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 shortstop Jorge Polanco arrived for Friday's news conference to announce contract extensions for he and outfielder Max Kepler.

Steady growth from Kepler and Polanco nets big reward from Twins

Max Kepler, from Germany, and Jorge Polanco, from the Dominican Republic, came up through the Twins system as international signings from different worlds. They now have the richest contracts on the team.
Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) signed autographs for fans after an informal workout at spring training.

Twins betting on long-term value by locking up Polanco, Kepler

It's a lot of money, but it's less, perhaps substantially less, than they would earn if they continue to progress as they have to date.
New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson directed the setup of high-speed cameras — designed to provide instant analytic info on a player’s performanc

Twins install high-speed cameras at spring training to capture instant analytics

The Twins are one of several teams to invest thousands of dollars in new technology to document players' every move — on the mound, at the plate and in the field.
Mitch Garver

Twins' Garver steps up to improve defense behind the plate

Having made an Opening Day roster for the first time last spring, Mitch Garver is eager to do whatever it takes to stay with the Twins when they leave Fort Myers.
Miguel Sano last June.

Sano won't play in Caribbean Series; conflict over reason why

Miguel Sano was removed from the Dominican Republic's roster for the Caribbean Series, with his team and the Twins stating different reasons for the move.
Chase De Jong called out numbers for bingo games at TwinsFest last week.

Twins designate De Jong for assignment after signing lefty Perez

Martin Perez, a fixture in the Texas Rangers' rotation since arriving in the majors in 2012, has a one-year deal with an option for 2020.
Fernando Romero handed a baseball back to its owner after he autographed it at TwinsFest. He is vying for a starting role, but behind the scenes he is

The Romero debate: Develop as starter or try him as Twins' closer?

Fernando Romero has a fastball that can reach 97 miles per hour and a slider that sits around 90, and he's averaged close to a strikeout per inning in six minor league seasons.
New Twins manager Rocco Baldelli signed an autograph for Brooks Geiger, 9, as he sat with his fellow coaches during an autograph session.

Twins' smaller payroll to reflect less emphasis on megadeals for free agents

Twins' parceling of one-year deals is game plan as rebuilt roster takes shape
Blake Parker

Closer candidate? Reliever Parker agrees to deal with Twins

Righthander Blake Parker, a 33-year-old veteran of four big-league bullpens, had a breakout season with the Angels in 2017 and 14 saves last year.
Nelson Cruz has 360 major league home runs despite not being a regular player until he was 28.

Home run-hitting Cruz saw Twins as team on rise well before free agency

Nelson Cruz, the 38-year-old designated hitter who has hit 203 home runs over the past five seasons, said Wednesday he saw Minnesota as a "good fit" while playing as a visitor here with the Mariners.
Byron Buxton spent Tuesday with patients at Gillette Children’s Hospital. Fans last saw him in a Twins uniform in the Twin Cities in May, a fact tha

Buxton says lack of September call-up 'didn't go over well'

After winning a Gold Glove with the Twins in 2017, Byron Buxton played with injuries in 2018 and spent much of the season at Class AAA Rochester.
Michael Pineda spent his first season as a Twin rehabbing from surgery.

Sano, Buxton steal Twins headlines, but Pineda's role for '19 could be big

North Score: Michael Rand and Twins beat writer Phil Miller tackle one of the many mysteries entering the team's 2019 campaign: What role will Micheal Pineda play?
Twins catcher Jason Castro, coming off a season in which he played just 19 games, is as veteran as they come right now for the Twins. He is 31.

After changes to roster, Twins sapped of cubhouse leaders

Players whose contributions might seem limited on paper can still help the team by setting a tone that creates comradeship and professionalism.
Tony Diaz, right, was first base coach for Colorado.

Base coaches Watkins, Diaz to join Twins staff

Tony Diaz was first base coach for the Rockies, and Tommy Watkins managed for the Twins in the minor leagues.
'Czar of velocity.' Twins to name Arkansas' Johnson pitching coach

'Czar of velocity.' Twins to name Arkansas' Johnson pitching coach

The Twins' new pitching coach has no experience in the majors. But 30 of Wes Johnson's pitchers have been drafted from the three colleges at which he's worked.
Joe Mauer played his final game on Sept. 30.

