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  1. Minnesota’s run of excellent closers stretches over much of the last two decades. From Joe Nathan to Glen Perkins and now Taylor Rogers, Twins fans have been privy to some great late inning arms. Now, one pitch might turn this pitcher into the Twins future closer. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the
  2. Many relief pitchers can be successful by relying on two to three pitches. For instance, Taylor Rogers has found a lot of success at the big-league level by throwing a two-pitch mix with his fastball and a slider. Relievers can use their best pitches, because they don’t have to worry about facing a hitter multiple times in the same game. Some pitchers are forced to adjust their repertoire if they aren’t finding success. Jorge Alcalá was part of one of the biggest trades under the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime. He came to the Twins along with Gilberto Celestino as part of the Ryan Pr
  3. Case for Induction Even with the late start to his career, Nathan pitched into his 40s while making six All-Star teams. He accumulated six seasons with an ERA under 2.00 with a career 9.5 SO/9. One of the biggest stats attached to Hall of Fame relievers is saves and he finished eighth in careers saves and there were seven times he ranked in the top five in saves. Nathan also ranks sixth all-time in win probability added among relief pitchers. Jay Jaffe, the man that literally wrote the book on Cooperstown cases, has Nathan among the two best relief pitchers outside the Hall. While Jaffe usua
  4. Initial Deal: November 14, 2003 Joe Mauer was waiting in the wings to talk over as the team’s full-time catcher. During the previous minor league season, Mauer posted an .832 OPS with 37 extra-base hits while making it all the way to Double-A. He was widely considered baseball’s best prospect and Baseball America had awarded him their Minor League Player of the Year. Pierzynski was no slouch either as he was an All-Star in 2002 and he was coming off a season where he posted an .824 OPS with 49 extra-base hits. The three players acquired from the Giants were Boof Bonser, Francisco Liriano and
  5. Most Twins fans know about the trade that sent AJ Pierzynski to the San Francisco Giants for a trio of players. In fact, it might be one of the greatest trades in Twins history. Minnesota made that deal back in November 2003 and the ripple effects of that trade are still being felt in the organization. Let’s examine the “AJ Pierzynski Transaction Tree.”Initial Deal: November 14, 2003 Joe Mauer was waiting in the wings to talk over as the team’s full-time catcher. During the previous minor league season, Mauer posted an .832 OPS with 37 extra-base hits while making it all the way to Double-A. H
  6. News broke on Sunday that Ron Gardenhire was retiring, effective immediately. The former Twins manager had been Detroit’s skipper for the last three seasons. He’s had a losing record in every season for the Tigers as they have been in full rebuild mode. Initially, his plan was to retire at the conclusion of the 2020 season, but a case of food poisoning and underlying health conditions pushed him into an early exit. In a press release, Gardenhire said, ““This is a bittersweet day for myself and my family. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the countless players and coaches that I’ve h
  7. For 13 years, Ron Gardenhire was at the helm of the Minnesota Twins. He would win six division titles and finish his Twins tenure with the second most wins in franchise history. On Saturday, he announced his retirement from baseball, but his legacy will be long lasting in Twins Territory.News broke on Sunday that Ron Gardenhire was retiring, effective immediately. The former Twins manager had been Detroit’s skipper for the last three seasons. He’s had a losing record in every season for the Tigers as they have been in full rebuild mode. Initially, his plan was to retire at the conclusion of th
  8. 2019: 53-29, 9 Games Up Minnesota still would have won the AL Central after 82 games, but the playoffs would have looked different for the Bomba Squad. New York had the top record in the AL after 82 games so Minnesota would have matched up with Houston in the first round. Besides matching up with the Astros, the Twins had the second-best record in the league and that would have meant home field advantage for the ALDS. 2017: 42-40, 2.5 Games Back Back in 2017, the Twins used a surge in the second half to separate themselves from the other teams in the American League and clinch the second Wil
  9. Baseball is a beautiful game. The long season, the in-game decisions, and the chance of playoff glory make each season a new adventure. Minnesota’s playoff fate would have been drastically altered over their last four playoff appearances. There are certainly some things to consider when looking at these records. Obviously, the division will look different this year, but it goes beyond that. The franchise's destiny could have taken on a totally different route if seasons were limited to 82 games.2019: 53-29, 9 Games Up Minnesota still would have won the AL Central after 82 games, but the playof
