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Game Thread: Twins vs. Marlins ST G4 2/27/17 12:00 PM CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:19 AM
No radio or TV coverage today....    RiverBrian will be happy to see that today is "Positional Flexibility Day" MARLINS Perez...
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Fangraphs (and other national publications) on the Twins

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:18 AM
I'm just going to post here whenever they do an article on the Twins.   Today, they have one on Trevor May (noting some changes in s...
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Article: TD Top Prospects: #1 Fernando Romero

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:11 AM
Ever since Byron Buxton broke out in his first full season in the minors, he's been an easy choice as the top piece in Minnesota's system...
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Article: Draft Preview: Five to Focus On

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 11:09 AM
Despite the snow that hit parts of the midwest and the return to winter for many of the rest of the reading area, baseball is back alive...
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Article: Twins Roster Projection 2017: Version 2.0

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:04 AM
In past years, I posted my first big league Roster Projections on the first day of Twins full-squad workouts. This is a couple of days la...
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Report from the Fort 2016


14

After Breakout Season Max Kepler Looking Toward Next Level

When you look at him, you wouldn’t realize that Max Kepler was a cold-blooded killer. Behind the laid-back, polite, innocent-looking demeanor is a 23 year old who is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of murdering Southern League pitching.

By now, most are familiar with Kepler’s intriguing backstory – a player signed as a teenager from the baseball boondocks of Berlin. His makeup and athleticism wowed Twins scouts to the point that they were willing to make him the highest paid European amateur signing, in spite of the fact that Kepler had played more soccer than he had baseball.

His lack of experience was apparent upon his introduction to a better pool of competition. “You watched him back in the Gulf Coast League and Cedar Rapids, he didn’t know what he was doing,” said Mike Radcliff, the Twins Vice President of Player Personnel. “He had a great body and a great swing and he had tools. He had no idea.”

That was then. Now, Max Kepler is the reigning Southern League MVP. He essentially forced the Twins into giving him a September call-up. How did the 22-year-old suddenly flip the switch?

66

Carlos Quentin Among Six Twins Roster Cuts

The Carlos Quentin comeback experiment will be delayed. The Minnesota Twins made six moves this morning, trimming the roster down to 29 players, including reassigning the veteran Quentin to Rochester.

7

Friday Camp Notes: Twins Trim Roster, Destroy Rays

With the regular season start a little over a week away, the Minnesota Twins announced their presence with authority in Port Charlotte. On their field, bats came alive and the pitching was crisp. On the personnel side, the team made several moves, paring down the roster.

Take a look at the happenings around camp.

22

Byron Buxton Hopes Adjustments Pay Off

Byron Buxton was not completely satisfied with his introduction to baseball’s highest level.

That’s the simplistic way to phrase it. More accurate: Pitchers dissected him like a science project. He swung through a high percentage of over the plate. His strikeout rate ballooned as they threw him a bevy of breaking balls and fastballs off the plate. When he did connect, more often than not, the ball came off his bat at the speed of spilt syrup. This performance was unbecoming of the game’s top prospect.

Hitting the ball -- and hitting the ball hard -- has been Buxton’s goal heading into his second tour of duty and he’s made changes to reach that goal.

0

Opening Day Assignment Changes Nothing For Ervin Santana

It has taken twelve years in the majors but Ervin Santana can finally add Opening Day Starter to his resume. With a Cheshire smile on his face, Santana says he took the news in stride.

“It feels good,” Santana admitted but then quickly downplayed the significance of the assignment. “To me, it's great but I take it as another start and I just prepare for the day. Same game. Nothing changes. I just have that in my mind and go up there and perform.”

The 2016 season will starting significantly differently for Santana after missing the first 80 games last year when he tested positive for PEDs. And this year he hopes to set the tone for the season in a more meaningful way: By picking up where he left off.

108

May’s Mentality Much Needed In Pen

When Trevor May is pitching in relief, he ditches his slider and sinker.

How come?

"Neither one of those are swing-and-miss pitches really,” he says, "and that’s more what I’m trying to do in the bullpen.”

That mindset is exactly why the Twins need May in that role, even if it means delaying the starting opportunity that he has certainly earned.

31

Wednesday Camp Notes: Tides Changing?

Suddenly, the race for the Twins fifth starter job has gotten rather interesting.

Three weeks after Paul Molitor said it would take “something fairly significant” for Tyler Duffey to miss out on a rotation spot, the right-hander has a 6.48 ERA through three Grapefruit starts, and he got shelled on the minor-league side today.

Meanwhile, Ricky Nolasco cruised through six scoreless innings against the Rays at Hammond.

38

Tyler Duffey Uneven In Minor League Start

At the beginning of the month it was assumed that Tyler Duffey would be enjoying crab cakes and Flying Dog with the rest of the Twins rotation when the season started in Baltimore. After all, manager Paul Molitor said that it would take something “fairly significant” to not have Duffey as one of his five starters. Whatever the reason -- because of his spring training results, inability to adapt quickly, or the progress of others -- Duffey’s rotation certainty has waned.

If the Twins’ decision-makers are looking at the results, Wednesday did not help Duffey’s cause.

77

Roster Cuts Narrow Bullpen Competition

The Twins optioned two players from camp this morning and reassigned four others. Taylor Rogers, J.R. Graham, Buddy Boshers, Carlos Paulino, Buck Britton and Wilfredo Tovar were all shipped out, trimming the number of remaining players to 37.

35

Twins Banking On Murphy's Growth

Prior to attending TwinsFest in January, John Ryan Murphy had only visited Minnesota once in his life. It was last summer, when the Yankees faced the Twins at Target Field, and it was a memorable trip for the young backstop.

He hit the biggest home run of his career on a Saturday night in late July, taking Glen Perkins deep for a three-run shot to snap a ninth-inning tie and lift New York to an 8-5 victory.

26

Tuesday Camp Notes: Splitsville

Today was a split-squad today for the Twins, with Phil Hughes and a few regulars heading to Clearwater to face the Phillies while most of the positional mainstays remained in Fort Myers for a match-up against the Orioles at Hammond.

The Twins won 5-1 in their home park, with Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe each chipping in two-run homers.

Carlos Quentin and Oswaldo Arcia, competing for a bench spot, were slotted back-to-back in the lineup for a second straight day, while several relievers vying for bullpen jobs got the chance to make key impressions.

19

Dozier Tries To Find A Balance

When Brian Dozier refers to spring training as “Groundhog Day,” he’s talking about the repetitive routine that is inherent to this annual six-week stretch.

But he might as well be talking about his production. This year, just like last year, Dozier is putting up monster numbers in the Grapefruit League.