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    by 07-19-2012, 10:17 AM

    Originally posted at k-bro's baseball blog

    We're fully aware, now that the All-Star break is over, that the non-waiver trade deadline is looming (I hate the "looming" cliche -- it makes me think of a big shadow of a ghost looming with the players rumored to be traded cowering against the wall a la Scooby-Doo).

    Last season, the Twins did very little at the trade deadline. This year should be different; the Twins will most likely move a guy or two before the end of the month. What's different about this year:
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    by 07-19-2012, 10:00 AM

    The Twins cannot deliver Francisco a win. Again last night, the left-hander pitched a solid six innings, giving up two earned runs and striking out 10 batters. The Twins offense couldn't muster more than one run in nine frames and dropped the game 2-1 to the Orioles.

    This afternoon, we get Cole De Vries and a getaway lineup against Wei-Yin Chen, making the 18th start of his debut season. Chen has been one of the few solid parts of the Orioles rotation, pitching over 100 innings with a 3.80 ERA for Baltimore. The Orioles look for a split today while the Twins look to take three out of four from the fading O's.

    What do you expect from De Vries? Will Gardenhire run out a lineup that can win this game? Join the Twins Daily discussion and let us know!
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    by 07-19-2012, 09:54 AM

    The Big Picture
    The defending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals are currently 47-45, 4.5 games behind both the Cincinnati Reds and the Pittsburgh Pirates. They are also 4.5 games behind those two teams in the Wild Card race, but just three games back of the Atlanta Braves and 1.5 games behind the Dodgers for the second Wild Card. The team traditionally is not afraid to make a splash at the trade deadline. Last year, it was a deadline deal that is often credited for propelling the team to the playoffs late in the season. They won’t be afraid to pull the trigger on another deal this July.
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    by 07-18-2012, 11:15 PM

    This is always an interesting time of year, with the rampant trade speculation. Will the Twins trade Francisco Liriano? Denard Span? It's curious, but understandable, that they're listening on Josh Willingham. Make no mistake -- just two weeks from now, this team could, and probably will, look quite different. Let's take a look at how the affiliates performed today. With the potential for change in Minneapolis comes the likelihood of promotion for some of these kids.

    ROCHESTER 4, NORFOLK 1
    This game took forever -- 15 innings, in fact. Liam Hendriks had a great outing. He threw 7 innings and allowed only 1 run on 5 hits. He struck out 6 and walked 1.
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    by 07-18-2012, 03:00 PM


    The Twins rallied last night and defeated the Orioles in what seemed to be a never-ending game that finished just before 11pm Central Time. Led by a balanced hit attack up and down the lineup, the Twins came back from a 4-1 deficit and the bullpen held strong to finish the game with a 6-4 victory. Joe Mauer raised his batting average to .333, trailing only Mike Trout of the Angels in the American League.

    Tonight, Twins fans will see Francisco Liriano on the mound, going against the Orioles' Tommy Hunter. Liriano has
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    by 07-18-2012, 01:16 AM

    After an offensive explosion on Monday night, the Twins made things a little bit more interesting on Tuesday when they didn't take their first lead in the game until the seventh inning. This comeback was spurred on by four two out hits with Ben Revere and Joe Mauer knocking in the runs to make the difference in the 6-4 final score.

    It seemed like a showcase game for Joe Mauer as he went 3-for-4 in the game including an RBI and one walk. He also made a tremendous diving catch on a bunt attempt where he had to sprawl out in foul territory to snag the pop up. Mauer is making an attempt to catch Mike Trout for the league lead in batting average but Trout continues to have monster games as he went 4-for-6 on Tuesday. There is plenty of time left for Mauer to catch Trout so it will be interesting to see if the 20-year old rookie ever cools down.

    Mauer wasn't the only member of the Twins organization to impress on Tuesday night because there were plenty of good games in the farm system. Make sure to check out all the details below in this edition of "Tuesday's Trip through the Minors."
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    by 07-18-2012, 01:06 AM

    So the Kansas City Royals made one of the most lopsided trades when the acquired Jonathan Sanchez for Melky Cabrera since the natives swapped Manhattan Island to the Dutch for about 25 bucks.

    After a rebound season in KC, Cabrera is fully rejuvenated in the Bay Area, hitting .353/.391/.514 with 8 home runs for the Giants. Meanwhile, in 12 starts, Sanchez completely soiled the bed so badly that the Royals were recently forced to designate him for assignment.

    There was plenty of reason for the Royals to take a chance on the 29-year-old left-hander. According to his expected fielding independent figures, his 4.10 mark from
    Mike Trout is leading the Angels on a blistering midseason tear.
    by 07-17-2012, 09:42 PM

    The Big Picture
    When the Angels skidded to an 18-25 start, many in Anaheim were hitting the panic button. After the most aggressive offseason of any club in baseball, the offense was flatlining – thanks in large part to the remarkable struggles of LA's marquee acquisition: Albert Pujols.

    Akin to the 2006 Twins, who reversed course after a 25-33 start to win 96 games, the Angels have gone on a midseason tear, with rookie and MVP frontrunner Mike Trout leading the way. They are 5.5 games behind the Rangers in the AL West, but lead the race for the top wild-card spot. At this point, they've got to be feeling pretty good about their chances of making the postseason.

