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
Twins third base coach Tony Diaz sends Jorge Polanco home, scoring on a C.J. Cron single in the fourth inning to give the Twins a 10-0 lead.

Winning without drama: Twins take 11-0 lead and cruise past Texas

Wrung out often by the Twins' habit of momentum swings and dramatic finishes, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli pined for an uneventful, wire-to-wire blowout victory. He got it.
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has had trouble in the field for a few weeks now, and it really stood out in the two-game series against the Brewers at

Polanco continues string of costly errors at shortstop

Jorge Polance made three errors in the two games iatMilwaukee, including one in the inning when the Brewers hit their game-winning three-run homer.
The Twins' Marwin Gonzalez, right, celebrated with Eddie Rosario after hitting a three-run home run in the eighth inning of a 7-5 victory over the Bre

Biggest bomba? Gonzalez's three-run homer boosts Twins back into first place

The Twins built a lead, watched it disappear in about five ugly minutes, then recaptured it with one tremendous Marwin Gonzalez swing to beat Milwaukee 7-5.
Despite a torn tendon in his left wrist, Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz was hitting in a cage Tuesday and hopes to get off the injured list next

Cruz hits despite arm injury, aims to get off injured list

Nelson Cruz's plan is to test it again a few times during this road trip and do wrist-strengthening exercises, with the expectation of being activated when he's eligible to return on Monday.
Twins relief pitcher Sergio Romo celebrated after the end of the top of the sixth inning against the Cleveland Indians.

Twins back alone in first place with 4-1 victory over Cleveland

Jake Odorizzi had a strong start, and the Twins offense came through behind him to end a four-game losing streak and go back up by one game in the AL Central.
Cleveland right fielder Yasiel Puig left the field after striking out against Twins starter Jake Odorizzi in the top of the first inning.

Schedule difficulty favors Twins down the stretch against Cleveland

Worst in AL Central account for 26 of final 45 games.
Randy Dobnak

Journey completed: Twins call up pitcher Dobnak to replace Stewart

Randy Dobnak, a 24-year-old right-hander, started the season at Class A Fort Myers before working his way through the Twins' minor league system with 125 strong innings.

Sano sensed another triple play was possible for Twins

When Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers came to the plate with the bases loaded Wednesday, Twins coach Tony Diaz signaled third baseman Miguel…
Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a home run on the first pitch of the first inning.

Over early: Twins, Berrios fall behind 11-0, end up losing 12-7 to Atlanta

Jose Berrios hadn't allowed more than three earned runs in a start since mid-May. Tuesday, he opened his first career start against Atlanta by allowing a home run on the first pitch It didn't get better.
Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz followed through with his swing after hitting a solo home run against the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the

Triple boomstick: Cruz homers three times in Twins rout over Royals

The Twins' designated hitter — already the most homer-iffic DH in franchise history — launched three more rockets into the Target Field seats
Nelson Cruz celebrated with Max Kepler at home plate after Cruz hit a two-run-homer in the first inning on Friday, giving the Twins a 2-1 lead over th

Cruz comes through for Twins when they need it in victory over Royals

Nelson Cruz's home run and pair of doubles helped the Twins win the weekend series opener with the Royals 11-9.
Byron Buxton slides to score against the Athletics in the 12th inning on July 3.

Another crash into the wall puts Buxton on the bench

A day after crashing into the outfield wall in Miami, Byron Buxton's left shoulder on Friday was more tender from the collision. It's the third injury that has knocked Buxton out of the lineup in six weeks.
The bat of the Yankees’ Aaron Judge splintered in the fourth inning, but he got enough wood on the pitch to single to center at Target Field on Wedn

Yankees bust through for series win; Twins' AL Central lead down to two

The Yankees handed the Twins a 10-7 loss on Wednesday night and for the 13th consecutive year won the season series. The Twins' lead in the AL Central is down to two games over Cleveland.
Yankees center fielder Aaron Hicks is doused in an ice bath by a teammate after making the game-winning catch in the bottom of the 10th inning.

