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Phil Miller

Reporter | Minnesota Twins and MLB
Phil has covered college football and basketball, the NBA (Utah Jazz) and Major League Baseball for 25 years.
Recent content from Phil Miller
A melee broke out over an argument between Eduardo Escobar(5) and the Rays' bench. Escobar was eventually ejected for continuing the argument in the n

Twins, Rays get a bit overheated in seventh inning

Eduardo Escobar was the only one ejected after the benches cleared a couple of times.
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios says he is honored to be an AL All-Star and is taking his wife and two children to the game. “I’ll keep working,” he

Twins players perform so-so in All-Star Game appearances

The All-Star Game is a showcase, but mostly not for the Twins, who have a decidedly mediocre history in the Midsummer Classic.
Byron Buxton

Buxton's injury in minor leagues is relatively minor

The Twins put Byron Buxton on the International League disabled list Saturday with inflammation in his left wrist, but no broken bones or damaged ligaments.
Brian Dozier was out at home plate in the sixth inning

Twins rocked 19-6 by Tampa Bay at Target Field

Jose Berrios gave up six earned runs in six innings, and it got worse from there as the Rays feasted on the Twins bullpen in a pre-All-Star break laugher.
Ervin Santana, out all season, could return to the Twins after the All-Star break if he continues to pitch well in his rehab starts.

Santana (63 pitches, no walks) effective in latest rehab start

Ervin Santana on Tuesday struck out five of the first six batters he faced, retired the first 10 in a row, and gave up only a bunt single and a two-run homer in his five-inning stint for the Class AA Chattanooga.
Starter Jose Berrios threw seven innings of one-run ball — long enough for the Twins to rally and take the lead.

All-Star Berrios shines as Twins' winning streak hits five

The 24-year-old righthander limited Kansas City to six hits and no walks, surrendered only one run, and even picked off a runner for the first time since 2016.
Power-hitting Logan Morrison collected his first bunt single in more than two years against the Orioles on Sunday.

Twins' Morrison tries small ball to beat shift

The power-hitting Morrison collected his first bunt single in more than two years against the Orioles on Sunday.
Eddie Rosario singled off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy in the first inning

Excellence in the outfield: Lynn backed up by big plays as Twins beat Orioles again

Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Jake Cave all did their part while Twins righthander Lance Lynn bounced back from a miserable start at Wrigley Field to pitch six innings in a 6-2 victory on Friday night.
Alex Kirilloff started the season playing for Cedar Rapids, but has been promoted to Fort Myers in the Twins organization.

Hunter to manage at Futures game, which includes two Twins prospects

Outfielder Alex Kirilloff and pitcher Lewis Thorpe will play in the minor league spotlight contest.
Twins starter Aaron Slegers, just up from Class AAA Rochester, gave up only one run in six innings to lift the Twins over Baltimore 5-2 and help the t

Slegers' fill-in start helps Twins drop Orioles, end six-game losing streak

The call-up from Class AAA Rochester gave up one run in six innings for his first career MLB victory.
Oregon State’s Trevor Larnach celebrated a home run during his team’s run to the College World Series title.

Twins sign first-round pick Larnach

The former Oregon State outfielder was a late signing because his team won the College World Series.
Trevor Hildenberger

Rally-killer: Trevor Hildenberger's sidearm pitches are flustering hitters

The young reliever has tried to pass the secrets of his success to others, but it's not something easily mastered.
Twins closer Fernando Rodney played in the All-Star Game in 2012 for the Rays, ’14 for Seattle and ’16 for Miami.

After rocky start, Twins' Rodney has polished All-Star credentials

Fernando Rodney has converted 15 consecutive save opportunities since a blown save at Yankee Stadium in late April, and the 41-year-old closer is in the midst of an extraordinarily effective month.
Oregon State third baseman Trevor Larnach was the Twins’ first-round pick in the draft June 4.

Twins await chance to sign Larnach, still playing for CWS title

The team is eager to negotiate a contract with the Oregon State star and get his pro career started.
Adalberto Mejia

Who will take Fernando Romero's spot in Twins rotation?

The Twins will need to add someone to the roster to start one of the games against the Cubs during their weekend series at Wrigley Field.
Jose Berrios gave up only three hits and struck out a career-high 12 batters to outpitch 45-year-old Bartolo Colon on Sunday at target Field.

