Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
What the past few days have reinforced is that no Twins reliever is immune from grooving a fat pitch. Or blowing a save. Or being walked off against.
Returning to action for the first time since having surgery to treat thoracic outlet syndrome, Hughes lasted only 3 ⅓ innings Sunday in his first start in 11 months.
The Rays broke open the game with five runs in the seventh inning.
Denard Span, drafted 20th overall in 2002 by the Twins, was expected to be one of the veteran influences on the Rays, and leads the club with 17 RBI from the leadoff spot.
Jose Berrios, who grew up near San Juan's Hiram Bithorn Stadium, pitched seven dominant innings and led the celebration as Ryan LaMarre's bases-loaded single gave the Twins a 2-1 victory.
Francisco Lindor crushed a hanging 3-and-2 curveball from Jake Odorizzi over the right field wall, the first of four Cleveland homers on an emotional night in San Juan.
Puerto Rico is full of passionate baseball fans. As the island gets back on its feet following the devastation of Hurricane Maria, the game has been its crutch.
These will be the Twins' first games since Thursday when they defeated the White Sox; three weekend games were snowed out.
Joe Mauer collected his 2,000th career hit Thursday in a 4-0 win over the White Sox, a game Jose Berrios took over with 11 strikeouts.
Winter continues to ignore the calendar, and that will be quite evident at Target Field this weekend when the Twins are to finish a series with the White Sox but might be forced to scramble the schedule.
Ervin Santana, who had surgery to remove a calcium deposit from his middle finger on Feb., 6, has not bounced back as fast as he or the Twins had hoped.
Sometime this week, Joe Mauer should become the 10th current major-leaguer to reach the 2,000-hit mark, and one of three players to get that many with the Twins.
It was 27 degrees at first pitch, and the Twins never got to heat up for a comeback falling to the Mariners. Logan Morrison's struggles to start the season are now at 1-for-19.
Jose Berrios tore through the Seattle batting order the first time through, retiring all nine batters he faced with ease, including four strikeouts.
Brian Dozier already has four home runs, and the team is averaging two per game.
Twins righthander Ervin Santana is expected to head to New York sometime next week for a checkup on his surgically repaired middle finger, and also get cleared to start some sort of throwing program.
Snow or shine, the new season is here. And that means it's time for a prediction column.
On Thursday, when the Twins open the 2018 season in Baltimore, Eduardo Escobar will be the starting shortstop after Jorge Polanco drew an 80-game suspension for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Picked up in a spring training trade from Tampa Bay, Jake Odorizzi comes across as a guy who doesn't allow his pulse to quicken.
Sunday was a little strange in that the Twins packed up to leave Florida, but there was still work to do before Thursday's opener in Baltimore.
Eddie Rosario's arm still has totally recovered by a spring training injury and he's leaving from with a .188 spring training batting average.
Did the Twins do enough to catch the Cleveland Indians in the American League Central Division?
The Twins offense was unspectacular for two-thirds of the season but surged during the final third. Can the improvement continue?
The Twins will feel much better about reaching down to the minor leagues for help this season.
"It would mean a lot," the righthander said. "… I'm so excited to be available to pitch there."
Since the Twins were off Tuesday, Kyle Gibson went to the minor league side to stay on schedule and threw six scoreless innings for Class AAA Rochester.
A distant relative of a former president, the righthanded reliever has impressed the team during spring training.
Twins starting shortstop Jorge Polanco tested positive for stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance that also led to the suspension of Twins pitcher Ervin Santana in 2015.
The reliever threw a scoreless inning against Philadelphia.
His bat and base-running shine in victory.
The Twins have a track record of drafting and signing shortstops, many of whom end up at another position when they reach the majors.
Phil Hughes gave up one run over four innings in the Twins' 2-1 victory.
Seven Twins batted in the first inning, scoring four runs to knock out Boston righthander Chandler Shepherd.
Twins relievers Tyler Duffey, Ryan Pressly and Trevor Hildenberger on Wednesday engaged in cart-related banter, joined at times by Zach Duke and Addison Reed.
Aaron Slegers went through a dramatic growth spurt - seven inches between junior and senior year of high school - that hindered his progress in baseball. But he's become something of a late bloomer.
Logan Morrison's arrival means Joe Mauer could spend more time as the Twins' designated hitter in 2018, with the result being fewer days off for the veteran.
He gave up three hits and pitched into the third inning against the Pirates.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton spent the offseason working to merge superior speed with improved technique. He wants to pack on a few pounds, too.
