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  1. #1

    Default 2019 Minnesota Twins In-Season Thread

    With spring training upon us, it's time for the 2019 in-season thread! Hope springs eternal, especially this year with a new manager, new players, new energy, etc.

    Win Twins!!

  2. #2


    STrib: Slightly smaller Miguel Sano aiming for big gains with Twins this year

    The winter project of Team Sano reported to Twins camp on Sunday, the cumulative effort of a nutritionist and a football trainer and a yoga instructor and a batting coach and yes, the big third baseman himself, all amalgamated into the noticeably slimmer but still intimidating chassis of Miguel Sano.

    The long-rumored but now self-evident conditioning commitment made an immediate impression on his teammates, who streamed past Sano’s locker to welcome him back. But if Twins feel like celebrating Sano’s makeover — “The new Sano,” the man himself declared — be forewarned: Celebrating has already complicated this comeback story line.

    “I feel great,” Sano said more than once, but Twins manager Rocco Baldelli later revealed a caveat in that affirmation. Sano might not be able to take part fully when Baldelli conducts the team’s first full-squad workout Monday, the reported fallout from a raucous celebration following his hometown winter league team’s unlikely Dominican championship, its first in 51 years. Sano suffered a cut on the back of his lower right leg, apparently during the on-field jubilation after Estrellas Orientales’ series-clinching victory over Toros del Este on Jan. 23, and he will be examined further Monday.

    “It’s something we are going to keep an eye on,” Baldelli said. “Truthfully, I’m not really sure” how long the laceration might keep Sano from 100 percent participation, though the new manager didn’t sound concerned. Rather, Baldelli sounded eager to see whether the prodigious slugger has been weaponized anew by his weight loss.

    Sano maintained he isn’t certain how much lighter he is, but clubhouse observers put the reduction, from his reporting weight in the 290s a year ago, at a couple dozen pounds, at least.

    “We’re thrilled at what he looks like,” Baldelli said. “He worked really hard and he’s really happy and proud of the way he approached the offseason.”

    Sano approached it with a squadron of support. He employed his usual batting teacher, former big leaguer Fernando Tatis, to help him refine his swing and reclaim his grasp of the strike zone. He hired his sister to serve as his nutritionist, even moved her into his house, and tasked her with limiting him to healthy foods, and in appropriate amounts. He hired a personal trainer, a football guru from Texas, who ratcheted up Sano’s normal offseason workouts.

    “It’s hard because I never did football stuff. Everything is a little harder,” Sano said. “If you want to get better, that’s what it takes. I took some positive stuff and I’d go home and do these.”

    Sano even tried yoga, in hopes of recovering some of the flexibility that allows him to patrol third base despite his unusual size. “I’ve been doing a lot of yoga and a lot of agility stuff and a lot of lifting. So I feel really different from last year,” an injury-pocked season that quickly spiraled into a .199 batting average, 115 strikeouts in 71 major league games and a June demotion to Class A. “I hope that this year can be really good for everyone here.”

    So does Baldelli, who delivered that message in person this offseason with a visit to Sano in the Dominican Republic, a trip to personally demonstrate his support for Sano’s mind-set. “He was extremely engaged. He worked really hard and he’s really happy and proud of the way he approached the offseason,” Baldelli said. “You’re going to see this guy spent a lot of time on his body and made it a focus of his winter.”

    Win Twins!!

  3. #3


    Pat: Twins third baseman Miguel Sano looks like 'same old Miguel,' and this time that's in a good way

    On Sunday … as mentioned, Sano’s arrival was the best news in a long time. If Miguel's what he was in August 2015, with more experience and tougher to fool, then the 2019 Twins suddenly become dangerous.

    The unofficial word was that Sano was 25 pounds lighter than last spring. If that means 270, Sano can play at this 270. He’s solid; looks like an athlete again.

    The one Sano note for skeptics of all-things Twins was revealed by manager Rocco Baldelli in his daily post-workout interview session:

    Sano has a laceration on his right heel that will be checked fully by the medical staff during Monday's physicals. It's not official, but presumably he was spiked by a teammate as Miguel's Estrellas team celebrated its Dominican playoff championship after a 4-0 victory on Jan, 23.

    At first, Sano declined to answer a few media questions, and then after a discussion with communications director Dustin Morse, he did so for 10 minutes. He took the questions and answered with no interpreter. Big picture, not important, but for me, that was a quick example of a Miguel with renewed confidence in himself.

    When I’ve been around in recent times, most media visits to Sano's locker caused Miguel's defenses to be raised. On Sunday, he gave some information, such as that his conditioning program included yoga.

    Miguel Sano in yoga … that had to be something. He said it was tough for the first two weeks, but he now enjoys it, and the flexibility that it added.