    Why They Will Trade With the Twins
    Of course, when you splurge for $316 million over the winter, simply making the postseason isn't enough. The Angels have championship aspirations, and with the Rangers and Yankees both looking especially strong, they'll need any edge they can get.
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    by 07-17-2012, 03:00 PM

    In the sort of pounding that would make Pythagoras proud, the Twins shelled the Baltimore pitching staff for 19 runs last night. Almost everyone on the team contributed offensively and Scott Diamond threw a workman-like start behind some slipshod defense by Denard Span, who certainly offset the mistake with a 5 RBI night.

    Tonight, we see Sam Deduno take the mound for the Twins, making only his second career MLB start. For the Orioles, Zach Britton will make his first start of the season. Having started 28 games last season, Britton
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    by 07-17-2012, 07:14 AM

    On Sunday, one of the directors of the documentary Ballplayer: Pelotero came to the Twins Daily forums and after letting us know where the movie could be viewed, answered several questions from readers. I’ve read so much about the film, watched trailers and eagerly anticipated being able to see it. I didn’t know how I would be able to view it since I don’t live in a metro area.

    Thankfully, it is available through several sources right now. Some cable providers have made it available as On Demand. It can currently be seen at St. Anthony Main Theatre in Minneapolis and other select theaters around the country. It is also available on iTunes, which is how I watched it.
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    by 07-17-2012, 12:11 AM

    The Big Picture
    The Red Sox season has been a mess. Check that – the Red Sox season, offseason and end of last season has been a Hoarders-episode-sized mess. There was last September’s meltdown, firing the coach, firing/losing their GM, naming a new GM, overruling the GM about the new coach, who then alienates several team leaders one of whom ends up being traded….

    And they’re still just one game out of BOTH wild card spots.

    There are a lot of desperate people in Bosox management who are feeling some heat right now. I can’t imagine a group-think that would be riper for a desperate, possibly stupid, trade.
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    by 07-16-2012, 10:56 PM

    The Twins had a rough weekend series with the A’s, so on Monday night they picked on another vowel, the O’s. The Twins scored seven runs in the first inning and kept on adding on their way to a 19-7 win over Baltimore. Scott Diamond wasn’t in finest form after a ten day break since his last start, but he did go six innings for the Win. Justin Morneau had four hits, extending his hit streak to 14 games. That is the same hit streak that Trevor Plouffe has as well after he had two hits. Ben Revere had four hits and another highlight reel catch in right field. Denard Span had three hits and after a misplay, he made two terrific catches in center field. Joe Mauer had two hits including his sixth home run. Jamey Carroll added two hits. Ryan Doumit was the only starter without a hit, yet he had two RBI. Josh Willingham, the team’s RBI leader, was the only Twins player without an RBI. 19 runs on 20 hits and five walks. They added a homer and six doubles. It was a long game, but those are just fine when the right team is winning!

    Here is a look at the Twins minor league scores and highlights from the Monday games in the minor leagues.
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    by 07-16-2012, 03:00 PM


    The Twins were swept by the Oakland A's in a three game set. This is not a very good team we're watching, folks. Well, at least half of it isn't very good.

    In an attempt to stabilize the rotation, the Twins are sending out their de facto ace, Scott Diamond (I suppose you can argue that Liriano is the ace, though he never seems to actually get any wins). Diamond looks to shut down the Orioles offense while the Twins look to get back on track against Chris Tillman. Tillman is making only his second start of the season,
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    by 07-16-2012, 10:39 AM

    Since the Twins took Aaron Hicks with their first round pick in the 2008 MLB Draft, there has been plenty of talk about the athletic outfielder fitting into the future plans of the Twins organization. Hicks was one of the highest draft picks the Twins had prior to drafting Byron Buxton in this year's draft and he seemed to have all of the tools to make him a very valuable player. It hasn't been a fast rise to the top for Mr. Hicks during his five years in the farm system for the Twins but he looks like he might slowly be figuring things out at the Double-A level with the New Britain Rock Cats.
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    by 07-16-2012, 09:21 AM

    by Nick Nelson

    If you're not familiar with the Twins' Official $1 Scorecard, you should be. It's sold at the program stands near the entrances to Target Field, and it's only one buck. How many things can you buy at the ballgame for a dollar? Aside from providing the necessary tools for a scorekeeper to do his/her thing, the scorecard also includes content that changes for each series. Even if Nick Nelson wasn't the guy supplying that content this year, I'd highly recommend picking up a copy each time you make it out to the park. It may be the best value at Target Field.

    Below you'll find an excerpt from the Twins' side of the next coming scorecard, which will be available during the Orioles series when action resumes after the All-Star break.

    ~~~

    Notable Trade Deadlines for the Twins

    With the non-waiver trade deadline just a couple short weeks away, here’s a look at some memorable past deadlines during the Ron Gardenhire era:
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    by 07-16-2012, 01:17 AM

    The Twins were beaten up pretty soundly by the juggernaut that is the Oakland Athletics. We should have known we were going to be in for a rough weekend when the Twins couldn’t squeeze a win out of their best pitching performance in almost five years. (It was nice to know you, Frankie.)

    Personally, I’m still holding onto Liriano, trying to sign him to an extension or offering him arbitration and taking the draft picks if he leaves, but that’s for another place on the website.

    (Semi-segue to the round-up…)

    During the game “Richard” asked TK about players in the minors. Kelly had some great perspective on guys. The player he talked most about was

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