No average Joe: Mauer calls it a career with Twins

St. Paul native Joe Mauer played 15 seasons in Minnesota, and won three batting titles as a catcher. But concussion issues cut short his career.
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier congratulates teammate Joe Mauer after Mauer scored on a single by Eddie Rosario in July. Mauer retired on Friday.

'He's the man': Mauer's ex-teammates remember a role model

Joe Mauer made history by becoming the only catcher in major league history to win three batting titles.
Johnny Field

Twins lose Johnny Field, Oliver Drake on waivers

Field goes to the Chicago Cubs and Drake to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Among the former Twins scattered about the majors are Aaron Hicks, Yankees; Kurt Suzuki, Braves; Ryan Pressly, Astros; and Pat Neshek, Phillies.

Dozens of ex-Twins elsewhere. But did they contribute to new teams?

A record 45 players who once played for Minnesota wore a different major league uniform in 2018.Did the quality match up with the quantity?
Twins bench coach Derek Shelton (9) during spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

Bench coach Shelton impresses Twins in their managerial search

Derek Shelton is one of the finalists to replace Paul Molitor as Twins manager. Shelton, 48, will have a second interview.
Eddie Rosario was voted Twins' MVP by Twin Cities baseball writers.

Rosario named Twins' MVP by Minnesota baseball writers

Leading the Twins in a batch of offensive categories resulted in left fielder Eddie Rosario being named the team's most valuable player by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Joe Espada

Twins talk to Houston coach Espada about manager job

Joe Espada, 43, has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple openings as the Astros participate in the playoffs.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton had a summer filled with migraines, a fractured toe and a strained wrist, all of which limited him to 28 major leagu

Falvey: Buxton headed in right direction; Mauer, manager still in limbo

If there was any rift between Byron Buxton and the Twins over not restoring the Gold Glove outfielder to the major league roster in September, there are no signs of it now, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said Tuesday.
Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer was greeted by teammates after catching one pitch in the ninth inning. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ � � S

New Twins manager and Mauer's decision: The wait continues

There is not a firm timetable to replace manager Paul Molitor, but there will be interviews in the next week. "We're looking for someone who is truly open-minded," Derek Falvey said.
Joe Mauer played his final game — possibly — on Sept. 30.

New Twins manager and Mauer's decision: The wait continues

There is not a firm timetable to replace manager Paul Molitor, but there will be interviews in the next week. "We're looking for someone who is truly open-minded," Derek Falvey said.
Miguel Sano

No charges for Twins' Sano in Dominican Republic traffic incident

The police officer reportedly called the accident just that.
Miguel Sano

Reports: Sano detained after traffic altercation in Dominican Republic

In the Spanish-language El Nuevo Diario, it was reported a police officer suffered a fractured left leg early Sunday in an incident involving Miguel Sano. The Twins are aware of the situation but declined comment.
White, inexperienced, internal: Will new Twins manager break pattern?

White, inexperienced, internal: Will new Twins manager break pattern?

The 12 men who have led the Twins as manager have had much in common. But a new front office was brought in to shake up the Twins' long-established ways of doing business.
Paul Molitor was fired Tuesday as manager of the Twins.

In firing Molitor, Twins hope 'change of voice' will benefit younger players

The Twins were counting on a handful of players in their early 20s to take big steps forward in 2018, and that didn't happen for an assortment of reasons.
Joe Mauer hit a liner to left field and hustled his way to a double in his final at-bat of the season Sunday. The question now is whether the Twins ha

Retire? Joe Mauer's father says, 'I think he's still got more'

One prominent observer of the Twins hometown hero believes it would be a mistake for Joe Mauer to walk away from baseball.
Joe Mauer acknowledged the cheers from fans at Target Field when he came out on the field in his catcher's gear for the ninth inning.

Battling tears ... No. 7 ... Joe Mauer feels the love

Joe Mauer thrilled fans at Target Field when he took the field in the ninth inning wearing the catcher's gear he hadn't used in a game for more than five years. Mauer wiped away tears during the ovation, which lasted almost five minutes.
Jake Cave finished off a strong rookie season for the Twins on Sunday with his 13th home run, another 420-footer to straightaway center field that hel

Cave has solidified future with Twins

The outfielder finished off a strong rookie season Sunday with his 13th home run.
Joe Mauer caught one pitch at the start of the ninth inning on Sunday.