    Win Twins!!

  4. #4


    STrib: Twins' day at camp: Nelson Cruz shows up ready to work right away

    Nelson Cruz entered the Twins clubhouse around 8:05 a.m. Sunday. In less than a minute, he was in workout gear.

    About two hours later, he showed why the Twins signed the 38-year-old to a $14 million deal this offseason, swatting pitch after pitch over the fence on a back field at the CenturyLink Sports Complex.

    “Nelson Cruz? That was impressive,” said Phil Roof, a retired minor league coach and manager who, at 77, still helps out during spring training. “First day, he walks out and starts hitting them out.”

    Cruz represents the Twins’ biggest free-agent addition of the offseason, joining a team that’s out to prove it can more relevant in the AL Central than some think. He will settle in as the designated hitter and serve as the cagey veteran available to provide baseball life lessons to teammates.

    “I’m here to produce and help my team to win games,” Cruz said. “Whatever I can do to help, if that’s the case, I’m happy to do it. … I look to do my work, work hard, and leave everything every single day on the field. Hopefully that should be something that can inspire some of the guys.”

    Sunday was the official reporting day for position players, setting the stage for Monday’s first full-squad workout. Position players also will have their annual physicals. They spent Sunday working out on a back field while pitchers went through drills and threw in the bullpen.

    Win Twins!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Windom, MN


    According to tweets from Florida, Willians Austudillo in BP today hit home runs off Berrios and Trevor May. La Tortuga rules!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Blog Entries


    270 is much too big. He can function at 270. He needs to be 250-255.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008


    Great article about Wes Johnson in yesterday's Strib. It said the Twins wanted to hire him a year earlier but didn't think he would work as well with Molitor as Alston. The thing where Pressly went to Houston and tore it up was pretty much the clincher for Alston's departure, if not Molitor's himself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Blog Entries


    Quote Originally Posted by short ornery norwegian View Post
    According to tweets from Florida, Willians Austudillo in BP today hit home runs off Berrios and Trevor May. La Tortuga rules!
    I know he probably won't make the Opening Day roster. He he should.

  9. #9


    STrib: A new approach to preparation as Twins' full squad arrives for camp

    Ronald Torreyes uses the corner stall that for years belonged to Brian Dozier. In another corner, Joe Mauer’s stall now belongs to Jason Castro.

    Five new coaches have joined the staff since the final out of the 2018 Twins season. Going down a new path affected everyone from Garvin Alston, who lasted only one season as pitching coach, to fan favorite Eddie Guardado, who is no longer the bullpen coach.

    And then there’s the new 37-year-old, Phish-loving, Red Wing Shoes-wearing manager Rocco Baldelli, who is running the first spring training camp of his life.

    The winds of change continue to blow through the organization since Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine took over before the 2017 season. Since last July, the most noticeable changes have come on the field, where there is no Mauer, Dozier, Eduardo Escobar or Paul Molitor.

    Those who are left must figure out a new way, with new leaders and some new teammates and coaches. And Baldelli touched on that Monday when he addressed the entire squad before the first full team practice of spring training. There are new ingredients that must be part of their recipe for success.

    “I spoke a little bit about the importance of the Twins organization and all of the good things that have gone on here,” Baldelli said, “all of the great people here, and also the bringing in of some new people and some new ideas and bringing all of the best of both of those sides together to create something new. That’s what we’re doing here, and we want the best of everyone.”

    Baldelli is all for individuality — as long as the work is completed. That was evident Monday as some players wore sleeves, some wore T-shirts, some wore practice jerseys and some wore hooded sweatshirts as they worked out.

    “The message is, wear whatever makes you the most comfortable,” said Torii Hunter, who is a special instructor this week, “but you’ve got to get your work in.”

    Baldelli, with the help of Twins bench coach Derek Shelton, designed a program that is low on idle time and high on production. They also want to simulate game action as much as possible. That has led to some eye-opening changes.

    Pitchers are using their time more efficiently, warming up, getting fielding practice in, throwing in the bullpen and getting off the field.

    There was no batting cage or L-screen — the one that protects the pitchers — on the field at Hammond Stadium when Jose Berrios, Martin Perez and other pitchers threw live batting practice Monday. There was an open house at the stadium, so several hundred fans settled in to watch the early spring hitter-pitcher battles, applauding each pitcher as he completed his session.

    Win Twins!!

  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Bad Gopher View Post
    Great article about Wes Johnson in yesterday's Strib. It said the Twins wanted to hire him a year earlier but didn't think he would work as well with Molitor as Alston. The thing where Pressly went to Houston and tore it up was pretty much the clincher for Alston's departure, if not Molitor's himself.
    Here is that article:

    New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson is cut from a different cloth

    The Twins were interested in him after 2017 but felt Garvin Alston would be a better fit with manager Paul Molitor. After the Twins went 78-84 last year, both Molitor and Alston were let go. Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine, building a history of hires from divergent backgrounds, went after Johnson again and landed him.

