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  1. Baseball in the Backseat (Twins at Astros -- Games 136-138)

    Chuckles (Twins 10 Astros 6 Game 136)

    Other places it was Labor Day and the last day of the fair, but in our house it was preparation day. The next day my wife was due at the hospital for a thyroidectomy. She's fine, and she's going to be fine. It's just another annoying grown-up thing that reminds a person real life always wins.

    We stayed busy preparing for our trip to the hospital, and the game itself didn't get much attention.

    Still, when I heard about ...
  2. What to do with Trevor Plouffe?

    Through May of 2012, Trevor Plouffe was hitting just .163/.261/.347 (.608) with three doubles and five home runs. Then the calendar turned to June. Over his next 32 games played, Plouffe hit .317/.373/.634 (1.006) with nine doubles and 14 home runs. That's when he injured his thumb and did not play again until mid-August. Over his final 45 games of 2012, he hit .196/.254/.344 (.598) with seven doubles and five homers.

    2013 was meant to be a big year for several Twins including Brian ...
  3. Twins Birthdays--September 5

    Also posted at wgom.org

    Randy Choate (1975)
    Jason Hart (1977)

    This is also the birthday of Karl Kuehl (1937), who was a coach for the Twins from 1977-1982.

    Left-handed reliever Randol Doyle Choate never actually played in a regular season game with the Twins, but he was in spring training with them in 2007. Born and raised in San Antonio, he attended Florida State and was drafted by the Yankees in the fifth round in 1977. He spent ...
  4. Twins Minor League Report (9/4): Rochester Romps

    Night two of playoff action saw plenty of stories to follow in the Twins farm system. Rochester was kicking off their postseason run with a game in front of their hometown fans and Cedar Rapids had to go on the road. Fort Myers was at home but their season was on the line and a loss would mean the end of their title chances.

    Rochester Red Wings 7, Pawtucket Red Sox 1 (Game 1)
    Box Score
    Rochester was out to prove that their last day qualification for the Wild Card spot ...
  5. Twins Birthdays--September 4

    Also posted at wgom.org

    Paul Jata (1949)
    Aaron Fultz (1973)
    Pat Neshek (1980)

    Outfielder/first baseman Paul Jata did not play for the Twins, but was in their farm system in 1976. He was born in Astoria, New York, went to high school on Long Island, and was drafted by Detroit in the fifth round in 1967. His minor league numbers don’t stick out, but he was always very young for his league, reaching AA at age 20 and AAA at age 21. He made ...
  6. What would it take (offseason moves) to get you interested in 2014?

    Since the front office will not use the language 'full rebuild'- let's take them at their word and approach offseason with dual purpose of setting us up with more depth for future while also fielding a more competitive team in 2014. While many postings are rightly talking up the minor league teams and speculating as to when/who will make impact, I'd like to know what realistic estimates would be for the following moves for 2014 as I believe this combination of trying to field a somewhat competitive ...
  7. Twins Minor League Report (9/3): Miracle Down 1-0

    Tuesday marked the beginning of playoff season in full-season minor league baseball. Game 1s were played in the Florida State League, including the Ft. Myers Miracle. On Wednesday, Rochester and Cedar Rapids will begin their second seasons.

    Ft. Myers Miracle 0, Charlotte Stone Crabs 1

    The Miracle had the best overall record in the Florida State League in 2013, and yet, after one game played in the playoffs, they are on the brink of elimination. Remember, this is a Best ...
  8. Rejiggering the 2014 Twins: the Lineup

    In my last "Rejiggering" post, the Twins' starting rotation got an overhaul by adding a borderline ace and a mid-rotation reliever. This is the minimum the Twins must do to have even a shot at being competitive in 2014. If they don't improve their pitching, nothing else matters. Since that post, the Twins' pitching has gotten worse--Kyle Gibson has been sent down, and Scott Diamond and Vance Worley remain with him in AAA. This underscores the futility of regarding the current staff ...

    Updated 09-05-2013 at 08:23 AM by PSzalapski

  9. 2013 Rock Cats MVP: Josmil Pinto

    Rock Cats, Red Wings, and now Twins catcher,
    Josmil Pinto
    I'll be the first to admit that the bulk of my Rock Cats coverage this season has centered around Miguel Sano. And it's for a reason -- he's the best prospect that ...
  10. Twins' Rotation Is Out of Whack

    Name:  diamond.jpg
Views: 2190
Size:  61.6 KBThe Twins entered this season with a wide assortment of "maybes" in their starting pitching mix, hoping that over the course of 162 games a couple would separate themselves from the pack and become established as sturdy options moving forward. In a transitional year where there was never any realistic expectation of winning, this was truly the overriding goal.

    The Twins talked about wanting to play meaningful games in September, they talked about wanting ...
  11. Restarting a Culture of Winning

    The Minnesota Twins have made a habit of losing over the last three seasons. With back-to-back 90 loss seasons and the team on track to make it three in a row, there hasn't been a lot to be excited about at the major league level. Poor starting pitching and a lack-luster offense have created a "Debby Downer" attitude among the former Twins faithful.

    When Minnesota was in the midst of winning six division titles in nine years, a culture of winning was created even as there were changes ...
  12. End of Year Prospect List (1989 YOB)

    There are 20 players born in 1989 who make my end of 2013 Twins prospect list. I remember the very day that one of them was born, Michael Tonkin, because he was born on my ninth birthday and I remember it well. The 1989 bunch range from AAA/MLB players in Tonkin and Josmil Pinto down to current low-A pitchers, Tim Shibuya and Madison Boer.

    1989 (20):
    10. Josmil Pinto, C, RH, DOB: 3/31/89

    2013 AA/AAA/MIN (AA/AAA stats): 528 plate appearances, .309/.400/.482 (.882) ...
  13. Twins Birthdays--September 3

    Also posted at wgom.org

    Ced Landrum (1963)
    Matt Capps (1983)

    Outfielder Cedric Bernard Landrum did not play for the Twins, but was briefly in their minor league system. He was born in Butler, Alabama, went to high school in Sweet Water, Alabama, attended the University of North Alabama, and signed with the Cubs as a free agent in 1985. Standing a 5’9″ and weighing 165 pounds, he hit for a solid average in the minors, although with little to no ...
  14. Several Kernels Shooting for Two Rings in Two Years

    In baseball's postseason, “every single pitch is so important; every at-bat, no matter what inning.”

    That was Cedar Rapids Kernels third baseman Travis Harrison talking after Monday’s regular season finale about the playoffs, which start for the Kernels Wednesday night in Davenport against the Quad Cities River Bandits.

    Harrison knows what he’s talking about, too. He was a member of the rookie level Elizabethton Twins team that won the Appalachian League a year ago.
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