Baseball: Following My Minnesota Twins 2015 Highlight Season

June 1, 2015 at 12:42 am | Posted in Baseball, Minnesota, Twins | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

W L PCT GB
Kansas City 73 47 .608 –
Minnesota 60 61 .496 13.5
Detroit 59 61 .492 14.0
Chi White Sox 56 63 .471 16.5
Cleveland 56 64 .467 17.0

Twins pour it on Orioles as Duffey cruises Aug 20th 2015
“BALTIMORE — Twins right-hander Tyler Duffey was unfazed by a downpour that stalled Thursday’s start by two hours and 31 minutes. In just his third Major League start, the 6-foot-3 rookie responded to the delay like a veteran, going 7 2/3 innings to lead the Twins to a 15-2 victory and their fourth straight win over the Orioles this season.
Duffey was aided by a five-run second inning from the Minnesota offense, which drew some early boos from Baltimore fans directed at starter Miguel Gonzalez. After an 11-pitch first inning, Gonzalez tossed 40 pitches in the second as four different Twins players picked up an RBI in the frame….”

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/15493892/v356772583/dozier-talks-about-his-work-with-amigos-for-christ

Duffey earns first MLB win as Twins top Tribe By Jordan Bastian and Betsy Helfand / MLB.com | 12:26 AM ET (Sat. Aug 15th 2015)

W L PCT GB
Kansas City 68 45 .602 –
Minnesota 57 56 .504 11.0

Sano leads Twins to elusive series win (8.12.15)

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_08_12_texmlb_minmlb_1&lang=en#game=2015_08_12_texmlb_minmlb_1,game_state=Wrapup,game_tab=box

Escobar’s walk-off double caps Twins’ comeback
http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/142522410

W L PCT GB
Kansas City 64 44 .593 –
Minnesota 55 54 .505 9.5
Detroit 53 56 .486 11.5
Chi White Sox 51 56 .477 12.5
Cleveland 49 59 .454 15.0

Hunter rallies teammates, wins game with HR By August Fagerstrom / MLB.com | 1:06 AM ET m.twins.mlb.com

Veteran outfielder motivates team to battle back, gets it done with ninth-inning blast

CLEVELAND — A wise man named Torii Hunter once said after a gutsy victory in Cleveland, “When trees are in hurricanes and storms, all they do is grow deeper roots so they won’t tip over. That’s what we have to do is grow deeper roots, dig deep and try to withstand the storm.”

Hunter played the role of motivational speaker during the Twins’ 10-9 victory on Saturday — and the role of philosopher after it.

The team was on the heels of a deflating four-game sweep, and manager Paul Molitor said before Friday’s contest that the team needed to figure out a way to weather the storm.

The Twins appeared to respond well, jumping out to an early 6-0 lead against rookie pitcher Cody Anderson, but the lead was one they quickly relinquished, as the Indians tagged starter Mike Pelfrey and reliever A.J. Achter for nine runs over the next two innings….”

Twins Talk: Hicks Has Arrived! 23 Stories and Photos by Gordy Jones Jul 15 .kmrskkok.com

“great to watch Aaron Hicks as he blossoms into a solid major league outfielder, and as a hitter who can drill the ball with authority.

Aaron grew up in Southern California, playing golf and baseball nearly every day. People who know say he could have gone pro in golf if he had chosen to take that route, and maybe even could do that today if he devoted 100% of his focus to his clubs rather than his bat. But he chose baseball, and although there were a few hiccups on the road to where he is today, folks who knew him, and knew of his athleticism and talents on the field, knew that he’d one day be a lot more than just a capable ballplayer.

Aaron graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 2008 in Long Beach, where he hit .407 (114-for-280) with 24 doubles, 10 triples, and 6 home runs in 97 career high school games. The multi-talented young man also pitched for his high school team, going 11-2, with a 1.11 ERA in 94 innings. He was drafted by the Twins in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft in the 1st round (14th overall). Aaron made his major league debut in 2013 on opening day as the leadoff hitter. But slumps and injuries prevailed, and Aaron bounced around between New Britain, Rochester, and Minnesota for the next two seasons. Being a great competitor, at times Aaron was very frustrated — but he always held his head up high and showed great patience. Torii Hunter would often call him, and offer him some mentoring thoughts. Even Hall of Famer Dave Winfield had a chat with Aaron at spring training. Dave told me, “The man has talent. At times like this I wish I could be a coach for a week, and just work with the guy. He just needs to refine a few things, and he’ll be fine.” Nowadays, Dave is a special assistant at the Major League Baseball Players Association. Part of his job is visiting every camp during spring training and talking to the guys about what they can and can’t do contractually, and offering some friendly, expert advice.

