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About this blog

On-site Twins coverage from Brandon Warne, Zone Coverage Twins beat reporter

Entries in this blog

WARNE: Life as a Father in Today's MLB

This is part of a story that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing!   It’s Father’s Day, and with the Minnesota Twins on the road wrapping up a three-game series against the Cleveland Indians, it can be easy to forget that these guys spent 100-plus days per year away from their families.   Think about it; they’re guaranteed 81 days on the road just by virtue of away games, and then factor in six weeks of spring training and well

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

The Tommy John Files: RHP-Turned-Advance Video Scout Jeremy Hefner

This is an excerpt of a post that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it, and consider subscribing here.   Tommy John celebrated his 75th birthday last Tuesday, but the surgery that bears his name is well over 40 years old. In fact, enter a room of pitchers and you’ll find that the sampling of those who’ve had Tommy John surgery is akin to going to a fraternity and trying to find a dude who has ever had a hangover.   Orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe performed the fir

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

The Tommy John Files: LHP Zach Duke

This is an excerpt of an article that appears in full on Zone Coverage. Please click here to read the full story, and please consider subscribing to the site here.   Tommy John celebrated his 75th birthday on Tuesday, but the surgery that bears his name is well over 40 years old. In fact, enter a room of pitchers and you’ll find that the sampling of those who’ve had Tommy John surgery is akin to going to a fraternity and trying to find a dude who has ever had a hangover.   Orthopedic surgeon Fra

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

David Wells’ Perfect Game — 20 Years Later

This is an excerpt from a piece that originates at Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read the rest, and consider subscribing to the site.   It’s May 17, 1998.   It’s 8:30 a.m.   It’s a Sunday.   There is nothing remotely perfect about David Wells’ state of mind as he’s on the receiving end of a Senton Splash — as popularized by the Hardy Boyz of WWE fame from that era — from his son Brandon. Having poured himself into bed a mere 210 minutes earlier, Wells’ mind couldn’t be further from

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Twins Should Promote Nick Gordon

This is an excerpt from a story that originated at Zone Coverage. Please read it in its entirety here, and consider subscribing to support the site.   The Miguel Sano injury situation trudged through Day 18 on Tuesday without much of an update as the Minnesota Twins prepared to open a quick two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.   “(It was) more of the same today,” manager Paul Molitor said. “(He) ran the bases. Still, from my vantage point, we’re not seeing max effort, which we’re going

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

RECAP: Water-Logged Twins Sawed Off by LeBlanc in 1-0 Loss to Mariners

This is an excerpt from a piece on Zone Coverage which originates here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing to the site to support our work.   The Minnesota Twins returned home from a successful road trip for a strange one-off game against the Seattle Mariners. The game, which was a make-up for one that was snowed out on April 8, was delayed an hour and 42 minutes before it got underway.   From that point on, it was an unlikely pitcher’s duel between Twins righty Ja

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Getting to Know Lance Lynn — a Man of Few Words and Fewer Pitches

This is an excerpt from a piece on Zone Coverage which originates here. Please click through to read it in full, and consider subscribing to the site to support our work.   Lance Lynn likes his fastball.   He likes it a lot.   Lynn is in the midst of his seventh MLB season, and he’s never thrown it less than 70.4 percent of the time. In fact, in his final two years with the St. Louis Cardinals — a team he’s slated to face at Target Field on Wednesday afternoon — that usage rocketed over 80 perce

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Talking Shop with New Twins Pitching Coach Garvin Alston

It can take a little while for fans to figure out what a new coach is all about on their favorite team. For instance, it took a while into last season for Twins to hear about James Rowson’s hitting theories, both with Byron Buxton’s struggles and rebound as well as Eddie Rosario’s development as a hitter.   Now imagine how long it takes for a coach to learn about all their pupils. That’s even more true of new Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston, whose team is coming off using 36 pitchers last sea

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Well Equipped to Handle Rescheduled Games