Young Jose outduels Big Sexy in Twins' 2-0 victory over Texas

Jose Berrios struck out 12 Rangers and gave up only three hits in seven innings to outduel Bartolo Colon, who helped tutor Berrios when the 45-year-old veteran was with the Twins last season.
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario chased down a ball hit by the Rangers' Shin-Soo Choo in the first inning

Twins lose 8-1 to Texas as bats go quiet once again

The Twins dazzled on defense but mustered just three hits vs. the Rangers and lost the opening game of a weekend series at Target Field.
Twins pitcher Kyle Gibson

Gibson said he didn't see retaliation in order after hitting Martinez

There are plenty of theories and opinions about what really happened on Thursday between the Twins and Boston, what should have happened, and what might happen in Fenway Park next month.
Twins Manager Paul Molitor ran out to check on Eduardo Escobar after he was hit by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello during the first inning as the Twins

Molitor on pitch that hit Escobar: 'It didn't look right to me'

The hit batter was Rick Porcello's 10th of the season, tying him for the major league lead, and Twins manager Paul Molitor reacted tersely.
Eduardo Escobar goes down after he was hit by Red Sox pitcher Rick Porcello during the first inning as the Twins took on the Boston Red Sox at Target

Escobar injured, Rosario out; Punchless Twins lose to Boston

Take an offense with only two dynamic hitters, subtract both of them because of injury, and the result is exactly what you would expect
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson is among those discovering that less is more when it comes to their wind-up on the mound.

Some Twins pitchers wind up discovering less is more in their delivery

Decades ago, most major league starting pitchers routinely whirled their arms and pivoted their torsos and coiled their bodies in a theatrical ballet before unleashing the ball.
An epic slump like the one that has engulfed the Twins' Brian Dozier for nearly two months might seem like a real-life horror movie to a lot of player

One more time? Dozier has turned around slumping seasons before

In 2016, for example, Brian Dozier turned his season around to an incredible extent. From June 18 on, he hit .293 with a record-setting 35 home runs
Eduardo Escobar drove in the Twins’ lone run Sunday at Cleveland with a first-inning double. Two more doubles would follow.

Three doubles add to Escobar's MLB-leading totals

By becoming the first Twins player with a three-double game since Robbie Grossman in 2016, Eduardo Escobar reached 30 doubles for the season, easily the most in baseball.
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario collected a solo home run off Adam Plutko in the eighth inning Saturday.

Rosario powers Twins to 9-3 victory over Cleveland

Eddie Rosario collected two singles, a double and a home run on Saturday
Byron Buxton

Twins send Buxton to Class AAA Rochester to get healthy and then some

The Twins will judge his rehab assignment — and decide when to bring him back to the majors — based on his hitting as much as his recovery from the toe injury.
Brian Dozier is congratulated by Logan Morrison after Dozier hit a two-run home run off Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber during the fourth inning

'Solid' Gibson outpitches Kluber, Twins earn 6-3 victory over Cleveland

Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier hit home runs for a reawakened offense, and the Twins enjoyed their most heartening victory in a couple of weeks.
Miguel Sano

Sano jumping into workout program in Florida

The Class A Fort Myers Miracle, idle due to the Florida State League All-Star Game, will resume their season Monday, presumably with Miguel Sano in the lineup.
Joe Mauer

Mauer returning four weeks after balance problems forced him out

Joe Mauer went 0-for-10 for Rochester in his three-game rehab assignment at Rochester, but manager Paul Molitor said he's unconcerned by that.
Detroit’s JaCoby Jones (right) was greeted by Jose Iglesias (1) after hitting a two-run homer Thursday.

Lynn stays in one batter too many as Twins fall to Tigers

JaCoby Jones hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to break a tie and lift Detroit.
The Tigers' Niko Goodrum scored on a single by Victor Reyes during a four-run rally in the eighth inning of Detroit's 5-2 victory over the Twins on We

Offense sputters, Reed stumbles as Tigers beat Twins with four-run eighth

The Twins got only one more hit after scoring two runs in the first inning and reliever Addison Reed gave up five singles when the Tigers put together their winning rally.
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has taken part in daily workouts and frequent extended spring training games since his 80-game steroid suspension began,

Polanco readying for rehab assignment as suspension nears end

The shortstop has taken part in daily workouts and frequent extended spring training games since his 80-game steroid suspension began, but that's about to change.
Matt Belisle pitched for the Twins in the wild card playoff game at Yankees Stadium on Oct. 3, 2017.