Miguel Sano missed the Twins' workouts Tuesday after his representatives informed the team of his appointment with MLB's security departments
Justin Morneau is joining Torii Hunter, LaTroy Hawkins and Michael Cuddyer as special assistants, which includes returning to the field at spring training.
Now that the games have started in Florida, Paul Molitor and the Twins coaching staff will look to keep the team in line while monitoring several position battles and other issues.
Chris Archer, now Jake Odorizzi's former Rays teammate, promises that the Twins are getting more than a midrotation stabilizer.
The Twins didn't get the ace they want but got a solid rotation piece.
Anibal Sanchez is 28-35 with a 5.15 ERA over his past four seasons. He has been demoted to the bullpen, then to the minors. At age 34, he might not have much left to offer as a pitcher.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred is prepared to announce pace-of-play changes in time for spring training games that begin next Friday — with or without union support.
Anibal Sanchez, 33, pitched a no-hitter for the Marlins in 2006. Last season for the Tigers he was 3-7 with a 6.41 ERA for Detroit last season.
The first spring training workout of pitchers and catchers often is spent trying to figure out what new players are in camp. This year for the Twins, the turnover among the major and minor league coaching staffs is obvious.
Miguel Sano will report to Twins training camp Sunday with the rest of the position players while still being investigated by MLB for an alleged assault of a freelance photographer.
Garvin Alston plans to help each of the pitchers realize what works for them, then use that knowledge to try to shut down hitters.
After failing to land Yu Darvish, who ended up signing with the Cubs, the Twins are looking at several other free-agent pitchers, as well as exploring trades with multiple teams.
What everyone will be watching when the Twins kick off spring training this week in Florida.
The Twins already have Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, LaTroy Hawkins and Justin Morneau as special assistants to baseball operations, but they will discuss adding recently retired Glen Perkins.
Glen Perkins has been quiet since the end of the season, but general manager Thad Levine said on the Twins Caravan that the three-time All Star has decided to retire.
Thirtysomethings Newman, Berger, Robison to weigh pros and cons of return.
Unable to reach an agreement on a contract for this season, Kyle Gibson and the Twins are headed to arbitration sometime next month.
Santana won two Cy Young Awards with the Twins and was named three times to the American League All-Star team.
The 79-year-old broadcaster pitched 25 seasons in the major leagues, including 15 with the Twins organization.
"I was fortunate to live my dream every day," said Justin Morneau, 36, the former Twins first baseman who was the American League MVP in 2006.
The reliever had Tommy John surgery in October 2016 but returned to the major leagues last July.
The Twins have contacted Mike Napoli's agent about a contract for 2018, in hopes of reaching a deal that the veteran turned down last year when he went to Texas.
It could be another month before free-agent pitcher makes a decision.
With the third overall pick, the Phillies selected righthander Nick Burdi, the Twins' 46th overall pick in 2014.
Fernando Rodney, who will be 41 on Opening Day, is headed for his 16th major league season and will play for his ninth team. He had 39 saves for Arizona last season.
Word spread on Tuesday when it was learned that righthander Tyler Chatwood had a clause in his contract that calls for a $2 million salary increase, from $12 million to $14 million, if he received one — one! — vote for Cy Young.
The team is interested in veteran Fernando Rodney and former closer Brandon Kintzler among others, while knowing that a future closer could already be in the organization.
Trading for a starting pitcher could require multiple prospects — and the Twins might have enough to make things interesting after acquiring young talent over the last several months.
Jack Morris and Alan Trammell went through 15 years of rejection by baseball writers on their ballots before they were voted in by a 16-person Hall of Fame committee.
With an emerging core of position players, Twins executives head to Florida this week for the annual winter meetings looking to make moves that could help them gain ground in the American League
After falling short on the writers' ballot, his candidacy goes before the veterans committee.
If the Mariners or Angels end up landing Japanese star Shohei Ohtani, they can thank the Twins.
Kyle Gibson, Eduardo Escobar among six players in line to return in 2018.
The Japanese pitcher-outfielder is mostly showing interest in teams on the West Coast.
Former major leaguer Bob McClure will join the Twins as their senior pitching adviser, according to a source with knowledge of the hire.
Entering their second year in charge, Twins' baseball executives have made sweeping changes to every area of the organization — except to improve the roster.
The Twins lost a pair of players who had been highly regarded in recent years.
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