecting different results"
    • h2oface and jimmer like this

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