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  1. Is Josmil Pinto The Twins Starting Catcher In 2014?

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ID:	5541There is a baseball adage among scouts and evaluators that you get fooled in spring training and in September.

    In both cases, teams are giving opportunity to evaluate younger, inexperienced players to often face other younger, inexperienced players. Have a big Grapefruit League performance, like outfielder Aaron Hicks, and suddenly you may find yourself with a starting position in April. Similarly, have a big September call-up performance, as Chris Parmelee ...
  2. Twins Can Improve Rotation Through Free Agency

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ID:	5465On Thursday, Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.com tweeted out a very depressing but all too telling statistic about the Minnesota Twins’ rotation: The bullpen staff has 17 more strikeouts than the starting rotation.

    Sure, it is bleak but it is not as historically awful as it sounds: The current 12.3% strikeout rate by the Twins’ staff ranks 203rd among MLB starting rotations dating back to 1961. The issue, however, is that the Twins are trending in the wrong direction. ...
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  3. Mauer showing progress but not ready for play

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ID:	5345The effects of taking several foul tips off his face mask are still lingering for Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said before Tuesday’s game against the Royals.

    “He came in today and says he’s feeling pretty decent,” Gardenhire said but later added that Mauer will not be ready to return the lineup any time soon.

    “He’s not ready anyway right now. We just have to wait and see; I don’t have a timetable. They got to tell me when ...
  4. Behind Brian Dozier's Turnaround

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ID:	5224At the end of May, Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier was batting a sad .214/.259/.299 and providing little reassurance that he would be able to consistently hit major league pitching. Since then, however, Dozier has been on fire offensively and has posted a robust .254/.340/.492 line with 10 home runs in his last 270 plate appearances.

    This turnaround has been amazing for Dozier, but it has not been entirely unexpected. In the spring, Dozier showcased ...
  5. With the departure of Carroll, Twins lose professional defender

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ID:	5180Earlier in the season, I tracked down the recently traded Jamey Carroll in the Twins’ clubhouse and picked his brain on the art of fielding.

    A player’s offensive production tends to attract the lion’s share of the attention while the contributions with the glove go under-appreciated – especially if a player is not necessarily flashy. As Bill James once said, “Offense is making things happen. Defense is keeping things from happening. People would much rather ...
  6. Burton Rewarded For Sticking With His Stuff

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ID:	5128The ball explodes out of the pitcher’s hand.

    You immediately pick up the spin and conclude it is close enough to a fastball that he must be trying to go upstairs with a low-90s four-seamer. However, in the middle of your stride, you recall the hitting coach’s scouting report that says the pitcher has a tendency to turn to the changeup at any point. Suddenly, the spin doesn’t quite look like that four-seamer and you realize: Oh god, it’s not the fastball. ...
  7. Jamey Carroll pitches baseballs in a real, live game

    For three straight years now, the Minnesota Twins have been forced into tapping one of their position players to take the mound late in a blowout game.

    In 2011, it was Michael Cuddyer. Last season, the honors went to Drew Butera. This year's position player was veteran infielder Jamey Carroll.

    Had Aaron Hicks remained on the roster, he might have been the obvious position player to be called into mop-up duty considering he was a talented high school pitcher throwing in ...
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  8. With trade deadline looming, Twins' Brian Duensing prepares for anything

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ID:	5043Left-handed relievers are a valuable if not under-appreciated members of society. You know, like oxygen. While they may seem ubiquitous and always available, a team could get killed if you don't have any.

    They have a certain vampiric quality to them as they are seemingly able to last forever while continually finding work. Darren Oliver, 37-years-old, has been employed steadily. Despite mixed results, J.C. Romero has hung around baseball. Even with numerous ...
  9. Twins prepare for trade deadline

    Will Justin Morneau be in a Twins uniform in August?On a gorgeous Minnesota July afternoon, Jack Goin, the Twins’ manager of major league administration and baseball research, sits in the Target Field broadcast booth high above the playing field. Down below, the Twins are take batting practice and a variation of infield warm-ups that happens behind protective screens at every base. There is controlled chaos with batted balls going every which direction. The team is preparing for that evening’s game.

    Goin, ...
  10. Casey Fien has been a find for the Twins

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ID:	4824The Minnesota Twins have excelled in certain areas of their team-building. While they may be light years behind in developing starting pitchers, their ability to identify inexpensive bullpen talent has been impressive when it comes to the arms race.

    Casey Fien is one such find. For less than a million in salary the 29-year-old right-hander has provided the team with over $7 million in production value, according to Fangraphs.com’s valuation. That is a significant ...
  11. Play at the plate angers Twins’ manager

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ID:	4676Injuring what was one of his hottest in the month of June to what could have been an avoidable play by Indians’ catcher Yan Gomes is not lost on manager Ron Gardenhire.

    Ryan Doumit had been hitting .278/.345/.481 with three home runs, five doubles and a triple in June prior to suffering a sprained ankle in Cleveland on June 23. Since the incident, Doumit has sat out three games and has gone 5-for-20 (.250) without any extra base hits in his 21 plate appearances. ...
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  12. Play at the plate angers Twins’ manager

    Injuring what was one of his hottest in the month of June to what could have been an avoidable play by Indians’ catcher Yan Gomes is not lost on manager Ron Gardenhire.

    Ryan Doumit had been hitting .278/.345/.481 with three home runs, five doubles and a triple in June prior to suffering a sprained ankle in Cleveland on June 23. Since the incident, Doumit has sat out three games and has gone 5-for-20 (.250) without any extra base hits in his 21 plate appearances.

    Doumit, ...
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  13. Play at the plate angers Twins’ manager

    Injuring what was one of his hottest in the month of June to what could have been an avoidable play by Indians’ catcher Yan Gomes is not lost on manager Ron Gardenhire.

    Ryan Doumit had been hitting .278/.345/.481 with three home runs, five doubles and a triple in June prior to suffering a sprained ankle in Cleveland on June 23. Since the incident, Doumit has sat out three games and has gone 5-for-20 (.250) without any extra base hits in his 21 plate appearances.

    Doumit, ...
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  14. Fastball key to Samuel Deduno's success

    Samuel Deduno likes to refer to his fastball as “crazy”, hinting that the pitch has a mind of its own.

    As opponents haplessly attempt to put wood on it, Deduno’s fastball also confuses the Pitchf/x computer system. Deduno’s movement – the diving, the darting, the running, et cetera -- tricks the system into believe he has multiple variations of a fastball. Plenty of those offerings are bucketed as a cut fastball. However, when asked about his fastball last year, catcher Joe Mauer confirmed that it is the same four-seam fastball ...
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