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    by 03-30-2012, 09:12 AM

    According to Todd Zolecki of the Phillies mlb.com site (via twitter), The Twins acquired 1B Matt Rizzotti this morning from the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for "cash considerations." The 6-5, 255 pounder was the Twins 46th round pick in 2004 out of high school. He was then the Phillies 6th round pick in 2007. Last year at AA Reading, he hit .295/.392/.511 with 34 doubles, 24 homers and 84 RBI. He walks a bunch, and he strikes out a bunch.

    The left-handed hitting 1B will likely play in Rochester, along with Aaron Bates at 1B.
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    by 03-30-2012, 07:24 AM

    Original post from North Dakota Twins Fan
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    The first two games of the season have been complete and I can honestly say I have yet to watch a single pitch. One of the problems was that both of the contests were not on any major channel and the other issues was the games were being played very early in the morning. I still don't know how I feel about the first two games of the season being played in Japan. It is great to spread the game to international markets but I love when all of the games are being played in the first couple days and there is one game after another on ever ESPN station. With the way it is set up now, the A's and the Mariners have already played two of their games and it seems to take a little something away from the Opening Day that will take place in the US next week.
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    by 03-30-2012, 07:20 AM

    It's hard to believe, but after a long 2011 season and a very long offseason, Opening Day is just one week away for the Twins and the rest of baseball (except the A's and Mariners, I guess.). I have been doing these weekly roster projections for for weeks, and it's a lot of fun. As much as we like to think our roster projections a month out look pretty solid, it's impossible to know. No one could have predicted that Chris Parmelee would perform so well. And who knew with the bullpen.

    Think about this. I posted a roster projection last Friday, and by Sunday, the Twins helped clarify things and my projection was already outdated. With one week to go, a few more spots on the roster have appeared to be solidified, but there are still question marks. Obviously injury concerns with Scott Baker and Kyle Waldrop have affected things, and we continue to keep the family of Jason Marquis in our thoughts as they remain with their daughter who was in a bicycle accident just over a week ago.
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    by 03-30-2012, 01:52 AM

    We wrap up the Position Analysis series with a look at the relief corps, which could best be described as "unstable." There's little question that the Twins will proceed with seven relievers and a short bench, as is their standard; to fill those seven spots, they brought a veritable army of flawed pitchers to compete in Ft. Myers.

    With a week left to go, it appears that the Twins have settled on which arms they will carry north. As is always the case in spring training, this is subject to change – particularly with the uncertain situations surrounding Scott Baker and Jason Marquis – but here's a look at the seven relievers I believe the Twins will break camp with.
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    by 03-29-2012, 01:29 AM

    Following a 99-loss season, the Twins had many more transactions than most offseasons. A couple of those transactions may have been considered minor to most, but definitely stood out to me. Shortly following the season, the Twins chose to designate reliever Anthony Slama for assignment. He was removed from the 40 man roster, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester. When the Twins announced the additions to their 40 man roster in late November, they also announced that they had removed David Bromberg from the 40 man roster. Like Slama, he cleared waivers and was outrighted to Rochester.

    Although I personally disagreed with both decisions, the Twins were ultimately proven correct in these decisions. In each case, all 29 other major league teams could have claimed them for nothing and chose not to. Because neither has been in the organization long enough to be considered six-year minor league free agents, once they cleared waivers, the Twins were able to send them to the minor leagues. Because each team could have claimed him for nothing, it was unlikely that a team would pay $50,000 to select them in the Rule 5.
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    by 03-28-2012, 10:26 PM

    Last year, the rotation was an utter disaster, with Twins starters ranking 26th in the majors in ERA and WHIP. Short outings taxed an already ill-equipped bullpen and frequently put games out of reach before the offense had much of a say.

    It's not hard to see why these pitchers struggled so badly. Beyond injuries that hindered performance, the starting corps posted a lower strikeout rate than any other AL club; allowing that much contact in front of a substandard defense led to a league-worst 1,086 hits allowed.

