Staff Directory 102061883

Phil Miller

Reporter | Minnesota Twins and MLB
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Phil Miller has covered the Twins for the Star Tribune since 2013. Previously, he covered the University of Minnesota football team, and from 2007-09, he covered the Twins for the Pioneer Press.


A native of Pekin, Ill., Miller attended the University of Utah, and worked for 26 years at The Salt Lake Tribune, spending five years as assistant sports editor, and later as a reporter covering communities, college football and basketball, and the NBA's Utah Jazz.
Recent content from Phil Miller
Before Tuesday's game against Tampa Bay, Twins third baseman Miguel Sano hung the jerseys of the Twins’ four All-Star finalists behind him, called o

Sano stumps for Twins' All-Star finalists, final balloting starts today

Miguel Sano knows what it's like to lose a close election, and he remembers his teammates campaigning for him.
Rays left fielder Tommy Pham looked up at a home run hit by the Twins' Jonathan Schoop in the third inning at Target Field on Tuesday.

Twins rough up another Cy Young winner in 9-4 victory over Tampa Bay

Blake Snell allowed 11 hits, recorded only 10 outs, and became the fifth Cy Young winner, including both of last year's awardees, to absorb a loss against the Twins this season.
Twins righthander Kyle Gibson first ran into trouble in the second inning, the first of three three-run innings for the Red Sox on Wednesday night.

Gibson can't find the plate; Twins rest bullpen regulars in loss to Red Sox

Kyle Gibson issued a career-worst five walks and rookie Sean Poppen was asked to pitch the final four innings of the 9-4 loss before being returned to Rochester.
Sean Poppen pitched four innings Wednesday night after getting an early morning wakeup call.

Poppen makes MLB debut, Astudillo returns to Twins

The Harvard graduate, reinforcing a tired bullpen, was called upon to pitch the final four innings against the Red Sox.
Nelson Cruz

Final strike call against Cruz leaves Twins slugger fuming

The Twins haven't had many beefs with umpires during their charge into first place, but their 8-6 loss to the Royals ended with Nelson Cruz gesturing angrily.
Umpire Vic Carapazza called the Royals' Nicky Lopez safe after he beat the tag of Twins catcher Jason Castro in the seventh inning of Kansas City's 8-

Twins run out of comebacks in 8-6 loss to Royals

The Twins loaded the bases four times, pounded the Royals for 15 hits but failed to get a hit in a number of key situations in Sunday afternoon's loss to Kansas City.
Twins right fielder Marwin Gonzalez celebrated his two-run homer in the fifth inning Saturday night.

Twins' comeback against Royals makes Odorizzi a 10-game winner

They clubbed two more home runs and got a go-ahead double from C.J. Cron.
Twins right field Marwin Gonzalez lifted his glove to show he caught a line drive against speedy Royals batter Billy Hamilton; had Gonzalez missed, Ha

Marwin Gonzalez's dangerous dive in right field pays off for Twins

Making a rare appearance in right, Marwin Gonzalez made a diving catch to rob the dangerous Billy Hamilton to start the ninth inning.
Just as he did when he was a child in Venezuela, Twins infielder Ehire Adrianza today pursues baseball goals set for him by his father.

Twins' Adrianza still pursues baseball goals set for him by his father

TWINS INSIDER On Father's Day, Ehire Adrianza is "still working hard for him."
The Twins' Jonathan Schoop runs toward second base after hitting a home run against the Mariners

Hitting coach Rowson expects Twins offense to keep clicking

The Twins own the highest-scoring offense in the American League, and there's no mystery about why.
Seattle Mariners' Mallex Smith steals second base as Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco misses the ball on a throwing error by catcher Mitch Garv

Five errors help wipe out five-run Twins comeback in 10-inning loss

After a Twins rally was capped by Byron Buxton's home run in the bottom of the ninth, the Twins made three of their errors in a messy 10th inning for a 9-6 Seattle victory.
Cavaco

Twins sign top pick Cavaco, who has eyes on a quick trek to majors

Keoni Cavaco, who turned 18 on June 2, is a 6-1, 180-pound infielder and will report to the Gulf Coast League Twins in Fort Myers. He signed for 3.5% under his slot dollar figure assigned by Major League Baseball.
Jonathan Schoop, left, greets Eddie Rosario after they scored on Schoop's home run against the Mariners during the fourth inning