Big hitting, bad pitching, epic ending by Hicks gives Yankees 14-12 win over Twins

The teams traded late-inning rallies before the Yankees triumphed in the 10th, a game capped by a ninth-inning homer and game-ending diving catch by ex-Twin Aaron Hicks.
Former Twins relief pitchers Adalberto Mejia and Mike Morin.

Ex-Twins Adalberto Mejia, Mike Morin land with new teams

Both relievers had been designated for assignment since the All-Star break.
Oakland's Ramon Laureano, left, and Mark Canha celebrated after they both scored on a two-run single by Khris Davis off Twins reliever Taylor Rogers.

Down to final out, A's hand Twins a painful loss

The A's dealt the home team a gut-punch of a loss, coming back with two out and nobody on against Taylor Rogers.
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario dropped a fly ball hit by Adeiny Hechavarria in the eighth inning. Two runs scored on the play.

Twins collapse in 14-4 loss to Mets, lead shrinks to four games

It was the first time the Twins have lost three games in a row, and it featured another 0-and-2 home run pitch by Trevor May, a dropped fly ball by Eddie Rosario and other ugliness.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza pitched the ninth inning Wednesday at Target Field

Taking the mound a different task for Twins' Adrianza

Ehire Adrianza was sitting on the bench when Twins manager Rocco Baldelli approached him with a question: Can you pitch?
Designated hitter Nelson Cruz fouled out to end the game Tuesday night, with Mitch Garver and two other Twins on base.

After fever pitch, Twins stall late in loss to Mets

Two unearned runs in the first inning Tuesday night got the Twins off on wrong foot. It was a deficit they nearly overcame but left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth and lost 3-2.
The Twins’ Jose Berrios was among the AL pitchers who made a good accounting of himself in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, contributing two of the team�

Berrios gets the better of brother-in-law Baez in All-Star Game

Jose Berrios threw a scoreless All-Star inning for the second consecutive season, including a fly out by Javy Baez of the Cubs. Berrios and Baez grew up in the same town and married sisters.
Twins All-Star pitcher Jake Odorizzi acknowledged the frequency of home runs will have a ripple effect across the game, and said MLB needs to be trans

Odorizzi among critics questioning baseballs, homer rate

The spike in home runs over the past three seasons, and in particular this one, has created concern throughout the sport about the ball.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco, stands with Indians teammates during the fifth inning of the MLB baseball All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2

Cleveland pitchers bring heat, emotion as AL wins All-Star Game

Cleveland pitchers provided two very different, but very emotional, moments for the sellout crowd at Progressive Field to remember.
For a couple of days, Twins All-Star pitchers Jose Berrios, left, and Jake Odorizzi get to enjoy the rewards of being recognized by their peers and fa

Odorizzi, Berrios soak up All-Star atmosphere, bump into ex-Twins

For a couple of days, the Twins' All-Star pitchers get to enjoy the rewards of being recognized by their peers and fans.
Minnesota Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco throws to first on a grounder by Kansas City Royals' Humberto Arteaga during the first inning of a baseball ga

From embarrassment to All-Star, Polanco has become Twins answer at shortstop

Only a season removed from failing a drug test that led to an 80-game suspension, Jorge Polanco has become that rock-steady shortstop the Twins have been seeking for years.
Twins top prospect Royce Lewis made a play in the top of the seventh inning at the Futures Game on Sunday night. In the bottom of the inning, Lewis ha

Mistakes aside, prospect Royce Lewis enjoys MLB Futures Game

He made an error while a teammate was pitching and struck out with the winning run on third base. But Royce Lewis could hardly stop smiling
Twins catcher Jason Castro and designated hitter Nelson Cruz high-fived after they defeated the Rangers 7-4 at Target Field on Saturday.