Mauer's surprise catching appearance came together quickly

Joe Mauer called Twins equipment manager Rod McCormick on Saturday morning with an urgent and unexpected request.
Jose Berrios delivered on Friday as the Twins won the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox.

Berrios, Garver shine for Twins in doubleheader sweep of White Sox

Jose Berrios pitched seven innings on one-hit baseball and became the first Twin to strike out 200 batters since 2010 in the first game. In the nightcap, Mitch Garver picked up six RBI.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer exchanged a smile with plate umpire Mark Wegner before coming to bat in the first inning of the first game of Friday’s

'Trying to enjoy it': Mauer mum on future entering Twins' final weekend

Joe Mauer said that while driving to Target Field to open the final series of the season Friday morning, "it hit me a little bit," but did not say whether or not these are the final games of his career.
Twins catcher Willians Astudillo, who had a career high four RBI, scored on a single in the sixth inning Thursday in Minnesota's 9-3 win over Detroit.

Astudillo helps pour on the offense in Twins' 9-3 win over Detroit

The rookie catcher, who has captured the imagination of Twins fans with his see-it-hit-it ways, powered another offensive explosion.
Joe Mauer did a TV interview after Tuesday’s game in Detroit.

Is it the end? Mauer enters final week of his ... season

In what could (possibly) be the last homestand of his career, it's (unofficially) Joe Mauer Week at Target Field. But Mauer insists his future remains a mystery.
Twins catcher Chris Gimenez congratulated pitcher Trevor May after a victory over the Athletics

May gets his own birthday gift — a first career save

Trevor May struck out Ramon Laureano to extricate the Twins from an eighth-inning jam, then held the A's scoreless in the ninth to pick up career save No. 1.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza has had a hot bat lately. He is hitting .311 with six double and 11 RBI in his past 12 starts.

With more playing time for Adrianza comes more hits

Ehire Adrianza is a glove guy who is thrilled to be showing the Twins he has a bat, too.
Khris Davis celebrated his 10th-inning home run that ended the A’s 7-6 victory over the Twins.

A's hand Twins another walkoff loss, 7-6 in 10 innings

Khris Davis' second home run of the game gave the A's a win and the Twins their 14th walkoff loss of the season, the 10th via home run.
Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers had another scoreless outing Sunday at Kansas City, bringing his scoreless streak to 22 consecutive innings.

Amid his hot streak, twin brother is on Taylor Rogers' mind

Taylor Rogers is on a terrific run as a major league pitcher; he is hoping his brother gets the same chance.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi doffs his cap to an ovation when he was pulled in the eighth inning

Odorizzi takes no-hitter into eighth; Twins beat Yankees again

It had been quite a while since the twins beat the Yankees in consecutive games, and starting putcher Jake Odorizzi added extra drama to the occasion.
Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield has had a solid season for the last-place Royals.

Twins-Kansas City series preview

The Twins take to the road — where they have not done well — one last time this season.
Joe Mauer crushed a decisive grand slam, capping a six-run fifth inning that put the Twins ahead 10-1 against the Yankees on Tuesday night at Target F

First in 10: Mauer's slam breaks open Twins' streak-busting win over Yankees

Joe Mauer blasted out of lengthy slump with a grand slam to center field that helped the Twins end a nine-game losing streak to the New York Yankees.
Twins rookie Kohl Stewart came in for Tyler Duffey in the third inning and earned his first major league victory Tuesday.

Twins' 'opener' plan is a work in progress

The Twins intend to keep attempting the plan — having a relief pitcher pitch two innings followed by a "primary pitcher" — in September.
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario, left, tags out Minnesota Twins' Tyler Austin in August

Twins' stolen-base output is in a downward trend

Unless the Twins run more over the season's final three weeks, they will finish with the fewest successful steals since 1984, and almost certainly one of the 10 lowest totals in team history.
Chris Gimenez

Twins show 'respect' for Wilson by trading him to contending Cubs

The trade has more to do with giving Bobby Wilson a shot at experiencing a pennant race than the deal itself, which is bringing Chris Gimenez back to Minnesota.
Jason Kipnis is greeted by Edwin Encarnacion and Roberto Perez after hitting a three-run home run as Twins catcher Mitch Garver looks away during the

Twins miss chance to win season series after loss to Indians

Jason Kipnis banged a home run off reliever Alan Busenitz to break open a tie game and Cleveland went on to win the deciding game of their three-game series, and the season series.
Byron Buxton.