Belisle rejoins Twins; Mauer hitless in Rochester rehab doubleheader

Matt Belisle pitched in 62 games for the Twins in 2017 with nine saves after closer Brandon Kintzler was traded to Washington in late July.
Twins players Logan Morrison, clockwise from bottom left, Eddie Rosario, Gregorio Petit, Fernando Rodney, Fernando Romero and Jose Berrios play domino

Bringing the Twins clubhouse together: 'Everybody can play dominoes'

From small beginnings among a few guys to now an all-in tournament involving players and coaches, dominoes has captivated the Twins' entire clubhouse.
Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios celebrated with catcher Bobby Wilson

Anger management: Berrios channels frustration to go nine innings in victory

Jose Berrios pitched the second complete game of his career and benefited from three home runs in the first four innings as the Twins split their four-game series with a 7-2 victory.
Eddie Rosario dodged an inside pitch Thursday.

Rosario, Escobar are hot, but Twins don't follow suit

Eddie Rosario is hitting .364 with 23 extra base hits since May 1. The Twins are 18-17.
Eduardo Escobar (center) celebrated his eighth inning homer with Eddie Rosario, left, and Gregorio Petit

Escobar's HR helps Twins scratch out doubleheader split with White Sox

Limited to just one hit through seven innings in the opening game of a doubleheader, the Twins' bats came alive in the eighth capped by Eduardo Escobar's three-run blast. Zack Littell's MLB debut was a dud but 'incredible' experience in Game 2.
Eduardo Escobar

Thanks, Torii: Escobar 'doubles' down on advice from Hunter

He'll be better remembered Tuesday for his game-winning home run, but Eduardo Escobar considers himself a doubles specialist after heeding the advice of Torii Hunter.
The Royals’ Ryan Goins celebrated with third base coach Mike Jirschele after hitting a two-run triple during the second inning against the Twins on

Twins fall into nine-run hole, rally comes up short in 11-8 loss

The Twins closed from a 9-0 deficit after two innings to 9-8 before losing for the fifth time in six games. Rookie Fernando Romero was knocked out by the Royals during a seven-run second inning.
Eddie Rosario.

Rosario waiting for his chance to steal home

Twins manager Paul Molitor likes Eddie Rosario's aggressiveness — when it's in the right situation.
The Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar is surrounded by teammates after hitting the game-winning home run in the 14th inning against the Twins

Walk-off shame: Twins tie baseball record with 14th-inning loss to Royals

Alcides Escobar's home run off Taylor Rogers sent the Twins to their eighth walk-off loss in 50 games, a dubious distinction that has been done only twice before in major league baseball.
Twins manager Paul Molitor is a proponent of using data-driven strategy to help his team win, but part of him wonders if what’s good for his team is

Molitor notes data-driven strategy looming ever larger in baseball

The Twins manager is a proponent of doing whatever helps his team wins, but part of him wonders if what's good for his team is good for his sport.
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano is congratulated by teammates after his two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas Ci

Twins bats regain steam in Kansas City heat; losing streak ends at 4

Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario -- all of whom had been struggling on offense -- played key roles as the Twins beat Kansas City 8-5
Twins starter Jose Berrios went back to work after giving up a home run, but got little run support from his teammates in a 3-1 loss to Seattle on Sun

Berrios gets little birthday support as Twins lose to Mariners

Minnesota lost its fourth in a row despite Berrios' strong 7⅓ innings.
The Twins peeled more than $7 million off their $22 million obligation to Phil Hughes by trading him to San Diego on Sunday.

Twins trade Hughes to Padres

The Twins peeled more than $7 million off their $22 million obligation to pitcher Phil Hughes by trading him to San Diego on Sunday, but the discount came at a not-insignificant price.
Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura, right, scores as Twins catcher Mitch Garver waits for the throw during the first inning

Paxton outduels Romero in victory over Twins

Young Twins starter Fernando Romero held his own again but Seattle's James Paxton was on as well, picking up 11 strikeouts in a 2-1 victory.
Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana has not appeared in a Major League game since the playoffs at Yankee Stadium last October.

