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Souhan on Sports

Jim Souhan analyzes the local sports scene

Souhan: Slegers dominates for Twins

My colleague Phil Miller is writing a more detailed piece about Aaron Slegers' impressive debut for the paper and startribune.com. I'll just say this: For a guy who wasn't tagged as a ``top prospect'', the kid was very impressive.

And impressive in many ways. He threw 52 strikes in 82 pitches. He never looked frazzled. He even handled his postgame interview like a pro. He lasted 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out three, but he provided an antidote to the pitching virus carried by guys like Kyle Gibson who seem afraid to throw the ball over the plate early in the count.

Slegers has family North of the Twin Cities and had a couple of dozen friends and family members at the game.

His was the longest big-league debut by a Twins starting pitcher since Yohan Pino lasted seven innings on June 19, 2014. He also became the first Twin to allow two hits or less and pitch at least 6 1/3 innings in his debut.

The Twins are sending him back to the minors and will make a corresponding roster move tomorrow.

I'd rather see Slegers than Gibson in the rotation.

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Next live show from MNSPN.com and Hell's Kitchen is 5 p.m. Friday with LaVelle E. Neal III and VikingUpdate publisher Tim Yotter. We'll preview the Twins-Diamondbacks and Vikings-Seahawks games as well as talk NFL, NHL, NBA and college football. Please stop by.

Souhan: Miguel Sano and...Brooks Robinson? See the comparison

When Miguel Sano ranged far to his right last night, stretched to field a grounder, threw while his momentum carried him toward the Target Field tarp and bounced a throw to first baseman Joe Mauer, I suddenly felt nostalgic.

The play looked remarkably like the one Brooks Robinson made in Cincinnati during the 1970 World Series. That play, among others, made him the Series MVP.

So when Sano made his play, I tweeted the comparison. After the game, without offering any hints, I asked Twins manager Paul Molitor if he had seen that kind of play before.

And Molitor mentioned "Brooksy.''

 

After his press conference, Molitor asked me who the batter was who hit the ball to Robinson. It was Lee May. ``Right runner, then,'' Molitor said.

May was slow and the Cincinnati turf was hard, enabling Robinson to make that play. Sano made his play on a soft grass field against a fast runner in Austin Jackson.

I won't say Sano's play was better. But it was similar. And that's meaningful, that a player of Sano's power and bulk can handle third base like one of the best ever to play the game.

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Tonight at Hell's Kitchen we'll run the Russo-Souhan Show at 6, then John Millea's Preps (should we call it Prepapalooza?) at 6:45. Please stop by for live questions, watch on HK's facebook live page or listen later at MNSPN.com, the site where all of our shows are stored.

@Souhanstrib