Michael Pineda strong, Twins hold off Texas 7-4

Taylor Rogers finished with a seven-out save after the Rangers got within a run.
Left fielder LaMonte Wade Jr. dislocated his right thumb hitting the fence as he tried to rob Elvis Andrus of a home run in the sixth.

Twins left fielder LaMonte Wade Jr. dislocates thumb on fence in his Target Field debut

The outfielder was called up because of C.J. Cron's thumb injury, then promptly suffered one of his own.
Twins third baseman Luis Arraez celebrated with third base coach Tony Diaz after hitting his second major league home run, the first of four Twins hom

Twins set MLB record for homers before All-Star break in rout of Rangers

The Twins' four homers gave them 165 on the season; they also set a team record by hitting nine doubles in the game.
Willians Astudillo on June 26 against the Rays.

Ailing Willians Astudillo will not be ready for quite a while

The Twins catcher/infielder/outfielder hasn't felt right since running into the wall June 25.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton celebrated with his usual right fielder Max Kepler on Friday.

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton trying to cover for infielders playing outfield

With the Twins putting so many infielders in the corners, Byron Buxton is helping them learn the ropes.
With 16 home runs at the season’s midpoint despite missing two weeks with a sore wrist, Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is on course to record h

At 39, Twins' Cruz is the one giving pitchers gray hair

With 16 home runs at the season's midpoint despite missing two weeks with a sore wrist, Nelson Cruz is on course to record his sixth consecutive 30-homer season.
Twins starter Lewis Thorpe struck out seven in his five innings before rain shortened his major league debut in an eventual 4-3 loss to the White Sox

Rain shortens Thorpe's MLB debut as Twins fall to White Sox

A long rain delay didn't save Lewis Thorpe in his debut vs. White Sox ace Lucas Giolito.
Twins' Thorpe performs according to game plan in MLB debut

Twins' Thorpe performs according to game plan in MLB debut

His coaches' instructions were to throw strikes and get ahead of hitters. So he did.
Twins starter Jake Odorizzi was named to the American League All-Star team Sunday.

Twins pitcher Odorizzi joins Polanco on American League All-Star team

The Twins pitcher thought he would have more company as team feels snubbed.
Miguel Sano watches his two-run home run during the eighth inning

Twins smack five home runs in 10-3 victory over White Sox

The Twins' five home runs come in all shapes and sizes. But they all cuont the same and added up to a big victory on the south side of Chicago
Lewis Thorpe delivered a pitch during spring training.

Surprise! Thorpe will make major debut for Twins on Sunday

Lewis Thorpe was 3-4 with a 5.71 ERA at Class AAA Rochester when he was summoned in the wake of the Twins' 18-inning game on Thursday. With the Twins help, his parents flew in from Australia for Sunday's game.
Jon Jay of the White Sox hits an RBI single against the Twins during the fifth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago on Friday

Twins end sweet first half of season on a sour note in loss to White Sox

Starter Jose Berrios aided a weary bullpen and Miguel Sano homered twice, but the Twins fell 6-4 to White Sox.
Charlie Tilson of the White Sox makes a catch on LaMonte Wade Jr. during the fifth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago

Debut of Twins rookie Wade has its ups and downs

The first pitch LaMonte Wade Jr. saw as a big-leaguer hit him in the shoulder.
Twins DH Nelson Cruz hit a three-run double in the seventh inning to give the Twins the lead.

Cruz's bases-loaded smash caps rally as Twins overcome another injury

Nelson Cruz lined a double in the seventh inning to boost the Twins to a 6-4 victory over Tampa Bay despite losing Eddie Rosario to a sprained ankle that forced some major shuffling in the injury-wrecked outfield.
Eddie Rosario walked off the field in the third inning after injuring his ankle trying for a double.

Could slugging Twins be shut out of baseball's Home Run Derby?

Eddie Rosario, who injured his ankle Wednesday night, has 20 home runs but has not been offered a spot among the eight participants in the July 8 derby in Cleveland.
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.

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.

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.
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