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    by 03-07-2012, 08:37 PM

    Maybe one of the only good things about suffering through a 99-loss season with the Twins in 2011 was the fact that the organization would have a very good pick in the 2012 amateur draft. The Twins "earned" the number two selection for the draft this June and this means there should be some very good talent to select from with only the Astros picking before them.

    Fans looking forward to the June draft were dealt a blow on Wednesday as it was announced that one of the projected top five picks would miss the rest of his high school career with an elbow injury. Lucas Giolito is a 6-foot-6 right-handed pitcher who some scouts projected to be the number one pick. This injury obviously changes many of those projections and his stock in the draft will most likely fall.
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    by 03-07-2012, 04:13 PM

    The first full day of Spring Training was a whirlwind of activities. Being my first March in Fort Myers, I wasn’t completely sure what to expect. Here is how it went:

    Leave home for the airport. Say goodbye to my fiancé. Check my bags, just under the weight limit. Take my shoes off, walk through a small door, put my shoes back on. Sit and read Hunger Games. Hope they make it out alive. Hangout with Nate Hanson. Board the plane. Watch Cole Nelson try to fit his long legs in a very small space. Take off. Take a nap. Finish Hunger Games. I won’t spoil it. Drink a miniature glass of Diet Coke, no nuts or pretzels? Plane lands. Text everyone, “I’m here!” Grab bags. Hop in a van. Arrive at hotel. Sign my name on a computer screen. Arrive at my room. Roy Larson is staring at me. My roommate, Tyler Koelling hasn’t moved since he got here. Watch two teams punch tickets to the NCAA Tourney. Good luck against the one seeds. Start next Hunger Games book. Mind is blown. Crank up the AC. Go to sleep.
    by 03-07-2012, 12:25 PM

    Nick Blackburn’s greatest redeeming quality is his ability to consume innings. Unfortunately, for the past two consecutive seasons, he has not come close to proving his worth in this department.

    When he was not sidelined by injuries, Blackburn pitched on either side of the spectrum for the Twins. One month - like May 2011 where he went 3-0 with a 2.53 ERA in 42 innings pitched - he would be dazzling, using his sinker effectively and keeping opponents off-balanced. The next month – like July in which he went 1-2 with a 7.45 ERA in 29 innings – he’d have fallen apart and was
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    by 03-06-2012, 10:27 PM

    At my former writing home, I made an annual tradition of running through each position on the Twins' roster in March, sorting out the backup options and projecting the starter's performance. That tradition will continue here at Twins Daily, and today I'll kick off the Position Analysis series with catcher, where Joe Mauer is looking for a big comeback year.
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    by 03-06-2012, 03:42 PM

    Tuesday afternoon's game between the Twins and Rays ended with the Twins clutching to a 3-2 lead. Danny Valencia had the decisive hit, a single (with an error) that drove in the second and third run with two outs in the third innings. The Twins loaded the bases for Valencia with a mixture of small ball: a single, a sac bunt, two stolen bases and two walks.

    On the hill, Scott Baker went two innings, Matt Capps struggled a little but got out of his inning without giving up a run and Glen Perkinds struck out two in his frame. Both Rays runs came in the eighth inning off of reliever Jeff Gray.

    For more detail, including lots of hitter by hitter description and reaction, check out this afternoon's game thread.
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    by 03-06-2012, 09:53 AM

    On Tuesday, Twins minor leaguers need to report to spring training camp. Tomorrow, they will get going with their first official workout. With 66 players currently in big league camp (40 roster, 26 non-roster minor leaguers), another 120 or more players will report for minor league camp. This includes players in the rookie leagues on up.

    There are going to be a lot of stories from minor league camp that we’ll be following here throughout camp. You will hear plenty about Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario, Aaron Hicks, Alex Wimmers, David Bromberg, Anthony Slama and other top prospects, but we will also make a point to talk about players that you may not otherwise hear about.

    Today, I wanted to start by writing about several players who missed time in 2011 due to injury. Some of these guys missed the whole year. Others were shut down early. Each of them will be worth following through minor league camp to see how they are progressing and where they wind up. Here they are in no particular order:
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    by 03-05-2012, 10:52 PM

    As the battle for the 25-man roster heats up in the Florida sunshine, utility hopeful Luke Hughes is going to be given a long look but no leeway, regardless of his current option situation says Twins general manager Terry Ryan:

    "Being out of options, that doesn't mean much. You just play the game," Ryan said. "Ultimately if they're one of the best 25, you keep 'em. If they're not, the decision comes from up here, which I don't particularly like, but we go through this every spring. ... I don't worry too much about that until the latter part of March."

    Hughes, who suffered a sprained shoulder while playing in Australia, has been cautiously re-introduced to playing time this spring, getting time as a DH until the team feels he is ready for throwing. After going 0-for-3 in last night’s game against Boston, he is now 0-for-6 to start spring training play.
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    by 03-05-2012, 10:22 PM

    Aaron Gleeman and the Twins Geek discuss Zumaya's injury, rank JR Towles chances of unseating Drew Butera, watch the Twins first televised spring training game, take questions at the Wild Boar and finally unveil John's original "Beauty & The Beast" theme song. Here are:

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    by 03-05-2012, 10:08 PM

    Sometimes a team needs just one bad inning to lose a ball game. The Twins had two (really) bad innings in a 10-2 loss to the cross-town Red Sox.