May saves the day after Twins rally for three in 8th to beat Seattle

Marwin Gonzalez struck out three times before finally making game-winning contacts and Trevor May picked up his first save of the season.
Willians Astudillo

Twins send slumping fan favorite Astudillo down to minors

Willians Astudillo, nicknamed "La Tortuga" for his hustling exploits on the bases, batted just .190 (12-for-63) in 17 games since being activated May 12 following a strained hamstring.
The Twins' Mitch Garver celebrates his two-run home run in the third inning

Healthy Twins rally in series opener at Detroit, claim victory over Tigers

Michael Pineda was solid on the mound in his return, and Mitch Garver, C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz belted bombs for the Twins in a 6-3 victory.
The Twins' Max Kepler watches a two-run home run off Cleveland starting pitcher Trevor Bauer in the third inning

Eins, Zwei, Drei: Kepler blasts Twins to victory with 3 HRs

The Twins avoided a three-game sweep thanks to Max Kepler's power surge: Three home runs, including one on the second pitch of the game. It snapped an 0-for-21 skid for Kepler.
Be back soon? Twins hope for big All-Star contingent in Cleveland

Be back soon? Twins hope for big All-Star contingent in Cleveland

All-Star rosters for the July 9 game in Cleveland will be announced on June 30. The Twins figure to have one of their largest contingents of All-Stars ever
Blake Parker watched Roberto Perez trot around the bases. Parker gave up two home runs in the seventh inning as Cleveland rallied from a 5-1 deficit t

Twins miss out on Kimbrel, then bullpen fails in loss to Cleveland

Hours after it was reported that reliever Craig Kimbrel would sign with the Cubs, the Twins bullpen caved in following a rain delay.
Craig Kimbrel agreed to a deal with the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

Twins were in on Kimbrel, but not for three years

The Twins made an offer to Craig Kimbrel according to a source with knowledge of the team's thinking, and believed it was competitive. But the Twins appeared unwilling to offer a three-year contract like the Cubs.
Cleveland's Francisco Lindor, center, hugs Leonys Martin after Lindor hit a two-run home run off Twins pitcher Devin Smeltzer in the fifth inning.

Cleveland makes like the Twins, smacks four homers to win 5-2

Devin Smeltzer gave up only five hits over 6 1/3 innings in his second major league start. But four of them were home runs as Cleveland opened the three-game series by showing off some power.
Spencer Steer

Twins target infielders in second day of MLB draft

The Twins used four of their first five picks Tuesday on impressive hitters who can play in the infield, and scouting director Sean Johnson said they both expected and welcomed that fact.
Former Forest Lake star Matt Wallner didn’t sign the first time the Twins drafted him, but now he has a second chance after he decided he'd rather h

Living the dream: Former Forest Lake star taken by Twins in amateur draft

Matt Wallner grew up "getting blown out" of the revolving doors at the Metrodome after watching Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer, Torii Hunter and others. "My dream has always been to play for the hometown team."
The Twins took Keoni Cavaco, a California high school third baseman, with the 13th pick in the Major League Baseball draft Monday night.

Twins take infielder Cavaco with top draft pick, then Forest Lake's Wallner

The Twins used their first pick in the amateur draft to take an infielder who hadn't gotten much exposure, then followed up with a former Minnesota prep baseball star who grew up watching the team.
Rookie Twins manager Rocco Baldelli believes in rest over routine to get his players to perform at their peak over 162 games.

Baldelli's way: Amusement beats anger, relaxed beats regulated

Rocco Baldelli came to the Twins with two decades of experience, strong opinions on what's important and what's not -- and the confidence to stand by those ideas.
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario hit a home run in the seventh inning.

Smeltzer sparkles in debut, then Twins bats awaken to beat Brewers

Devin Smeltzer, a lefthander who rose from Class AA to the majors in only eight weeks, made one of the most memorable introductions in Twins history in the 5-3 victory.
Twins starting pitcher Michael Pineda

Twins use injured list to give Pineda's knee a 'maintenance' break

Michael Pineda, fresh off producing five 1-2-3 innings against the Brewers one night earlier, went on the injured list Tuesday but just for rest.
The Brewers' Orlando Arcia headed to the dugout after his two-run homer in the eighth inning made the difference in Milwaukee's 5-4 victory at Target

This time, home run works against Twins as Brewers rally for win

Orlando Arcia's two-run shot in the eighth inning off Taylor Rogers was the difference and halted the Twins' winning streak at six.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver, sidelined since suffering a high ankle sprain on May 14, has recovered enough to go to Class AA Pensacola to begin a rehab