I talked to Torii about his protégé. He said, “Aaron Hicks is playing well. He’s really been playing some great defense; I think he’s helped us out a lot. His bat is starting to come alive. And then you throw in his defense — he saves a lot of runs – and for us, those are like RBIs.” I said I understood that Torii was trying to help mentor young Hicks. My mistake: I used the word “trying”. “No! I don’t TRY! I do! Trying is for losers. I do.” He paused for a moment and then went on: “You know, Dave Winfield mentored me. He had me for a year here, then throughout the years I had the chance to hang out with him. He gave me a lot of insight. I’m just doing the same thing.”

When I last talked to Aaron, I congratulated him on how things are coming together for him, and asked him what’s different. He said: “I don’t know…I just stay positive about the game, I set goals, and I compete. And every at-bat, I make it a tough at-bat.” I told him how much I enjoy watching him make those great catches in center field, and he replied, wearing a big Torii-type grin, “Thank you. I enjoy making those catches! It’s great playing next to Torii, too. For me it’s a learning experience every day. He gives me something new every day; something to think about. You know, it’s fun to have him here. He can be crazy, too, but a good crazy, making it fun in the clubhouse.”

Major League Fans!

A few weeks ago I told you about an actor named Tony Todd whom I was reacquainted with through Torii Hunter. He was a guest of Torii’s at Target Field a little over a month ago. Tony is a great guy, and we hit it off. We had actually met 20 years ago during the filming of “Little Big League,” in which Tony plays ballplayer Mickey Scales. We have recently stayed in touch, and a couple of weeks ago Tony called me and wanted to order a couple of my children’s books, “The Baseball Guy.” He wanted one signed to himself, and the other to “Charlie.” Tony grew up with Charlie Sheen, Star of “Two and a Half Men,” and “Anger Management” (with Tony Todd). Both are very funny, but Sheen’s role as Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn in “Major League” is the best…especially to a guy who’s been around the game.

Last week I was taking the boys to “Minions” when my phone began ringing — three calls in three minutes, which I ignored. Finally, I thought it could be important, so I picked up. Calling from L.A., on the other line was Charlie Sheen. He wanted to thank me for my book, said he was honored to receive it, and called me a “F’n” genius. He said my inscription to him was as nice as the book. Then we talked baseball, and it was just like having any of my buddies on the phone. He was sincere, nice, and a real baseball guy. He also told me how much he enjoyed watching my friend, the late, great Kirby Puckett play. He even invited me to California to meet him, which I’d like to do in the future. Baseball fans come from all walks of life, and live in their own little world. You never know whom you’ll meet. Baseball is all about fun, and all about “winning.””

Rising MLB Star Has Old School Faith cbn.com

http://cbn.com/tv/embedplayer.aspx?bcid=3600951716001

“Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier is a rising Major League Baseball star with a faith that keeps him levelheaded.”

Twins Blog: Homestand Notes – All Star Break Edition by Dan Cook, WCCO Radio July 12, 2015 8:19 PM minnesota.cbslocal.com

“The Twins just finished a successful seven-game homestand, going 6-1 against the Orioles and Tigers and now begin a well-deserved break from the grind of the season as the All Star break is upon us….”

Sano delivers Major firsts for Twins’ offense
http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/134500062
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com | @RhettBollinger | 1:20 AM ET + 0 COMMENTS
KANSAS CITY — The Twins called up top prospect Miguel Sano in hopes he could help jumpstart their struggling offense, and he ended up factoring into both runs scored against the Royals on Friday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Sano went 2-for-4 with his first career RBI and his first career run, but it wasn’t enough in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings. Twins manager Paul Molitor, however, was impressed with what he saw from the 22-year-old rookie…

June 4th 2015
Twins rally, top Red Sox to secure split By Alec Shirkey and Aaron Leibowitz / MLB.com | 7:28 PM ET
http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/128573464/twins-capitalize-on-errors-rally-past-red-sox
“BOSTON — The Twins scored four runs in the ninth inning Thursday to earn an 8-4 victory over the Red Sox and a four-game series split at Fenway Park.