This is an excerpt of a story that originates on Zone Coverage here. Please click through to read it in full.   Mother Nature has a cruel and ironic sense of humor.   While the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox had three-quarters of a four-game set turned into a winter wonderland last weekend, it’s going to be a balmy 67 degrees on Monday — just in time for the Twins to open a four-game series with the New York Yankees.   In the Bronx, as luck would have it.   Postponements mean make-up game

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

The Morning After: Walk Off Homer in Extras Foils Twins Season Opener

This is an except of a post that originated at Zone Coverage; please read the entire thing here.   The 2016 season opened with a walk-off loss for the Minnesota Twins in Baltimore.   Then again, it also began with Miguel Sano playing right field, so the parallels probably stop there.   But the Twins opened the 2018 season in stunningly similar fashion to two years ago, when the wheels fell all the way off on the path to a 103-loss season, the No. 1 overall pick and the bouncing bundle of prospec

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: In an Offseason Game of Poker, Falvey and Levine Make out Like Bandits

Impatience is a natural tendency. That’s especially true for fans of a team that, despite making the postseason last year, had obvious flaws.   So in a sense, it was understandable when Minnesota Twins fans were annoyed that the team came home from the winter meetings just before Christmas with a 40-year-old closer and a broken down starter who gives up too many homers.   Little did they know what would lie ahead for the winter. In fact, it was another month before the Twins did anything substan

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Hold Up, They Played....Where?

When I was a young boy, my mom used to get me the fantasy baseball magazines that came out from Athlon Sports and publications of that kind, and I’d devour them cover to cover. For a 10- or 11-year-old, I was pretty baseball obsessed.   That actually started around the time I was seven and at my grandma’s house, and we bonded over nightly Twins games as I grew to love the sport more and more over time.   In the magazines I previously referenced, they would publish a chart that showed how many ga

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

What Experts are Saying About Twins Prospects

With the arrival of spring comes a lot of things people have been working on all winter long. Teams have worked on building rosters, the earth has worked on getting warmer and writers have worked on prospect lists to unveil to the masses.   Prospect coverage has grown immensely in the last decade-plus — perhaps in lockstep with the Moneyball era — as fans have gone from shrugging at the idea of a minor leaguer coming up to the big leagues or being in a trade to the point where it’s almost become

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

REPORT: Twins Sign Anibal Sanchez to One-Year Deal

Twitter was ablaze with the news that the Minnesota Twins had signed former Marlins and Tigers starter Anibal Sanchez to a one-year deal. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports was the first to report a done deal, and also reported that it was a big-league deal worth $2.5 million over one year with the possibility of doubling that total via starts-based incentives.   MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger passes on that the deal is not guaranteed, though it does mean Sanchez will get a 40-man spot — one step up from a

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Shopping What’s Left in Free Agency for the Minnesota Twins

Pitchers and catchers report for the Minnesota Twins in less than a week, yet the pile of free agents looks as picked over as a Thanksgiving buffet after the first pass.   In short, there are plenty of leftovers — and primo ones, at that.   The Twins have already signed four pitchers to MLB deals, but could still stand to stock up on the remaining goods — all of which are likely to come at a lower price than when the winter started. It also isn’t a perfect roster for the Twins at this point. Sur

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

TWINS NOTEBOOK: Morneau, Santana, Kaat, Skinner and Improvements to Target Field

This is an excerpt. Please read the full article on Zone Coverage here.   Last week prior to the beginning of Twins Fest at Target Field, former Twins first baseman Justin Morneau formally announced his retirement. Morneau, who didn’t play anywhere in 2017, said it’s kind of funny, but the game oftentimes tells you when it’s time to be finished.   And ironically, he took his final at-bat in a Chicago White Sox uniform at Target Field on Oct. 2, 2016. Now, he’s back in the Twins family, as he not

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

REPORT: Twins Sign Reliever Addison Reed to Two-Year Deal

As far as we can tell, history was made on Saturday as the Minnesota Twins agreed to sign right-handed reliever Addison Reed to a two-year deal. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic had the first report, and as far as the crack research team of yours truly and Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press can tell, it’s the first-ever contract multi-year deal the team has ever handed out to a free-agent reliever. It’s the third addition the Twins have made to their bullpen this offseason after right-han