Twins send Garver to Class AA Pensacola for rehab stint

Garver is scheduled to work out with the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday, including proving he can run on that ankle, then catch five innings Wednesday and a full game Friday.
Jonathan Schoop follows the path of his three-run home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the second inning

Homer happy: Twins go deep eight times in rout over Angels to end road trip

Miguel Sano and Jonathan Schoop each homered twice to lead Thursday's attack, which completed a 6-1 road trip for the Twins. Minnesota has 98 home runs on the season, an MLB best.
Eddie Rosario scored past Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy on a sacrifice fly ball from Luis Arraez during the second inning

Rosario's 'good read' steals a run with alert baserunning

A signature Eddie Rosario moment in Thursday's 16-7 Twins victory over the Angels came on a ball that traveled maybe 150 feet.
Cruz

Twins' Cruz still testing his sore left wrist

The Twins will wait until Nelson Cruz has his left wrist examined again Friday afternoon before making any decisions about his status.
Umpire crew chief Gary Cederstrom conducted a phone conversation as the Angel Stadium grounds crew used tarps, squeegees, small pumps and aeration mac

'We probably could have played': Rainout leaves Twins, Angels grumbling

The decision not to play as scheduled, which under MLB rules belongs to the home team, angered Twins and Angels players, who had been counting on a day off Thursday.
Luis Arraez celebrated his first major league home run with Twins third base coach Tony Diaz on Tuesday.

Twins offense explodes, 8-3 win over Angels boosts division lead to 6 1/2 games

The Twins tied the game at 3 by scoring three run on three pitches and them blew it open with an inning that left the Angels distracted and defeated.
The Twins' Miguel Sano was congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Sano's two-run home run in eighth inning lifts Twins over Angels

His second homer in five days since his return from injury gives Twins their sixth victory in seven games.
Rod Carew, the Twins' career leading hitter — he batted .334 over a dozen seasons from 1967 to ’78 — lives near Anaheim, Calif., and is joining

Joining Twins in Anaheim, Carew is enjoying what he's seeing

The Hall of Famer said he developed a lot of optimism about this Twins team during spring training, so he is not surprised to find them in first place.
After not pitching in the Seattle series, Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers came in to hold a precarious late lead against the Angels.

Rogers gets back on mound after an unexpected series off, gets win

After not pitching in the Seattle series, Rogers picked up the win on Monday night despite the game-tying run scoring while he was in the game.
The Twins' Luis Arraez stood next to second base as he celebrated his double against the Mariners -- his first hit in the majors -- during the eighth

Baldelli impressed with Arraez after two games

The 22-year-old minor league batting champion has impressed Twins manager Rocco Baldelli with his ability to square the baseball with his bat.
The Twins' Willians Astudillo lost his helmet as he lined out against the Mariners in the eighth inning Sunday. Seattle won 7-4, but the Twins took th

Twins power runs out in 7-4 series finale loss at Seattle

The loss was the Twins' first in a week, and they went without a home run for the first time since May 5.
Minnesota Twins' Jonathan Schoop celebrates with Eddie Rosario (20) after hitting a two-run home run off Seattle Mariners' Ryan Garton during the sixt

Bash away all: Twins flex their muscles against overmatched Mariners

The Twins became the highest-scoring team in the major leagues on Saturday night, blasted six home runs to take the top spot in that category, too, in an 18-4 rout of the Mariners, the Twins' fifth straight win.
Tony Oliva

Oliva joins Twins for 'first road trip in almost 30 years'

"I feel like a rookie again," the 80-year-old Twins Hall of Famer said.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Martin Perez winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May

Mariners meet a whole new Martin Perez in 7-1 Twins victory

Helped by singles, Martin Perez became the team's third six-game winner.
Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is on the injured list with the sore wrist that's kept him out of the lineup all week.

Cruz understands Twins' decision to put him on injured list

The Twins put the designated hitter on the 10-day injured list because of a sore left wrist.
Infielder Luis Arraez joined the Twins for a get-your-feet-wet road trip to Seattle and Anaheim.