In a game that featured five errors and a litany of baserunning blunders, the go-ahead run scored when Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval was unable to handle a low throw by catcher Blake Swihart on a Joe Mauer bunt. After that, the floodgates opened…”

W L PCT GB
Minnesota 32 21 .604 –
Kansas City 30 20 .600 0.5
Detroit 28 27 .509 5.0
Cleveland 25 27 .481 6.5
Chi White Sox 24 27 .471 7.0

Pitching

RK Player Team W L ERA G GS▼ SV SVO IP H R ER HR BB SO AVG WHIP
1 Hughes, P MIN 4 5 4.96 11 11 0 0 69.0 86 38 38 12 7 45 .302 1.35

2 Gibson, K MIN 4 3 2.61 10 10 0 0 62.0 59 20 18 5 21 30 .253 1.29

2 May, T MIN 4 3 4.45 10 10 0 0 56.2 61 28 28 4 9 50 .271 1.24

2 Pelfrey, M MIN 4 2 2.59 10 10 0 0 59.0 55 19 17 3 18 27 .251 1.24

5 Nolasco, R MIN 5 1 5.51 7 7 0 0 32.2 44 23 20 1 10 28 .324 1.65

6 Milone, T MIN 2 1 4.55 5 5 0 0 27.2 31 16 14 7 12 13 .282 1.55

Batting

RK Player Team Pos G AB▼ R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
1 Dozier, B MIN 2B 52 205 44 54 17 3 10 26 22 50 3 1 .263 .339 .522 .861
2 Mauer, J MIN 1B 52 198 23 52 11 2 1 30 17 35 1 0 .263 .320 .354 .673
3 Hunter, T MIN RF 48 188 28 53 10 0 8 35 15 34 1 2 .282 .332 .463 .794
3 Plouffe, T MIN 3B 50 188 23 49 10 1 8 30 21 44 0 0 .261 .333 .452 .785
5 Santana, D MIN SS 47 172 21 38 7 3 0 11 2 47 4 3 .221 .239 .297 .535
6 Escobar, E MIN LF 44 145 14 33 8 0 3 20 3 38 1 1 .228 .250 .345 .595
7 Suzuki, K MIN C 42 142 14 34 6 0 2 15 14 16 0 0 .239 .317 .324 .641
8 Vargas, K MIN 1B 29 105 12 26 3 0 3 10 7 30 0 0 .248 .295 .362 .657
9 Robinson, S MIN LF 33 80 15 20 2 0 0 9 7 13 3 1 .250 .307 .275 .582
10 Hicks, A MIN CF 21 71 8 18 1 0 1 2 4 13 5 1 .254 .293 .310 .603
11 Schafer, J MIN CF 27 69 9 15 3 0 0 5 3 23 0 3 .217 .250 .261 .511
12 Rosario, E MIN CF 21 68 6 19 1 0 2 10 2 23 4 1 .279 .296 .382 .678
13 Arcia, O MIN LF 19 58 6 16 0 0 2 8 4 15 0 0 .276 .338 .379 .718
14 Herrmann, C MIN C 16 44 8 8 2 1 1 7 3 11 0 0 .182 .234 .341 .575
15 Nunez, E MIN 3B 16 42 6 12 5 0 1 4 3 5 0 2 .286 .333 .476 .810
16 Bernier, D MIN SS 4 5 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 3 0 0 .200 .333 .400 .733
17 Nolasco, R MIN P 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 .000 .000 .000 .000
18 Pelfrey, M MIN P 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.000 1.000 1.000 2.000

Why the Twins are at the top of the AL Central By James O’Hara June 4 at 8:00 AM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fancy-stats/wp/2015/06/04/why-the-twins-are-at-the-top-of-the-al-central/
So far the Twins have combined a good bullpen with some great luck to rocket to the top of the Central. And their luck hasn’t only been during the game, they have also benefited from a relatively easy schedule in such a tough division, with 30 of their 50 games coming against teams currently below .500.