    The front office didn't focus much on adding reinforcements during the offseason, signing only one new player who figures to be the fifth starter. Instead, they'll rely on improved health, effectiveness and accountability from the incumbents.
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    by 03-28-2012, 08:03 PM

    In case you didn't check out the blogs from today, you missed some good stuff...
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    by 03-28-2012, 07:42 PM

    This post was originally posted in its entirety at The Tenth Inning Stretch. Because of the image limitations I can only post some of it. To see the whole post with Action Photos of Twins' prospects including 2 Round 1 draft picks, please go here
    -----

    Today the big boys were playing the Orioles in Sarasota. So were the AAA, AA and A+ squads and the only action at the Lee County Sports Complex was the Beloit Snappers hosting the Orioles A league squad at field number 3 and several other players, most of them rookies, practicing and scrimmaging in field 1.

    The Beloit game was a treat in many respects. First and foremost was that TK was the manager and it was interesting to watch TK manage a game from a dugout, even though this game was an A level Spring Training Game.
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    by 03-28-2012, 08:38 AM

    "My gawd - THEY are afraid of US? Really?"

    That's the thought that went through my head last night when a flame war broke out on Twitter between two local groups that had established a uneasy truce in recent years: corporate media and independent writers, commonly labeled bloggers. The critical topic? Baseball.

    Or rather, that’s the subject matter about which the involved parties write. The topic was the power of independent writers and the checks and balances from which they are seemingly immune.

    Concern 1: Independent writers are just fans who benefit from having a very large platform.

    It's true. Some independent writers have very big platforms from
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    by 03-27-2012, 08:54 PM

    Five weeks. Just five weeks. Here's what you magnificent people have been doing in the five weeks since pitchers and catchers reported:


    • We’re up to 1100 registered members, and nearly 500 of them have contributed to the community.
    • The forum holds 500 discussion threads that have generated over 5000 individual posts, or about 100/1000 per week.
    • 321 individual blog posts by our members on 62 blogs, or about nine every day.
    • Those have been read by 34,765 unique visitors who have stopped by 134,000 times.
    • Last Thursday we had 621 people visiting the site all at the same time.
    • And finally, the benchmark that drove us to do this research: over half a million page views.


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    by 03-27-2012, 10:59 AM

    Last week, the Twins announced seven players released from minor league camp. This morning marked the end of the line for the Twins career of several more players. Below you can read a little more about each:

    Dustin Martin - Martin came to the Twins in the 2007 trade (with Drew Butera) in exchange for Luis Castillo. In 32 games for Ft. Myers that summer, he posted an .803 OPS. The following season he was promoted to New Britain where he posted an .802 OPS with 52 extra base hits. He has spent the past three seasons with the Rochester Red Wings. He improved his statistics each season. Last year, he hit .265/.341/.431 (.773) with 25 doubles, six triples and 15 home runs. During the offseason, he began a secondary career by starting YourCoolMovie.com.
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    by 03-27-2012, 08:16 AM


    Original Post from North Dakota Twins Fan
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    The Twins saw their long-time closer Joe Nathan leave the team in free agency this offseason. With his departure to the Texas Rangers, the organization turned to a familiar face to fill the closer role by signing Matt Capps. Before undergoing Tommy John surgery, Nathan had been one of the best closers in the game and he got a lot of guaranteed money to be the closer for the two-time defending American League champions. The Twins weren't ready to make this kind of offer to Nathan and the team seemed happy to settle for the cheaper option in Capps.
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    by 03-27-2012, 07:45 AM

    On Monday, the Twins reassigned RHP Brendan Wise to minor league camp. Tuesday morning, the Twins optioned OF Joe Benson and RHP Jeff Manship. They also reassigned INF Pedro Florimon and C Rene Rivera.

    None of the moves are completely surprising, and yet it further cements some of the roster spots that remain up for grabs.

    Benson had a terrific showing in big league camp. His defense shone as he made it clear that he is the organization's top all-around defensive centerfielder. His aggressiveness and hustle are a mainstay, and that's why it was so surprising yesterday when he popped a single to right and only got to 1B. Offensively, it was a struggle early in camp to make contact, but that improved as more games were played. Look for Benson to play a lot of centerfield in Rochester and be ready to help the Twins when needed.
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    by 03-26-2012, 11:11 PM

    Big roster announcements prompt a debate about the Twins making decisions based on spring training performances. Here are:



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