Rookie's mood changes from anger to tears after call-up

Luis Arraez was angry about being part of three losses as a member of the Rochester Red Wings -- until he found out he was being called up to the Twins.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, right, was congratulated by Miguel Sano after Buxton hit a three-run homer off starting pitcher Erik Swanson, the f

Twins crush Mariners 11-6 with four early homers, two Sano doubles

Michael Pineda pitched seven strong innings and the Twins hit four home runs in the first four innings while Miguel Sano went 2-for-5 in his 2019 Twins debut.
Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario and designated hitter C.J. Cron celebrated after Cron hit a long two-run homer off Mariners starter Erik Swanson, the t

Flipped off: Cron takes good-natured beating for missing underhand toss

As C.J. Cron sat on the team's flight Thursday, part of Jake Odorizzi's meal kept dropping into his lap. And so began what Cron figures will be years of ridicule.
Twins lefthander Martin Perez gave up home runs in the first and second innings and left in the sixth inning because of a bruised left foot.

Cruz, Perez hurt; Twins rallies keep falling one hit short in loss to Tigers

Nelson Cruz's sore wrist caused the Twins to pinch-hit for him in a key situation and Martin Perez suffered his first loss of the season after he left the game with a bruised heel.
Nelson Cruz sat in the Twins dugout last week in New York.

Twins' Nelson Cruz will get MRI Monday on injured left wrist

It's too early, manager Rocco Baldelli said, to know whether the 38-year-old designated hitter can avoid a stay on the injured list.
Shohei Ohtani is off to a slow start at the plate since his return from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. As he recovers, Ohtani will onl

Twins-L.A. Angels series preview

C.J. Cron and Blake Parker get to face their former team.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver hit a triple in the bottom of the third inning, bringing in Byron Buxton for a run in the night game of a Saturday doublehe

Twins respond to Detroit's HRs, bash 15 hits in nightcap to earn split

After the Tigers hit four home runs in an afternoon victory, the Twins turned in a 15-hit attack to win the nightcap.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the third inning Saturday.

Gardenhire, now with Detroit, ejected again by Wendelstedt

Saturday was Ron Gardenhire's 79th career ejection and sixth by umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, including a memorable one during the 2010 playoffs.
Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi throws to a Detroit batter during the first inning

In command: Odorizzi sets down 20 in a row, runs scoreless streak to 20 innings

Jake Odorizzi on Friday pitched seven innings of one-hit baseball, and the Twins earned their third shutout in four games by dominating the Tigers 6-0.
Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton (25) leapt to make a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel on Thursday.

Confident Twins beat Astros again, have baseball's best record

Fine weeks into the season, the Twins are three games ahead in the AL Central and exuding confidence. "We believe we're the best team in the league," said second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano

Twins' Sano ready for next step in rehab assignment

Sano went 4-for-4 on Thursday, including a two-run homer, in Class A Fort Myers' 4-3 walkoff victory over Clearwater. Then he packed his bags for Class AA Pensacola, where the 2017 All-Star is expected to play this weekend.
Twins pitcher Michael Pineda was 31-31 with a 4.16 ERA in four seasons with the Yankees.

Weekend series gives Twins chance to end losing ways at Yankee Stadium

After taking three of four from Houston, the Twins travel to New York to take on the injury-decimated Yankees.
This is a 2019 photo of Jason Castro of the Minnesota Twins. This image reflects the 2019 active roster as of Feb. 22, 2019, when this image was taken

Thursday's Twins-Houston game recap

The Twins routed the Astros 8-2 on Thursday to win the four-game series 3-1 at Target Field.
Twins first baseman C.J. Cron smacked a three run, 418-foot home run off Toronto starter Matt Shoemaker on April 15.

Built for distance: Target Field seeing big spike in home runs

Good to pitch, good to hit: That's the balance the Twins were seeking when Target Field was built. But that hasn't always been the case in a ballpark that faced unique construction challenges.
Byron Buxton came to the plate in the eighth inning knowing he had new tools to help in his base-stealing pursuits.

Twins' Byron Buxton adds extra gear for stolen-base mission

The center fielder has started wearing a protective mitten for his left hand once he reaches base.
Minnesota Twins Ehire Adrianza rounded the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning.

Odorizzi outduels Verlander, Adrianza's first homer gives Twins 1-0 win over Astros

The greatest visiting pitcher in Target Field history created another masterpiece Monday. Then Ehire Adrianza defaced it and Jake Odorizzi eclipsed it.
Byron Buxton went deep for the first time this season Sunday. It was the Twins’ 23rd and final homer against the Orioles this season.