MAY 31st 2015
http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/index.jsp?c_id=min
W L PCT GB
Minnesota 30 19 .612 –
Kansas City 29 19 .604 0.5
Detroit 28 23 .549 3.0
Chi White Sox 23 26 .469 7.0
Cleveland 23 26 .469 7.0
*note: 2nd best MLB Team http://minnesota.twins.mlb.com/mlb/standings/

With best record in AL, Twins never want May to end By Betsy Helfand / MLB.com | 7:42 PM ET
http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/127767744/with-best-record-in-al-twins-never-want-may-to-end
“It’s May 31st and I think maybe we’re going to change tomorrow to May 32nd,” Molitor joked shortly after his team recorded its 20th victory of the month.

The Twins capped off May with a 6-5 victory over Toronto on Sunday, marking the first time they’ve finished a month with 20 victories since 1991.

The victory also sealed the eighth series win of nine in the month and put Minnesota a half-game up for first place in the American League Central….

Minnesota ended May with a 30-19 record — the fifth most victories through 49 games in team history. After the Twins starting 1-6 and finished April 10-12, Hunter said the team has made some adjustments…

Paul Molitor has surprising Twins in tie for first in tough AL Central
Ian Denomme By Ian Denomme
7 hours ago (5.28.15)
Big League Stew
http://sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/paul-molitor-has-surprising-twins-in-tie-for-first-in-tough-al-central-141509689.html
Yet despite those star-studded teams at the top, as June approaches it is the Minnesota Twins who have been the surprise of the division, racing out to a 28-18 record and a share of first place. The Twins didn’t make any sexy offseason moves unless you count signing 39-year-old outfielder Torii Hunter, or pitcher Ervin Santana who was suspended for 80 games before the season even began.

For a team that has averaged just 66 wins over the last four seasons, the Twins biggest offseason move was hiring Paul Molitor as their new manager. Molitor, a Hall of Famer and Minnesota native, had no previous managing experience but took the task of rebuilding a team that regularly won the division in the early part of this century under Ron Gardenhire.

After completing a sweep of the Red Sox on Wednesday night and extending their win streak to five, it seems the rest of the league is starting to take notice of the Twins.

You won’t find many Twins players on major-league leaderboards. Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is their early WAR leader, Joe Mauer – a career .317 hitter – is batting just .276, but as a team they’ve scored the eighth most runs in the majors. Pitchers Kyle Gibson and Mike Pelfrey are off to fine starts sporting ERAs of 2.72 and 2.77, respectively. But the Twins’ team ERA of 3.94 is only 16th best in the majors.

It’s hard to say whether the Twins are for real or if this is early-season, small sample size luck. They seem to be a team that is a jack of many trades, but master of none. Sometimes being just pretty good at everything can go a long way, just ask the Royals. Last season they were 14th in runs scored, dead last in home runs, 12th in team ERA, and 26th in fielding percentage. Doesn’t sound like a team worth watching, but they rode that all the way to within a game of the World Series.

Maybe Molitor’s miracle Twins can do the same in 2015….

*tied for 1st

W L PCT GB
Kansas City 28 18 .609 –
Minnesota 28 18 .609 –
Detroit 27 20 .574 1.5
Cleveland 21 25 .457 7.0
Chi White Sox 20 24 .455 7.0

Twice as nice: Twins ride homers to sweep Sox
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/20150527126954826?game_pk=414346

6th best team in MLB
http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/126508936/twins-ricky-nolasco-notches-100th-victory
5.26.15

Kansas City 28 16 .636 –
Minnesota 26 18 .591 2.0
Detroit 26 20 .565 3.0
Cleveland 20 24 .455 8.0
Chi White Sox 19 23 .452 8.0

8th best team in MLB

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_05_23_minmlb_chamlb_1#game=2015_05_23_minmlb_chamlb_1,game_state=Wrapup

W L PCT GB
Kansas City 28 14 .667 –
Detroit 26 18 .591 3.0
Minnesota 24 18 .571 4.0
Chi White Sox 19 21 .475 8.0
Cleveland 19 23 .452 9.0