Santana still bothered by finger, will make next start at Fort Myers

Ervin Santana threw 45 pitches over two innings at Class AA Chattanooga on Wednesday, never eclipsing 90 miles per hour, and showed signs that more healing on his middle finger is necessary.
Phil Hughes' days as a Twins pitcher are finished.

Twins cut ties with Hughes despite all the millions they still owe him

The lingering uncertainty over Phil Hughes' role on the Twins is finally over. There isn't one. Cutting ties with Hughes will cost the Twins more than $20 million.
Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario (20) caught a ball at the fence hit by John Hicks to end the game.

'Puerto Rican style.' Rosario, Berrios carry Twins past Tigers

Eddie Rosario's bravado on the bases and in the field combined with Jose Berrios' middle-inning dominance helped the Twins win back-to-back home games for the first time in six weeks.
Rays righthander Sergio Romo started Sunday, recording four outs against the Angels. The veteran reliever started Saturday, too, pitching one inning.

Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger doesn't balk about starting; his manager does

The Twins watched as Tampa Bay experimented with starting a reliever on consecutive days over the weekend.
Twins pitcher Fernando Rodney struck out the side against Milwaukee on Sunday.

Rodney's streak is turnaround he promised after rocky start

Fernando Rodney assured the Twins during his rough April, when he blew three save opportunities in a row, that his results would be different eventually.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver will now get work on pitch-framing in game situations.

Twins feel a pinch behind the plate with catcher shortage

Jason Castro's injury creates playing time for Mitch Garver and Bobby Wilson, but the need for depth looms.
Jason Castro

Twins catcher Jason Castro out for the season

Jason Castro's meniscus in his right knee was more damaged than surgeons expected, and the repair was more extensive than planned.
Byron Buxton stole third base in the seventh inning as St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Jedd Gyorko is late with the tag

Small ball, long ball: Buxton's bunt and Wilson's HR spark Twins

Jose Berrios' overpowering fastball and Byron Buxton's uncontainable speed played critical roles Tuesday as the Twins beat the Cardinals for the fifth straight meeting, 4-1 at Target Field
Eduardo Escobar has been playing third base, but sometimes positioned differently in shifts.

Twins coaches try to shift players' skepticism about shifts

A positive attitude is critical to a shift's potential success in the field, something that wasn't always there for Twins players or manager Paul Molitor.
Twins catcher Jason Castro disputed a call during a game at Target Field on May 2.

Twins' Castro will have knee surgery, miss 4-6 weeks

The catcher will undergo surgery Tuesday in Vail, Colo., to have a small, torn part of the meniscus in his right knee removed.
Seattle’s Dee Gordon eased his way past Twins catcher Mitch Garver after first baseman Logan Morrison threw a bunt attempt into right field Monday n

Throwing error, soggy bats cost Twins in 1-0 loss to Mariners

Seattle scored the game's lone run on Logan Morrison's throwing error in the eighth inning as the Twins were held to a double and three singles.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was bundled up against Houston on April 10, 2018.

Twins likely to play March games at Target Field in 2019

Baseball Insider: The Twins haven't seen their preliminary 2019 schedule yet, but they know what it will almost certainly say: Minnesota will play its first-ever outdoor home games in March.
Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor isn't a huge fan of the minor league extra innings policy that automatically puts a runner on second base. “Cer

Extra innings: Will they always have a place in baseball?

Beginning this season in the minor leagues, each inning beyond nine begins with a runner standing on second base. It's a change that some feel hurts the integrity of the game.
Minnesota Twins' Eduardo Escobar (5) arrives home after hitting a two-run home run during the seventh inning of a baseball game as teammate Max Kepler

Twins pummel Cardinals for 5th win in row, one game out of first

Jake Odorizzi and three relievers held St. Louis, which is tied for first in the NL Central, to two hits while the offense took care of business against the Cardinals' ace pitcher.
Logan Morrison showed off some of his "legal" cleats.