Twins sweep Orioles, lead AL Central by two games with Astros in town

After beating the Orioles six times in nine days, the Twins move on to a week of tougher competition, against the Astros at Target Field followed by a weekend series with the Yankees.
Jake Cave

Cave returns to Twins after 'nice little trip' to Rochester

Only four days after getting sent down to the minors, the outfielder was recalled to replace the injured Willians Astudillo.
Astros righthander Justin Verlander beat the Twins for the 20th time in his career on Wednesday. He gets his first shot at No. 21 on Monday.

Twins-Houston series preview

The Twins will face Justin Verlander for the second time in five days to open the four-game series.
Taylor Rogers is one of the Twins’ few dependable relievers so far.

Is it time to panic over the Twins' unreliable bullpen?

How — if at all — should the Twins respond to what looks like a deficiency?
Eddie Rosario

'Hair on fire.' Rosario's sizzles at the plate ... and now in the field

Hitting has always been Eddie Rosario's passion. Fielding came second, but he has applied the same disciplined approach to preventing runs as to producing them.
Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers during the first inning against the Twins

Verlander shuts down Twins in Houston's 7-1 victory

Justin Verlander became the 10th pitcher ever to record 20 wins against the Twins, a group that includes four members of the Hall of Fame.
Jake Cave was the odd man out when the Twins expanded their pitching staff Wednesday.

Caving in: Bullpen needs cause outfielder Cave's demotion

With 27 games scheduled over 27 days beginning Friday, the Twins decided to expand their bullpen to eight pitchers. Jake Cave's fourth outfielder spot was the casualty.
Houston's Jose Altuve celebrates his three-run home run off Twins relief pitcher Tyler Duffey

Twins start with a bang, then fizzle against Astros in 10-4 loss

Eddie Rosario's three-run home run Tuesday in Houston made it look like Twins offense would roll once again but the Astros strung together big innings to get the win.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tags out the Twins' Byron Buxton on Monday.

'Now I get to run': Buxton ends stolen-base streak, ready for another

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has said Byron Buxton has permission to try to steal a base whenever he chooses.
The Twins' Jorge Polanco watched his two-run home run off Astros reliever Chris Devenski during the eighth inning Monday.

Twins' hot offense carries over in 9-5 rout of Astros

After drubbing the Orioles, Twins keep hits coming vs. Houston.
In a rare feat, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tagged out Byron Buxton on a steal attempt in the eighth.

Buxton's streak of successful stolen bases ends

Byron Buxton hadn't been caught since May 23, 2017, in Baltimore, when he actually stole the base but overslid and was tagged out.
Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario (shown in a March game against the Tigers) cut off a ball headed for the outfield wall, backhanded it and then spun and

Rosario's hustle cuts off Orioles' rally

Eddie Rosario cut off a ball headed for the outfield wall, backhanded it and then spun and uncoiled a strong throw toward the infield, all in one motion, helping preserve a victory over the Orioles on Sunday.
The Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton, bottom, reached third base ahead of the tag by Baltimore Orioles' Rio Ruiz, top, after tagging up in the fourth inn

Big efforts spark Twins to Baltimore sweep, one game lead in AL Central

How the Twins battled through Sunday's game thrilled manager Rocco Baldelli: "It was beautiful. You could talk probably all day about what we saw and what we have to be happy about."
Jonathan Schoop, left, is congratulated by Eddie Rosario, center, and Nelson Cruz after hitting a three-run home run against the Orioles in the fourth

Twins belt 11 home runs in doubleheader sweep over Baltimore

Eddie Rosario led the charge. He connected twice in Game 1 and hit an encore home run in Game 2, allowing him to tie Harmon Killebrew and Brian Dozier's franchise record of five home runs in a three-game stretch.
Twins pitcher Martin Perez

Perez 'happy' to allow homer to Orioles third baseman Alberto

Hanser Alberto, a 26-year-old infielder who, despite playing more than 100 career games for the Rangers and Orioles, had never hit a home run until Saturday — and it came off one of his closest friends.
The Twins' Jonathan Schoop tips his helmet to the Baltimore crowd Saturday.

These Twins players feel right at home as visitors

Ballparks are full of behind-the-scenes employees who interact with the players on a daily basis, and those are relationships that immediately reconnect when the schedule brings players back.
Camden Yards in Baltimore..

More time off as Twins game at Baltimore is rained out

The Twins will play a doubleheader with Baltimore starting at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, with the rain out creating the team's seventh off day in the opening three weeks of the season.
More from Star Tribune