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Front Page: Twins Game Recap (9/16): Berrios tosses a str...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:23 AM
After a big series win in Cleveland, the Twins welcomed the White Sox to town Monday night. The lineup continued to get healthy as Marwin...
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Magic Number Thread

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:21 AM
Why no magic number thread?     Why can't I post pictures?      BYTO was fun.    
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Front Page: Twins 2019 Minor League Hitter of the Year

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:16 AM
Throughout this week, Twins Daily has handed out our 2019 minor league awards. Today we continue the series by looking at the top hitters...
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Front Page: What Should the Twins Postseason Batting Orde...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:14 AM
The Twins lineup for Monday’s 5-3 win over the White Sox looked like a potential starting nine for the postseason, with the exception of...
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Front Page: Make Every Night "Obscure Twins Jersey...

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:13 AM
Maybe you got carried away with Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Maybe you (okay, me) were a little too excited about Jeff Cirillo. Maybe you bought a...
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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.
Image courtesy of Kim Klement
Santana's track record has earned him the right to usher in the new season. When his suspension was up, he struggled to get up to speed, posting an ugly 6.05 ERA in his first 10 games. However from the end of August forward, no Twins starter had worked as deep into games and had as much success as Santana did over his last seven outings in 2015. In fact, in that time only Chicago’s Jake Arrieta (0.33 ERA) and Cleveland’s Cody Anderson (1.38 ERA) posted lower ERAs than Santana. Only Arrieta allowed fewer home runs per nine innings. Based on that, the Twins made the easy decision heading into spring training that -- barring any unforeseen circumstances -- Santana would be handed the pearl in Baltimore.

“It was kind of conversations with [pitching coach] Neil [Allen] prior to spring training, beginning of spring training,” Paul Molitor said of the decision to set the rotation the way they did. “You know you have to set it up somehow, some way. You can always adjust early according to injuries or something that becomes apparent. How they're throwing the baseball. We kind of thought that order made sense at the beginning if everyone was healthy.”

With Santana leading the rotation, Molitor said that he would be followed by Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes in Baltimore but refrained from announcing his fourth and fifth starters.

Molitor mentioned the uncertainty surrounding Phil Hughes, who was coming off a “sub-par” season, as the reason why he was dropped to third in the rotation. Hughes has suffered from recurring issues with a disc in his lower back but said that since he received an epidural, the disc has been able to heal and has responded well this spring. The right-hander has been consistently sitting at 90-92 in his starts and has struck out nine over 11 innings in Grapefruit action.

Ervin Santana will be the eighth different Opening Day starter for the Minnesota Twins since the 2006 season. Since then only Carl Pavano (2011, 2012) and Johan Santana (2005, 2006) have thrown in multiple Opening Days.

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