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

2017 Minnesota Twins Report Card: Alan Busenitz

This is a series of evaluations that will be done this offseason on every player that closed the season on the 40-man roster for the Minnesota Twins throughout the winter until each player has been evaluated. The plan is to start with Mr. Belisle and move all the way through the pitchers, then to the catchers, infielders, outfielders and finally those listed as designated hitters on the club’s official MLB.com roster. That means we’ll wrap it up with Kennys Vargas sometime before the season star

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Power Ranking the Fits for the Twins in Free Agency

The hot stove has remained tepid to this point, and while that has been cause for a bit of antsiness among fans and people who care about this news, it also allows us to do what teams are doing with these players — dig in a bit deeper.   So today, we’re taking a look at the power rankings of the players who offer the best fits for the Twins as free agents this offseason with all avenues considered.   1. Shohei Ohtani – RHP/LHH – Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters   Because of the cost-to-potential rat

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: The Twins Offense is too Good to Bunt -- Seriously.

Read this story in full on Zone Coverage here.   It’s a play as old as the game itself, and maybe that’s because the DH didn’t always exist. It’s the bunt, a time-honored tradition that is being phased out of the game more and more every year.   Fangraphs has sacrifice bunt totals dating back to 1895, and according to their database, the 925 sacrifice bunts laid down by teams in 2017 was the second-lowest figure in MLB history. Only the 1900 season (806 bunts) featured fewer, and there were only

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Unequivocally Did the Right Thing at the Trade Deadline

It’s not often that I allow someone in my mentions to get me so wound up that I devote an entire, stand-alone article to a single person, but here we are.   The tweet in question — feel free to click and read the mind-bending thread in all its glory — appears as follows: http://zonecoverage.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Capture-1.jpg   NOTE: This person has since blocked me for reasons that don’t entirely make sense. He has also deleted the tweets, so I have saved this screenshot to remember hi

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: 2017 Twins Offseason Blueprint

This is an excerpt from a Zone Coverage article which appears in full here. Please click the link.   The Minnesota Twins exhibited significant growth in 2017, winning 85 games just one season after crumbling to the depths of 103-loss despair. A lot of it was done with in-house guys, as the only significant additions were a decent reliever (Matt Belisle) and a good catcher (Jason Castro).   The rest of the bump came from within. But if we saw anything in October, it was that, while the Twins were

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

WARNE: Twins Should Mimic the Astros -- Sort Of

This is an excerpt from a post at Zone Coverage. It appears in full here.   It’s not terribly controversial to suggest that the Houston Astros just climbed the summit to reach heights that fans hope are possible in the near future for the Minnesota Twins.   Like, winning the World Series is the ultimate goal, and seeing a team that was -- at least for a stretch -- going through their rebuild concurrently with the Twins should give fans at least a semblance of hope for the future.   But what it s

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

Twins Announce New Pitching Coach; Dozier, Buxton Gold Glove Finalists

The Minnesota Twins took the first step to improving their pitching staff on Thursday, as the club announced they’ve hired Garvin Alston as the new pitching coach on the big-league staff. Alston is the 16th pitching coach in Twins history, and fourth since 1985 according to a team release.   Alston finished 2017 as the bullpen coach for the Oakland A’s, and began the season as a pitching rehab coordinator for the San Diego Padres. He’s spent 13 years coaching in some capacity in professional bas

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

2017 Minnesota Twins Report Card: Buddy Boshers

This is an excerpt of an article that appears in full on Zone Coverage here. Please click through.   This is a series of evaluations that will be done this offseason on every player that closed the season on the 40-man roster for the Minnesota Twins throughout the winter until each player has been evaluated. The plan is to start with Mr. Belisle and move all the way through the pitchers, then to the catchers, infielders, outfielders and finally those listed as designated hitters on the club’s of

Brandon Warne

Brandon Warne

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