  10. The 2000s Twins were again quite successful, winning six AL Central division titles. As has been the case in other decades, it was largely due to the hitters. But there were some really strong pitching performances as well from some very recognizable names.While the player names from the 1960s have a certain lore about them, the pitchers from the decade of 2000 were really good too. The staff was led by Brad Radke, a Twins Hall of Famer who was part of the Twins 1990s staff. Johan Santana came to the organization and immediately was good. Very soon after, he became the best pitcher in baseb
  11. While the player names from the 1960s have a certain lore about them, the pitchers from the decade of 2000 were really good too. The staff was led by Brad Radke, a Twins Hall of Famer who was part of the Twins 1990s staff. Johan Santana came to the organization and immediately was good. Very soon after, he became the best pitcher in baseball for a dozen years. In addition, the bullpen you will see is very strong, led by a couple of Twins Hall of Famers. What you will see if a lot of strike throwers... which won't surprise you at all. So today, enjoy looking back at the top Twins pitcher
  12. Jack Morris Region Game 7 of the 1991 World Series is widely considered one of the best games in baseball history. It capped off a tremendous back-and-forth World Series that might be the best World Series in history (See Kirby Puckett Region below). Jack Morris pitched 10-shutout innings on the way to winning the World Series MVP and this game was the logical choice as the number one overall seed. After a Twitter request, many important games in Twins history were identified and placed throughout the tournament. Johan Santana dueling with Jamie Garcia back in 2005, Minnesota tying for the A
  13. Hall of Fame players are not one-size fits all and, for many, the path to the Hall includes excellence over a long period of time. Joe Nathan’s play over the last decade is certainly going to warrant some consideration for the Hall, but there could be some obstacles awaiting him on his path to enshrinement. Much like current Twin Nelson Cruz, Nathan didn’t become a big league regular until late into his 20s. Minnesota traded for him in one of the best trades in franchise history and he immediately became one of the best closers in the game. Unfortunately for Nathan, relief pitchers are under
  14. July’s trade deadline is one way for clubs to bolster their roster to make a deep playoff run. However, the biggest trade in Twins history took place in the off-season, not at the trade deadline. Minnesota need to make way for Joe Mauer to take over as the team’s everyday catcher and the team was able to acquire three very good pieces that would help the Twins to multiple division titles. Here’s a look back at one of the greatest trades in Twins history.Mauer’s Presence In the 2003-04 off-season, Mauer was coming off a tremendous minor league season. Between High- and Double-A, he hit .338/.
  15. Mauer’s Presence In the 2003-04 off-season, Mauer was coming off a tremendous minor league season. Between High- and Double-A, he hit .338/.398/.434 (.832) with 37 extra-base hits in 135 games. Baseball America awarded him the Minor League Player of the Year and he would be named the number one prospect that off-season. St. Paul’s hometown boy seemed destined to take his place behind the plate at the Metrodome. Blocking Mauer was Minnesota’s starting catcher in 2003, AJ Pierzynski, and he was coming off a strong season himself. He had an All-Star season in 2002, but the 2003 campaign might h
  16. Taylor Rogers was an 11th round draft pick back in 2012. Here’s the list of players from that round that have a positive WAR at the big-league level…. Taylor Rogers and that’s it. As the old adage goes, Rogers is left-handed, and he has a pulse. This makes him valuable, but Minnesota had no idea how valuable he would be when they took him that late in the draft. Below is a brief look at the Taylor Rogers story as he has transformed himself into the most valuable reliever on one of the American League’s best teams.Minor Leagues With his college experience, it made sense for Rogers to try to s
  17. Minor Leagues With his college experience, it made sense for Rogers to try to stick as a starting pitcher. During his professional debut (15 appearances), he split time between Elizabethton and Beloit with a 2.27 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, and a 74 to 17 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2013, he continued to be utilized as a starter. Between Low- and High-A, he posted good numbers as he made 24 starts and posted a 2.88 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP. Over the next two seasons, he would continue to start, and he made multiple trips to the Arizona Fall League. New Britain was his home for all of 2014 as he had a 3.29