Perkins (16) saves (pace to get 64 for season record)

http://www.kare11.com/story/sports/mlb/twins/2015/05/06/twins-rosario-homers-on-1st-pitch-of-his-career/70923392/

12-12 record (3rd place) 5.2.15
http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2015_05_02_chamlb_minmlb_1&mode=wrap

http://m.twins.mlb.com/news/article/118706422/twins-offense-turns-corner-in-set-with-royals

MINNEAPOLIS — After being routed in the home opener against the Royals on Monday, the Twins were 1-6 and still reeling after a frustrating first week of the season.

But they bounced back, winning two straight against previously-unbeaten Kansas City, including an 8-5 win in the rubber game on Thursday afternoon that saw Minnesota post season high totals in both hits (14) and runs. It was the first series victory of the season and it came against a club that entered the series with a 6-0 record.

http://www.1500espn.com/sportswire/Wetmore_Why_I_disagree_with_Hunters_decision_to_try_to_steal_home042315

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/05/13/10-reasons-the-minnesota-twins-are-above-500/

Spring Training

Standings
2015

American League
Team W L PCT GB
Oakland 22 11 .667 –
Kansas City 20 10 .667 0.5
Toronto 19 13 .594 2.5
Boston 17 12 .586 3.0
Tampa Bay 15 13 .536 4.5
LA Angels 15 14 .517 5.0
NY Yankees 17 16 .515 5.0
Houston 12 12 .500 5.5
Minnesota 13 16 .448 7.0
Cleveland 14 18 .438 7.5
Seattle 13 17 .433 7.5
Chi White Sox 11 17 .393 8.5
Baltimore 12 19 .387 9.0
Detroit 12 20 .375 9.5
Texas 9 19 .321 10.5

National League
Team W L PCT GB
NY Mets 19 12 .613 –
LA Dodgers 16 11 .593 1.0
San Diego 17 12 .586 1.0
Arizona 19 14 .576 1.0
St. Louis 13 11 .542 2.5
Miami 14 12 .538 2.5
Pittsburgh 15 13 .536 2.5
Cincinnati 15 14 .517 3.0
Colorado 16 16 .500 3.5
Atlanta 15 17 .469 4.5
Chi Cubs 15 17 .469 4.5
Philadelphia 14 17 .452 5.0
Milwaukee 13 16 .448 5.0
Washington 11 16 .407 6.0
San Francisco 13 21 .382 7.5

Grapefruit League
Team W L PCT GB
NY Mets 19 12 .613 –
Toronto 19 13 .594 0.5
Boston 17 12 .586 1.0
St. Louis 13 11 .542 2.5
Miami 14 12 .538 2.5
Pittsburgh 15 13 .536 2.5
Tampa Bay 15 13 .536 2.5
NY Yankees 17 16 .515 3.0
Houston 12 12 .500 3.5
Atlanta 15 17 .469 4.5
Philadelphia 14 17 .452 5.0
Minnesota 13 16 .448 5.0
Washington 11 16 .407 6.0
Baltimore 12 19 .387 7.0
Detroit 12 20 .375 7.5

Cactus League
Team W L PCT GB
Oakland 22 11 .667 –
Kansas City 20 10 .667 0.5
LA Dodgers 16 11 .593 3.0
San Diego 17 12 .586 3.0
Arizona 19 14 .576 3.0
Cincinnati 15 14 .517 5.0
LA Angels 15 14 .517 5.0
Colorado 16 16 .500 5.5
Chi Cubs 15 17 .469 6.5
Milwaukee 13 16 .448 7.0
Cleveland 14 18 .438 7.5
Seattle 13 17 .433 7.5
Chi White Sox 11 17 .393 8.5
San Francisco 13 21 .382 9.5
Texas 9 19 .321 10.5

PRESEASON

Torii Hunter answers fan questions

“Published on Dec 19, 2014

Torii Hunter answers fan questions from social media. #AskTorii”

http://smu.gs/1EbPru2
— at Target Field.

Sal’s Personal Minnesota Twins Baseball Fan Site

Good News Baseball

https://www.facebook.com/groups/228604823952216/

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