Trevor Plouffe’s spot at third base for the Minnesota Twins is tenuous at best, with one of the best prospects in baseball close behind him. Rather than resenting the ascension of Miguel Sano, Plouffe has befriended the big-swinging Dominican.
The St. Paul Winter Carnival is wrapping up this weekend, but just because it’s winter doesn’t mean the “boys of summer” can’t be part of it. At least, that’s what the St. Paul Saints were thinking. “Who in the heck in Minnesota is going to play baseball Feb. 1?” asked former Saints player and major leaguer Kevin Millar. Well, that’d be these guys. “I feel like I’m in Lambeau Field,” Millar said. “They had snowblowers in the stands.”
If you were at Twins Fest this past weekend — and judging by social media, plenty of you were — you may have noticed a couple of familiar faces returning to the Twins fold. Are the “Home 9″ getting the band back together? What’s next, a trade for Nick Punto?!
Recently, WCCO-TV’s David McCoy sat down to talk with Minnesota Twins general manager Terry Ryan. Here are excerpts from their conversation.
On the day before his 12th season as manager of the Minnesota Twins ended, Ron Gardenhire woke up and came to the ballpark not knowing if he would be back for a 13th year. The Twins were finishing up a third straight dreadful season, limping toward a second straight 66-96 record, and Gardenhire was in the final year of his contract. Minnesota is home for Gardenhire, and the possibility of uprooting and taking his family to another town, to take an offer from another team that surely would have come, was wearing him out. After a 5-1 loss to the Cleveland Indians for defeat No. 95, GM Terry Ryan finally let Gardenhire know of his plans.
Jack Morris will be back in Minnesota this season working with the Twins broadcast team. The Twins announced Friday that Morris will join fellow former players Roy Smalley and Tim Laudner in providing pre-game and post-game analysis for games on cable affiliate Fox Sports North.
Baseball isn’t just a sport in the Dominican Republic — it’s the national obsession. The Dominican is home to many talented major leaguers including Robinson Cano, Pedro Martinez, David Ortiz, Alex Rodriquez and Albert Pujols just to name a few.
The Minnesota Twins and right-hander Anthony Swarzak have agreed to a $935,000, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration. Swarzak went 3-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 48 games for the Twins last season. He made all of those appearances out of the bullpen for the first time in his four-year career. In years past, Swarzak was often used as a spot starter when the rotation faltered or someone went down with an injury.
Minnesota Twins second baseman Eddie Rosario has been suspended 50 games for a second positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of baseball’s minor league drug program. Rosario is on the roster of Double-A New Britain and his suspension, announced Saturday, will begin at the start of the Rock Cats’ season. The 21-year-old Rosario was a fourth-round pick in 2010. He batted .302 with 10 homers and 73 RBIs in 122 games split between Class-A and Double-A last year.
Single-game tickets for Minnesota Twins spring training games go on sale Jan. 11. Tickets will be available online, by phone, or at the Hammond Stadium box office in Fort Myers, Fla., or the Target Field box office in Minneapolis starting at 8 a.m. Central time that day.
The Minnesota Twins have signed right-hander Mike Pelfrey and catcher Kurt Suzuki. The contracts were finalized Monday. Pelfrey agreed more than a week ago to an $11 million, two-year deal. Suzuki agreed Friday to a $2.75 million, one-year deal. Pelfrey went 5-13 with a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts last season, his first after Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his elbow. He’ll return to the rotation with Kevin Correia, with Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes now at the top. One spot will be open in spring training.
Despite your monolithic love for the Cardinals, no one was rooting for the Redbirds more than I was. Not only as a Yankees fan, but as a native New Yorker imbued with an epic allergy to all things New England, I am biologically skewed against the Red Sox.
LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has become the first black reporter to head the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The 48-year-old Neal, who has covered baseball for the paper since 1998, was elected Saturday at the BBWAA’s World Series meeting to succeed Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser was the first woman to head the organization, which was founded in 1908. Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle was elected vice president, putting him in line to become president next October.
The Cardinals and Red Sox are squaring off against one another yet again this year in the Fall Classic. While much of the spotlight will fall on marquis players like David Ortiz, a battle over a limited seven game sample such as this often boils down to X-Factors.