  18. Relief pitchers This is the hardest section for me to do an analysis. Is it the closer, is it the person who is in the most games? How do we define this role? There is a different role before saves became the negotiation tool, and now there is, finally, a change in perception of what makes a great reliever. In 1961 Pedro Ramos was in 53 games and started 34, Ray Moore was in 46 games and started none, Jim Kaat was in 47 games and started 29 and Bill Pleis was in 37 and started none. Looking at the all time lists the leaders in saves is: 1. Joe Nathan 260 2. Rick Aguilera 254 3. Glen Perkins
  19. Byron Buxton didn’t finish last season in Minnesota. The organization decided not to make him a September call-up. In doing so, the club picked up an extra year of service time as Buxton now won’t be eligible for free agency until 2023. There were high hopes for Buxton entering the 2018 campaign. He ended 2017 on an upswing as he hit .300/.347/.546 with 23 extra-base hits in the second half. However, the 2018 campaign quickly turned into a nightmare for Buxton. He only managed to play 28 games at the big-league level while hitting .156/.183/.200 with four extra-base hits. He struggled throug
  20. Do you see that? Look on the horizon. Spring training is slowly moving closer. Twins pitchers and catchers will soon be reporting to Fort Myers with position players following close behind. Before the Twins make their annual trek south, it’s important to look at some of the key aspects facing the club in 2019. In the coming days, multiple keys will be identified and addressed. Minnesota has a chance to win the AL Central for the first time since 2010. For that to happen, certain things will need to work in the club’s favor this year. First on the list is the emergence of Mr. Byron Buxton.B
  21. The Twins will have pre-game ceremonies on the field before games on August 3rd and 4th, games against the Royals. "The Pohlad family and entire Minnesota Twins organization would like to offer congratulations to Joe Nathan and Jerry Bell on their well-deserved election to the Twins Hall of Fame." Joe Nathan became the Twins all-time leader in Saves with 260. He pitched for the Twins in 2004 through 2011, seven of his 16 MLB seasons. Over his time with the Twins, he went 24-13 with a 2.16 ERA in 463 1/3 innings. He struck out 561 in that time. Nathan came to the Twins in one of the most
  22. On Friday afternoon at Target Field, Twins president Dave St. Peter announced that there will be two new members to the Twins Hall of Fame in 2018. In the players ballot, former Twins closer (and Twins Daily Winter Meltdown guest) Joe Nathan was announced. In a non-players ballot, former Twins president Jerry Bell. They will be the 32nd and 33rd Twins Hall of Famers.The Twins will have pre-game ceremonies on the field before games on August 3rd and 4th, games against the Royals. "The Pohlad family and entire Minnesota Twins organization would like to offer congratulations to Joe Nathan and J
  23. The Meltdown is Saturday, Jan 26th, from 4:30-7:30. That's the same night you'll be in town anyway, going to Twins Fest. It'll be at Brothers Bar in downtown Minneapolis, just two blocks from Twins Plaza. It includes a pint glass (you can see previous years’) and two free 612 Brew beers. Plus, you could have met all of the above guests and many more at our Meltdowns. (We're not letting the cat out of the bag yet who are special guests are this year until after the new year.) There will also be some sweet raffle and game prizes, and lots of time to talk Hot Stove and order some of Brothers gr
  24. Sorry, the presale tickets have sold out. We'll release a portion of full price tickets when we announce the special guest. Thank you so much for your support, and Happy Holidays! How about an intimate holiday gathering with … Joe Nathan? LatTroy Hawkins? Scott Erickson? These are just a few of the special guests at Twins Daily’s Winter Meltdown, and this year we’re limiting the size to half of last year’s sellout crowd. Plus, you can buy presale tickets for just $25 (regular $40) through 12/25. We are offering this quietly, to people that visit the site in the dead of winter.The Meltdown is
  25. This list is obviously subjective, but I’d love to hear from you. What are your favorite ads produced by the Twins or featuring Twins players? Laurel Krahn (@wintwins on Twitter) has a wonderful playlist on YouTube with more than 100 Twins commercials. But even the Internet has its limitations. I’m sure there are some great older ones that aren’t out there on YouTube. 10. Joe Mauer Mean Joe Green Tribute 9. Sorta Deep Thoughts With Bert Blyleven and Carl Pavano https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zT4jCLoxWYk&feature=youtu.be 8. Ron Gardenhire on TC’s Natural Habitat 7. Kent Hrbek’s First
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