Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Twins management said it plans to aim high to upgrade its roster, with an extra focus on improving a starting rotation that frayed badly during the second half of this season.
Everything a manager he does is up for scrutiny, especially in the postseason. And there were things about Rocco Baldelli's decisions to dissect after the Twins' season-ending loss.
The Twins have scored six runs in two games. So what now? "We have a plan," Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz said. "Hopefully the plan works this time."
Didi Gregorius' third-inning grand slam was the deciding blow as New York rolled to the victory, the Yankees' 12th in a row over the Twins in postseason play.
Entrusted with the responsibility of putting the Twins on the right path during Game 1 of the ALDS vs. the Yankees, the numbers told the story for starter Jose Berrios.
Luis Arraez, Marwin Gonzalez, Max Kepler and Ehire Adrianza, all walking wounded, were all part of the Twins ALDS roster decisions.
Jose Berrios, who will start Game 1 vs. the Yankees tonight, will take the mound for the Twins after a regular season filled with successes, struggles and adjustments.
Forget home-field advantage: The Twins have spent the season walking into opposing teams' stadiums and walking out with victories.
There's talking, arguing, laughing. It's the environment the Twins and manager Rocco Baldelli envisioned having this season, one that has been all the team could have hoped for.
The Twins appear to have hit on right bullpen blend for their postseason push after a first part of the season when changes needed to be made. "They've been dominant," manager Rocco Baldelli said.
According to sources with knowledge of the situation, the Twins want to know whether San Francisco was aware that reliever Sam Dyson had a sore shoulder when the Giants traded him.
Nelson Cruz's blast highlighted an afternoon in which the Twins reduced their magic number for clinching the AL Central title to three despite another round of pitching problems.
Injuries have forced him into the lineup this month, and he is producing.
The Twins lowered their magic number to five by getting eight innings out of four rookie pitchers.
His left arm is immobilized following an operation on his shoulder that ended his season.
The White Sox came back from a 5-0 deficit to force extra innings, with the Twins rallying to tie in the 11th and winning when Ronald Torreyes capped a three-run rally when he was hit by a pitch in the 12th.
Max Kepler played both games of the day-night doubleheader in Cleveland on Saturday but has not been in the lineup since.
The Twins not only get back a player they can use all over the field, they get one who is batting .263 with 15 home runs and 43 RBI.
It was the first time Jose Berrios had pitched more than seven innings since June 28, a key development for the Twins as he attempts to put a disastrous August behind him.
Kyle Gibson's return from the injured list didn't go well in a 12-6 loss, and the Twins now have a 3 1/2-game lead over Cleveland with 16 games remaining in the regular season.
Jorge Polanco did not start after undergoing emergency dental surgery on Thursday. He did pinch hit in the eighth inning, and struck out as the potential tying run.
With a half-dozen key players out of the lineup, the Twins went hitless with runners in scoring position and fell behind early in a 6-2 loss to Washington on a dreary night at Target Field.
Thursday will be Kyle Gibson's first start since Aug. 30 in Detroit, when he gave up four runs over five innings on 10 hits.
Mitch Garver belted home runs in the first and seventh innings as the Twins rallied to beat the Indians 5-3 while returning their lead to 6 1/2 games in the AL Central.
Major League Baseball on Saturday announced that Twins pitcher Michael Pineda has received a 60-day suspension for violating the league's drug policy.
Nelson Cruz's plan was to take some swings with his sore wrist before Saturday's game, then take his usual spot in the starting lineup. Manager Rocco Baldelli, however, had other ideas
The Indians scored four, two-out runs to take the victory in the opening game of a weekend series at Target Field.
It was a laborious Labor Day for Twins hitters for most of the afternoon, as they sputtered with runners in scoring position and appeared on their way to losing to last-place Detroit.
With rosters expanded up to 40 in September, the Twins now feature a 12-man bullpen. Manager Rocco Baldelli has an arm for any occasion.
A day after breaking the major league home-run record, lesser hits are plentiful.
The Twins' top pitching prospect has a month to prove himself playoff-worthy.
Brusdar Graterol, a 21-year-old right-hander, has consistently thrown fastballs timed at 100 miles per hour and is considered one of the top prospects in baseball.
Nelson Cruz tied the major league record in the eighth inning, and then Mitch Garver hit Joe Jimenez's first pitch of the ninth inning for his second home run of the night, and the Twins' 268th home run of the season.
The Twins sent 26 batters to the plate in the first three innings to stage the rout. It marked their sixth consecutive win, tying for their longest streak of the season.
General manager Thad Levine said a four-week scenario was presented when Byron Buxton dislocated his left shoulder Aug. 2.
Jose Berrios threw four wild pitches, but made it through six innings as the Twins hit three more home runs and won their fifth consecutive game.
Byron Buxton said he knew he didn't feel right when he swung a bat Sunday. The Twins hope taking some extra time to treat his shoulder will allow it to heal enough to play.
Jonathan Schoop's three-run homer in the second inning set off the Twins' offense, and he hit another one in the eighth when the Twins broke open the 8-2 victory.
A few minutes after Twins closer Taylor Rogers finished off the Chicago White Sox, he watched his identical twin brother Tyler make his major league debut.