Despite hot streak, Twins aren't certain to bring up Buxton

Derek Falvey, the Twins' chief baseball officer, said that no September decision has yet been made about Gold Glove center fielder Byron Buxton.
Carlos Carrasco — pitching against the Twins for the third time in August — shut them out on four hits over 7⅔ innings Tuesday.

Carrasco guides Indians to 8-1 victory over Twins

In his third start against the Twins this month, Carlos Carrasco struck out 11 for Cleveland and allowed just four hits.
Michael Pineda participated in TwinsFest in January, but never pitched for the team in 2018.

Pineda, Mejia won't pitch for Twins in September

Michael Pineda has a torn meniscus in his right knee. Adalberto Mejia's season is also over.
Oakland Athletics' Chad Pinder, bottom, is tagged out at third base by Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano

Sano homers, Gonsalves better but Twins left wanting more after loss

Miguel Sano blasted a home run 450 feet while Tyler Austin also homered and Stephen Gonsalves was improved in MLB start No. 2. But the Twins lost to Oakland 6-2.
Minnesota Twins' Michael Pineda greets a young fan during the baseball team's TwinsFest on Friday, Jan. 19, 2018 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Hannah Fosl

Pineda's Class AAA start scratched due to knee injury

Michael Pineda, who has spent the season working his way back from elbow surgery a year ago, felt some irritation in his right knee during a bullpen session earlier this week.
Twins pitcher Gabriel Moya, earlier this month vs. Pittsburgh.

Moya channels Guardado for uniform nickname

Twins teammates nicknamed Gabriel Moya "Little Guardado" last fall, and it's why the lefthander chose it as the name on his back for the annual Players' Weekend uniform.
Yolmer Sanchez of the White Sox was tagged out by Logan Forsythe of the Twins on an attempted steal Wednesday.

'We didn't do much': Twins sloppy in loss to White Sox

Kyle Gibson gave up three home runs, including a go-ahead shot by Adam Engel in the fifth inning, and errors behind him didn't help matters in a 7-3 defeat.
Eddie Rosario hit an RBI-single against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning Tuesday.

Rosario gets big ninth-inning hit after White Sox show 'no respect'

Eddie Rosario's RBI single in the top of the ninth inning broke a 2-2 tie, and came after the White Sox intentionally walked Joe Mauer that led to an at-bat's worth of motivation.
Eddie Rosario celebrated with teammate Miguel Sano after hitting a tie-breaking home run in the eighth inning against Detroit, lifting the Twins over

Late Rosario homer lifts Twins past Tigers

Max Kepler's was the fastest. Jake Cave's was the longest. But Eddie Rosario's home run Sunday was the most critical.
Stephen Gonsalves will make his major league debut on Monday. He was the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2016, and has ranked on the team�

Top pitching prospect Gonsalves to make Twins debut Monday

Stephen Gonsalves was the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2016, and has ranked on the team's top-10 prospect lists for three years.
Indians ace Corey Kluber was a little-known fourth-round prospect when Cleveland traded a proven starter for him at the trade deadline in 2010.

MLB Insider: Twins' Falvey learned veterans-for-prospects strategy with Indians

The rotation that has turned Cleveland into the dominant force in the division was largely acquired via July trades.
Twins relief pitcher Taylor Rogers (55) celebrated with teammates after Friday's victory.

Two pitches is all it takes for Taylor Rogers to earn his first career save

For earning the first save of his professional career Friday, Taylor Rogers received the game ball, praise from his manager — and, the next…
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco, center, watched his eighth-inning throwing error to first baseman Joe Mauer enable the Tigers’ seventh run to score.

Twins' four home runs not enough in 7-5 loss to Tigers

Detroit turned the Twins' walks and miscues into the timeliest of rallies, ending their four-game winning streak.
Logan Forsythe, left, had three RBI in the Twins' 6-4 victory over the Pirates.