    Jason Marquis made the start for the Twins and struck out two in a scoreless first inning. He came back out for the second frame and things did not go well at all. Marquis gave up four runs on three hits, a couple of walks and three wild pitches. The pace of the game slowed dramatically that second inning.

    Jeff Manship came in and quickly recorded the final out of the 2nd inning. He pitched a quick third inning as well, although he did give up a long home run to former Twin David Ortiz, who was playing 1B for the Red Sox. Liam Hendriks pitched very well. He struck out three in two scoreless innings. Carlos Gutierrez came in and quickly struck out two in his inning.
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    by 03-05-2012, 08:22 PM

    Well everyone, spring training is finally upon us!

    With only a few days to go, I sit back and critique myself. Did I prepare to my fullest ability? Did I out-work everyone else when there was nobody looking? Could I have done more?

    These are all questions that run through anybody that did prepare. There may be a sense of panic for the guys that didn’t. Overall, there is a great excitement to get the ball rolling this year.


    With report date tomorrow, I’m looking forward to seeing all my past teammates, along with future ones. All will check in to the team hotel. (A side note to those who do not know, yes, they actually put the entire minor league group in the same “Team Hotel” which always makes for some great late night card games!)
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    by 03-05-2012, 08:51 AM

    When the Twins came to Minnesota from Washington for the 1961, one of the players that came was first baseman Don Mincher. On Sunday night, Mincher passed away at the age of 73.

    Mincher originally signed in 1956 with the Chicago White Sox but in April of 1960, he was traded along with Earl Battey and cash to the Senators for Roy Sievers. He made his big league debut with Washington in 1960. He stayed with the Twins through the 1966 season when he was traded to the Angels with Pete Cimino and Jimmie Hall for Dean Chance. In his seven seasons with the Minnesota Twins, he played in 617 games and hit .244/.340/.450 (.798) with 77 doubles, 10 triples, 92 home runs and 270 RBI. He was the Twins starting first baseman from 1964-1966 and in those three years, he hit .247/.331/.482 with 59 doubles, 7 triples and 59 home runs.
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    by 03-04-2012, 11:51 PM

    There's a saying that goes: one man's persisting and possibly career-ending concussion aftermath is another man's opportunity. Something like that, anyway.

    Up to this point, things have gone smoothly for Justin Morneau, who has been able to get through all his workouts and delivered an RBI single in the Twins' Grapefruit League opener on Saturday. But the first baseman acknowledged recently that post-concussion symptoms continued to haunt him throughout the offseason, and that if they return he's probably going to have to hang up the spikes.

    Those would be some pretty big spikes to fill.
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    by 03-04-2012, 03:58 PM

    When the Twins opened up Target Field in April of 2010, they played host to the Boston Red Sox. This afternoon, the Twins sent a split-squad team across Ft. Myers to play against the Red Sox in the first game in the new jetBlue Park at Fenway South. The near-Fenway clone is a beautiful park, and Twins fans should be excited about it because the Twins also are getting money for renovations and improvements to Hammond Stadium.

    The Twins won their inaugural Target Field game 5-2. The Red Sox won their inaugural jetBlue game by a score of 8-2.

    It was actually a really good game much of the way. The Twins scored a run in the top of the 7th to tie the game at two apiece.
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    by 03-04-2012, 03:04 PM

    I’m sure discussions were beginning about what would happen should this game need to go to extra innings. The Twins sent a split-squad roster to play the Rays, so there were only a certain number of pitchers available. That’s when catcher JR Towles stepped to the plate with a runner on in the top of the 9th. The #3-catcher hopeful hit a fly ball that, with the help of a strong wind, landed on the other side of the fence for a two-run homer that gave the Twins a 5-3 lead.


    Towles comes to the Twins as a minor league free agent. He had once been a top prospect in the Astros system and had a terrific showing as a rookie in 2007. In 44 plate appearances he hit .375. However, in the four years since, he has hit .137, .188, .191, and .184. The Astros had had enough. The Twins likely figured that wouldn’t be much worse than Drew Butera and maybe there is a chance he could return to some level of competency with a change of scenery.
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    by 03-04-2012, 10:04 AM

    Originally posted at k-bro's baseball blog

    Twins 2012 Spring Training games start on Saturday! Isn't it wonderful that they figured out to have practice games in Florida right at the time when baseball fans can't stand not having baseball anymore and Minnesotans want to go somewhere warm?

    If you've never been to Fort Myers for Spring Training, I highly encourage you to go. It's a great family vacation, whether you love baseball, the beach, or both. If you've never
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    by 03-04-2012, 09:53 AM

    The beginning of the Grapefruit Season means more baseball talk, and we saw it on the forum board yesterday:


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