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    by 04-02-2012, 10:41 PM

    The Twins roster is set, and with that, the minor league rosters are set as well. It is an unusual season in that the minor league seasons start (a day) before the big league Opening Day. I may be in the minority, but I get just as excited about minor league Opening Day as I do about major league Opening Day (and I think Opening Day should be a national holiday!).

    Pending last minute injuries or transactions, below are the Opening Day rosters for the Twins minor league affiliates, along with a very brief summary of what to look for. Please feel free to ask questions in the Comments section, and I'll be sure to try to answer as many as I can.
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    by 04-02-2012, 01:08 PM

    When the Twins signed Ryan Doumit, they gained a switch-hitter who had a moderate level of pop and decent batting average ability thanks to a high line drive rate. What they did not necessarily sign was a patient hitter who has been able to coax walks. The former Pittsburgh Pirate has held a 6.8% walk rate for his career, a mark that is slightly below the average of 8%. However, this spring, bolstered by nine walks in 54 plate appearances, Doumit has turned in a 15% walk rate.

    Could Doumit have turned a corner in his career? Has he added another dimension
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    by 04-01-2012, 11:26 PM

    The following story was originally published in January, in my Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2012. The day after the 2011 season ended, I named the SethSpeaks.net Twins Minor League Player of the Year (Brian Dozier), the Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year (Liam Hendriks) and the Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year (Andrew Albers). For my book, I was fortunate to get in contact with all three of those players and interviewed each of them for a story.

    Over the weekend, it became official that Liam Hendriks had made the Twins Opening Day starter. He will make his 2012 debut on Sunday against the Orioles. I thought it would be fun, and timely, to post the Liam Hendriks article here. (If you want to read the Dozier and/or Albers article, and read over 160 player profiles of Twins minor leaguers and much more, you can order a paperback book here, or you can get an electronic version here.)

    Here is the story on Hendriks:
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    by 04-01-2012, 10:58 PM

    I know the Twins still have five days until they get to play the Orioles, but I can’t wait. The roster is set. There are a couple more meaningless games against the Rays, because you can’t play enough meaningless games against the Rays. And then a game versus the Miracle? Really? I’ll be damned if I’m not going to look forward to Friday.

    Orioles By The Numbers


    Overall
    69.5 – The over/under Vegas set for Orioles wins this year. Which means if they go 70-92, they would still exceed expectations. That’s the worst over/under in the American League.

    103-116 – Manager Buck Showalter’s record with the Orioles.
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    by 04-01-2012, 10:44 PM

    * The Twins made their final round of cuts yesterday, sending Brian Dozier, J.R. Towles, Casey Fien and Brian Dinkelman to Rochester. With that, the season-opening 25-man roster has come into clear focus; it will include four starters, eight relievers and – surprisingly – only two catchers.

    Drew Butera and J.R. Towles appeared to be battling for the third catcher job, but both will open the campaign in Triple-A, meaning that Ron Gardenhire will have Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit as his sole catching options. There's a measure of risk here but I think it's the right choice.
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    by 04-01-2012, 07:21 PM

    If you're in the mood to listen to some Twins talk, but want to use your ears and give your eyes a break, check out these links:

    Podcasts
    Seth does two weekly podcasts which you can download or listen to (and ask questions) live:

    John sits down with Aaron Gleeman at their favorite watering hole and talks Twins once per week, usually posting the results on Tuesday. You can find Gleeman and the Geek here, or you can subscribe, or you can
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    by 04-01-2012, 08:36 AM

    On Sunday morning, Brian Dozier, JR Towles, Brian Dinkelman and Casey Fien were all re-assigned to minor league camp. The moves have mean that the Twins roster is essentially set.

    Dozier came into camp hoping to make a strong impression and it would be an understatement to say he did. He displayed strong defense that appears to give the Twins coaches and front office confidence that he can be an every day shortstop. He hit well, including three spring home runs. It's safe to say that he'll head to Rochester knowing that if needed, the Twins will not hesitate to bring him up.
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    by 03-31-2012, 08:04 PM

    This blog was written by Twins minor league pitcher Tim Shibuya. The right-hander was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year last year, and he will be starting for the Beloit Snappers as the 2012 season begins. Here are his thoughts as spring training comes to an end.

    As the end of Spring Training nears, the positives and negatives that you only think about at the start of camp start to become a reality. Friends you have played with for a while might get moved to a higher level as they have earned a job and showed they can play at the next level. Others get bumped down by either poor play, a player being reassigned from big league camp, or a combination of the two.
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    by 03-31-2012, 03:52 PM

    According to Joe Christensen, Ron Gardenhire detailed the plan for the Twins early-season rotation in his post game talk. The Twins will start with a four-man rotation for their first four games and and then switch to a five-man rotation for the second cycle.

    The dark horse who will be added is Liam Hendriks, who will pitch the third game of the season in Baltimore following Carl Pavano and Francisco Liriano. Nick Blackburn will be scheduled to pitch for the Twins Home Opener. Next follows and off day, so
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    by 03-31-2012, 02:29 PM

    The Fort Myers Miracle had a rough season in 2011, posting a disappointing 63-76 record under manager Jake Mauer. Some of the frustration was due to injuries and more was due to just plain lack of production. The Miracle will be back in 2012 with some familiar faces as they try to get back in the playoff hunt. They also will infuse some new talent that should make the summer very exciting for fans as the Miracle try to return to the playoffs in 2012 for the third time in the last five years. Here is my roster projection for the Ft. Myers Miracle. This is just a guess so let the discussion begin.

    C- Danny Rams- Bam Bam Rams comes back for a second season trying to build off of a decent rookie year with the Miracle where he had 27 extra base hits.

    1b- Michael Gonzalez- Gonzalez moves up to Fort Myers after belting 15 home runs and driving in 76 runs in Beloit in 2011.
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    by 03-31-2012, 08:00 AM

    (Editors note: Updated at 10:30 with additional information from Joe Christensen's blog.)

    The Twins announced via Twitter this morning that they had optioned backup catcher to Rochester, reassigned utility infielder Mike Hollimon and placed relief pitcher Kyle Waldrop on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 26th. Furthermore, Butera told Star-Tribune beat reporter Joe Christensen that the Twins told him they were only taking two catchers north, leading Joe to believe that Sean Burroughs has won the last spot on the Twins bench.
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    by 03-30-2012, 11:55 AM

    [Originally published at Twins Fan From Afar]

    Chris Parmelee
    should be fine. He looked great last September in a Twins uniform, and was a bright spot during an otherwise dismal time. Of the three prospects called up -- Parmelee, Joe Benson and Liam Hendriks -- Parmelee looked the most ready for the show. After watching several Rock Cats games last year in person, I was a little surprised that Parmelee, and not Benson, looked better in his time as a Twin, but that is why I don't get paid to do anything baseball related. You can call it a small sample size, and you'd be correct, but for 21 games in a Twins uniform, Parmelee had a .355/.443/.592 slash line with 4 home runs and 18 RBIs, and most importantly, didn't looked overmatched at the plate or in the field. He also just looked comfortable playing in the majors, which some call-ups are not.
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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
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    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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