Forsythe keeps providing value as Twins sweep Pittsburgh

Logan Forsythe reportedly was included in the Brian Dozier trade last month mostly for financial reasons. Now he's giving the Twins their money's worth.
Major League umpire Joe West tips his cap after he was recognized for umpiring the second most major league games

Umpire West works 5,164th game — second most in major league history

Only Bill Klem, who officiated 5,369 games from 1905 to 1941, has umpired more MLB games than Joe West after Wednesday's milestone at Target Field.
Twins outfielder Robbie Grossman left the field with trainer Tony Leo in the seventh inning Sunday and will be placed on the disabled list Monday.

Grossman going on disabled list with hamstring injury

The injury catches the Twins shorthanded because most of their minor-league options are injured, struggling or have little outfield experience.
Minnesota Twins Jake Cave celebrates his grand slam with Ehire Adrianza (16), Miguel Sano (22), and Logan Forsythe (24) against the Kansas City Royals

Cave's first grand slam (ever) leads Twins to sweep

Jake Cave said he'd never hit a grand slam before, even in the minor leagues, before Sunday's in the 6-5 victory over Kansas City. "It surprised me a little," manager Paul Molitor said.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Oliver Drake throws to a Kansas City Royals batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, i

New Twin makes his mark in rout of Royals

Reliever Oliver Drake set an MLB record by playing for his fifth team this year. "A lot of guys are grinding, and I feel like my season hasn't really even started," he said.
Former Twins pitcher Johan Santana speaks at his induction ceremony to the Minnesota Twins Hall of Fame before the baseball game with the Kansas City

Santana and 'The Equalizer' enter Twins Hall of Fame

Santana went 93-44 during his eight seasons with the Twins and won two Cy Young Awards, making him an easy choice for the Twins' highest honor once he became eligible.
The grounds crew rolled the tarp over the field at the start of a rain delay during the Twins-Royals game at Target Field on Friday.

After two rain delays, Twins slosh their way to win over Royals

As games go, it was a rain-soaked mess, but it was at least an effective rejoinder to Paul Molitor's pregame musing about the challenge ahead for his team.
Umpire Doug Eddings wasn't too popular with either the Twins or Red Sox players on Sunday.

Home plate umpire annoys Morrison after run-ins with Berrios, Rosario

Logan Morrison said umpire Doug Eddings is known as a "you've got to watch what you say" umpire, "and that's fine. … But what I saw today was not acceptable."
Eddie Rosario opened the Twins’ ninth by striking out for the second time in a game in which he managed one of only four hits against the league-lea

Sagging Twins, Berrios drop series finale to Red Sox at Fenway Park

The team's scoreless streak reached 15 innings. No Twins player has reached third base since the sixth inning Saturday night.
The Twins' Eddie Rosario, right, grimaced after striking out swinging as Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon looked on in the ninth inning Sunday at Fenway Par

Lethargic Twins fall to Red Sox 3-0

The Twins looked like a team deflated by its front office's trade-deadline sell-off.
Boston Red Sox's Sandy Leon reacts beside the Twins' Brian Dozier after hitting a double during the sixth inning.

Red Sox come back from early deficit to top Twins 10-4

After the Twins went ahead by three runs early, Jake Odorizzi gave up five runs in five innings and the Red Sox rolled from there.

Twins bosses Derek Falvey, Thad Levine arrive in Boston to defend trades

BOSTON – In the Twins clubhouse, "the mood was pretty bad," Brian Dozier said, in the wake of Friday's pair of trades that exchanged…
Mookie Betts celebrates his walk-off solo home run as he rounds the bases in the 10th inning Frida at Fenway Park

Walk-off loss at Fenway caps painful day for Twins

Boston's Mookie Betts blasted a 10th-inning fastball off the Twins' Matt Belisle - who was forced into action after Ryan Pressly became the second Minnesota player traded Friday.
Eduardo Escobar

Escobar to Arizona a 'punch in the gut' to Twins players; Pressly dealt to Houston

The Twins were busy Friday - off the field. They traded Eduardo Escobar to the Diamondbacks for three Class A prospects, and also sent Ryan Pressly to Houston for two prospects.
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