Both pitchers were effective in the series opener, but Michael Pineda was a little bit better, striking out eight White Sox and giving up only four hits in five innings.
Less than 24 hours after quickly departing Target Field, Jose Berrios apologized to reporters before Saturday's game and was set to resume efforts to rediscover the form that made him an All-Star.
Miguel Sano, Jake Cave and the Twins offense stepped up after poor defense reared its head early.
Ronny Rodriguez hit his first career grand slam, the spark plug of a 9-6 victory in the opening game of a weekend series.
Finding a lineup spot for Jonathan Schoop has grown complicated. He has started only six of 21 games this month as the Twins give more at-bats to rookie Louis Arraez, batting .341.
The Twins broke a 3-3 tie with four runs in the fifth inning and added seven more runs in the eighth to take a three-game lead in the AL Central.
In his first start on Monday, Nelson Cruz went 2-for-5 with an RBI and Tuesday night he was 4-for-5, with a solo homer, three doubles and three RBI.
Monday was the start of the sweet spot of the Twins schedule, with 26 of their final 38 games against the bottom three teams in the AL Central
First seven games vs. Athletics and Mariners aim to counter early-season weather.
Taylor Rogers has made a name for himself by stepping into the Twins' closer role. But his work has suffered dramatically when he's been asked to work on consecutive days.
Opening Day is March 26, and the home opener is April 2, both against Oakland. The Twins will face teams from the NL West in interleague play.
The lefthander will get the ball again as scheduled at Milwaukee, but Michael Pineda's return might force a change to the rotation after that.
After the Twins made an unsuccessful attempt to score the game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth, Carlos Santana's grand slam in the 10th pulled Cleveland back into a tie for first place in the AL Central.
The Twins hit their 226th home run of the season, but the Indians looked like a first-place team on Friday in a 6-2 win over the Twins. And that's because they are. The AL Central is now tied.
Former Twins slugger Justin Morneau said he recovered quickly after rupturing a tendon in his wrist, the same injury that landed Nelson Cruz on the IL on Friday.
Kyle Gibson was wild and ineffective, throwing more balls than strikes, as Cleveland jumped to an early lead and held off a late Twins rally to set up a chance to move into a tie for the AL Central lead tonight.
Miguel Sano's 443-foot blast with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to center field provided the Twins with their third walk-off victory of the season, and increased their lead in the AL Central.
He was pitching well despite the discomfort and apparently didn't tell the Giants about his condition.
In two relief appearances since the Twins acquired him from the Giants, Sam Dyson has given up six earned runs in two-thirds of an inning for an 81.00 ERA.
Promoted Sunday from Class AAA Rochester, lefty Devin Smeltzer tossed six strong innings as the Twins beat Kansas City 3-0. "He's going to help us win games," manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Sam Dyson, who'd arrived during Thursday's game, couldn't hold a three-run lead in the bottom of the ninth and was pulled after he failed to retire any of the four batters that he faced.
Twins starting pitchers posted a 2.01 ERA on a 5-2 road trip and logged quality starts in six of the seven games.
Pairing Sam Tyson with their only newly acquired reliever Sergio Romo, the Twins are hoping they've built a stronger bridge to the ninth inning and closer Taylor Rogers.
Cody Allen — the Indians' career saves leader with 149 — failed to rediscover his effectiveness this season.
Jose Berrios gave up only two soft singles and struck out 11 in seven innings before being pulled in the 7-4 Twins victory. He averaged fewer than a dozen pitches per inning in shutting down Miami.
The Twins are still hoping to add bullpen arms before today's 3 p.m. trading deadline but manager Rocco Baldelli refused to get drawn into speculation about what might happen.
Sergio Romo's first outing with his new team ended with an emphatic eighth-inning strikeout. With the victory, the Twins increased their lead in the AL Central to three games over Cleveland.
The hours before Wednesday afternoon's trade deadline will be a test to see what the Twins can do after failing to land their top targets. Their attention will now focus on relievers, including San Diego's Kirby Yates.
Even though he's been on a home run binge, the Twins won't shuffle their defense to make a spot for designated hitter Nelson Cruz during a three-game series against the Marlins.
There have been bad decisions on where to throw the ball, ill-advised diving attempts at sinking fly balls and other missed plays in addition to the boxscore fielding errors.
Reliever Sergio Romo, who won three World Series titles with San Francisco, is ready to do his part with the Twins after spending more than half of the 2019 season with the last-place Miami Marlins.
The Twins knocked out Chicago's starter before he could get anyone out, hit four home runs to support Kyle Gibson's pitching and increased their lead in the AL Central to two games.
The Twins gave up power-hitting prospect Lewin Diaz for 36-year-old righthander Sergio Romo.
The more talented and experienced Twins could not square up a pitch against righthander Ivan Nova, and struggled with Chicago's bullpen.
The Twins won 6-2 and in the process hit a milestone, improved to 6-2 on the season against the White Sox and have gone 30-16 against them since the start of the 2017 season.
The Mets, according to sources, are eyeing Minnesota's top prospects as part of a package for Noah Syndergaard, who has two more years of arbitration remaining.