Agony of de-feet: Twins warned by MLB about shoe color policy

The problem for several Twins players is that the team's "designated primary shoe color" is black, not the navy blue that adorns the uniforms and caps.
The Twins' Byron Buxton ran in the outfield for a second day in a row Monday, felt only occasional discomfort in his fractured left big toe and pronou

Eager Buxton says he's almost ready to return to Twins lineup

Center fielder Byron Buxton is willing to go on another rehab assignment, but it's clear he would prefer to simply be activated when his broken toe heals.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Fernando Romero works during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, May 7, 2018,

Romero ends Cardinals' five-game win streak with six shutout innings

Hitting 97 miles per hour with his fastball, rookie Fernando Romero struck out nine batters, kept calm when runners reached base and joked about his first time batting in the 'big-boy league.'
Logan Morrison said he can help in the outfield, if needed.

LoMo in the outfield? He's willing if Twins need added depth

Morrison, who last played the outfield in 2015, went to manager Paul Molitor and said he could fill in to give the Twins more depth.
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario celebrates after hitting a solo home run against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunda

Mauer's savvy, Rosario's smash cap comeback for Twins' third win in a row

Joe Mauer baited the indecisive White Sox, then bolted home from third base with the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, leading to the Twins' third consecutive victory.
White Sox starting pitcher James Shields, center, had a no-hitter going through six innings against the Twins on Sunday, but ran into trouble in the s

After zero hits through six innings, Twins do enough to win

James Shields, making his 25th career start against the Twins, retired the first 16 hitters he faced and didn't give up a hit until Eduardo Escobar waited on a slow curveball with one out in the seventh inning and served it into right field.
Twins staring pitcher Lance Lynn throws against the White Sox during the first inning Saturday

Twins continue strong play with 8-4 victory over White Sox

Eight runs lighten load for Lance Lynn's six innings.

Twins place Jason Castro on disabled list because of knee injury

CHICAGO – Jason Castro's right knee has been sore for a couple of weeks, and it flared up again on Friday. So Saturday, the…
The Twins' Eduardo Escobar reacts in the dugout after hitting a home run against the Chicago White Sox on Friday.

Escobar's two homers power Twins to road win over White Sox

Eduardo Escobar, the utility infielder, is now the Twins' unlikely home run leader after belting a pair Friday night in a 6-4 road victory over the White Sox.
Daniel Palka is congratulated by third base coach Nick Capra after Palka hit a two-run home run in the fourth inning against the Twins

Palka makes hitting discovery, then moves from Twins to White Sox

Daniel Palka, the power-hitting outfielder, worked daily with Rudy Hernandez, the Twins' assistant hitting coach, while playing in Venezuela last fall.
Trayce Thompson swung and Addison Reed reacted to the walk-off homer that gave the White Sox a 6-5 victory over the Twins.

Loss to the 4th power: Twins fall on walk-off homer for fourth time

This time, the Twins blew a 5-1 lead to the White Sox before Trayce Thompson, the son of former Gophers basketball star Mychal Thompson (and a .140 hitter this season) blasted them to defeat.
Curtis Granderson came home as Twins starter Lance Lynn awaited a throw from catcher Mitch Garver, whose passed ball led to the run.

Lynn ends 'worst month of my career' with more walks, another loss

Normally a strong starter, Lance Lynn finished April with an 0-3 record and 8.37 ERA as the Twins, who also hurt themselves with sloppy defense, lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
Fernando Romero impressed the Twins in spring training, pitching eight hitless innings while striking out eight.

Top prospect Romero will start for Twins on Wednesday

Romero, 23, didn't give up so much as a hit in four spring training appearances, striking out eight in eight innings.
Twins starter Jose Berrios, left, got a pep talk from second baseman Brian Dozier in the third inning of Cincinnati's 8-2 victory at Target Field on S

Berrios sets the tone for another one-sided Twins loss to Reds

Jose Berrios lasted only three innings and the Twins showed little in the field and with their bats in an 8-2 loss to Cincinnati, which has the worst record in the majors.
Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey

Duffey and his bloated ERA get shipped back to Rochester

Tyler Duffey was optioned back to Class AAA Rochester after pitching the final three innings of Sunday's loss.
Matt Magill’s first game for the Twins came against his old team, the Reds, on Sunday.

Magill makes Twins debut against his former team

Matt Magill knew "a lot" of the Reds he faced Sunday, which helped him get over his surroundings.
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