    He is the first pitching coach to move directly from college to the majors and is believed to be the first coach or manager to leave college for the majors since Dick Howser left Florida State to manage the Yankees in 1980.

    In a Twins season stuffed with story lines, Johnson’s hiring could be the most fascinating.

    “I just put my head down and grind every day,” Johnson said. “You’ve got to wake up every day and go to work, and people are going to talk and say and do things, and the first time we have a bad outing … I know what’s going to happen.”

    Win Twins!!

  11. #11


    I wonder how fast Sano puts on weight with this "cut" and being in a boot.....
    Who hates iowa?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Corn Field


  13. #13


    STrib: Miguel Sano will miss a week of Twins spring training workouts

    Miguel Sano’s mysterious leg injury is now officially a setback. How major a setback remains to be seen.

    The Twins third baseman entered the clubhouse on Tuesday wearing a walking boot on his right foot to help cover up a laceration above the heel. The team, in its second day of full squad spring training workouts, said Sano would be required to wear the boot for seven to 10 days before being re-evaluated.

    Sano suffered the injury while celebrating winning the Dominican Winter League championship with his team, Estrellas. The Twins say that it’s in an area that can be tough to keep a wound closed, so they are taking extra measures.

    “Just to limit any kind of speculation, it’s simply to protect and keep the wound clean and allowing it to heal,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said.

    Sano was unavailable for comment on Tuesday but still took the field to monitor drills. At one point, he fed balls to Baldelli so he could hit grounders to the infielders. On Monday, Sano watched bunt defense drills from foul territory. He will be able to do upper body workouts during the time he’s in the boot, and the Twins are looking into the chances that he can get some cardiovascular work in as well.

    Win Twins!!

  14. #14


    STrib: Twins' closer could come from six candidates as roles evolve

    You’ve probably noticed all the candidates declaring their intention to seek the top job lately, even though the decision won’t be put to a vote for a long time. Sure are a lot of them this year, aren’t there? Seems like way more than usual.

    Yep, the campaign is already underway … to become the Twins’ new closer.

    “Of course, of course. If the opportunity is there, I’d like to be that guy,” said lefthander Taylor Rogers.

    “I’ve done it before, and I’d love to do it again,” declared Trevor Hildenberger.

    “It’s something I want to do. If I’m going to be in the bullpen, I’d like to close,” countered Trevor May. “I feel like I have the potential to really thrive in that job.”

    It’s quite a debate, and that’s only half the field as the first primaries — er, Grapefruit League games — rapidly approach. Also on the ballot: Veteran Addison Reed, who owns four times as many career saves as the rest of his teammates combined. Newcomer Blake Parker, who earned 14 saves last season while with the Angels, more than any other candidate. And Fernando Romero, the dark horse in the field, who probably wields the most velocity on the mound, a significant advantage in the modern game.

    Win Twins!!

  15. #15


    STrib: Twins' day at camp: New manager Rocco Baldelli wants loose clubhouse atmosphere, but not a zoo

    First-year Twins manager Rocco Baldelli believes a team having fun has a better chance to play its best, so it will be interesting to see how he keeps things loose in the clubhouse.

    Baldelli comes from a Tampa Bay Rays team that brought zoo animals, DJs and magicians into the clubhouse for atmosphere control. Evan Longoria was allowed to set up drums in one part of the clubhouse, and his racket could be heard down the hallway from the home clubhouse at Tropicana Field.

    Under Joe Maddon, the Rays would play dress-up during selected road trips. It seemed to work — the Rays enjoyed a run of relevancy in the rough-and-tumble American League East. Even last season, the Rays finished 90-72 under Kevin Cash.

    Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi pointed out that Baldelli isn’t afraid to do his part to keep things light in the clubhouse. But he might not stoop to the shenanigans that went on with the Rays.

    “I don’t think he will do any of that, knowing Rocco,” said Odorizzi, a good friend of Baldelli’s. “From the first couple days of camp here, he’s done a good job of establishing a mind-set through meetings, through his personality and his thoughts. He’s more of a hands-on guy on his own instead of bringing in outside stuff to encourage the team.”

    So no jugglers, mimes or snakes in the clubhouse?

    “I promise you, when I look around, if our guys are not enjoying our clubhouse, then I personally will take it and feel responsible like that would be my fault,” Baldelli said. “I find it my responsibility and the whole staff’s that these guys love showing up every day.”

    Win Twins!!

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