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 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.
Tyler Duffey has pitched in 111 games over the past four seasons for the Twins.

New plan helps Twins pitcher Duffey

Tyler Duffey should be able to provide longer relief appearances with the Twins in a stretch of 12 consecutive days of games.
C.J. Cron rumbled for home on Byron Buxton’s ninth-inning double, only to be tagged out by Toronto catcher Danny Jansen.

Out at home: Ninth-inning rally ends with Cron thrown out at plate

After the Twins' bullpen failed for the second straight night against Toronto, the game ended with C.J. Cron thrown out at home on Byron Buxton's double in the ninth.
The Twins' Jorge Polanco tries to steal second base against the Tigers on Saturday.

Twins don't get much, but it's enough to beat Tigers 4-3

The Twins used five singles and seven walks to beat Detroit. Eddie Rosario's two-run single did the most damage.
Injured Twins third baseman Miguel Sano smiled from the dugout on Opening Day. He is set to report to Fort Myers this week to enhance his rehab from a

Sano headed to Fort Myers and 'ready to do everything'

By the middle of the week, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said, Miguel Sano will report to the Twins' Florida headquarters to begin a simulated, if shortened, spring training.
The Phillies’ Bryce Harper celebrated after hitting a home run off Braves relief pitcher Jesse Biddle on Saturday, part of his very successful start

'He's all over': Harper embraces hero and villain roles with Phillies

The Twins hit interleague early this season, and first up is a trip to Philadelphia to face the best hitter in baseball in his new home park.
The Twins' Willians Astudillo hits an RBI single during the second inning

Catching power: Garver gets three hits, legend of La Tortuga grows

Mitch Garver and Willians Astudillo had three hits each subbing in for regulars.
The Twins' Tyler Austin beats the tag at home by Royals catcher Martin Maldonado to score on a single by Max Kepler during the eighth inning

Twins use speed, subs to rally and complete sweep of Royals

Eddie Rosario's single in the top of the ninth scored Byron Buxton, who started the game on the bench because of a sore back, with the winning run.
The Twins' Eddie Rosario dove home and beat the tag by Royals catcher Martin Maldonado to score from first base in the fourth inning Tuesday.

Key hits by Rosario, Cruz lift Twins over Royals in 10 innings; Buxton leaves game

Rosario scored early with some daring baserunning, threw out a runner from left and tied the score in the ninth inning with an RBI single. Cruz drove in the winning run against a shift the following inning.
Speedy outfielders Billy Hamilton of the Royals, left, and Byron Buxton of the Twins are now division rivals.

Speedsters Buxton, Hamilton now division rivals

Baseball fans can finally compare two of the sport's fastest players side-by-side several times when the Twins and Royals play this season.
Twins DH Nelson Cruz got hit by a pitch from Indians starter Trevor Bauer in the seventh.

Cruz angered by Bauer's inside pitches

Nelson Cruz, who is 7-for-14 in his career against Trevor Bauer, was knocked to the ground twice Saturday.
Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers celebrated with catcher Jason Castro after earning a four-out save to finish off the Indians on Thursday.

'Can't beat that.' Rogers' four-out save sends Twins to bed in first place

Taylor Rogers succinctly summed up the meaning of Thursday's Opening Day victory, in which he was surprised to be on the field for the final outs.
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (5) pulled Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) from the game in the in the eighth inning Thursda

Young ace Berrios brings heat, new veterans bring offense in Opening Day shutout

Jose Berrios turned in one of the most dominating Opening Day performances ever by a Twins pitcher while Marwin Gonzalez, C.J. Cron and Nelson Cruz combined for the winning rally in a 2-0 victory.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, left, and bench coach Derek Shelton watched workouts at Target Field on Wednesday.

Opening Day is equally 'awesome' for Twins players, old and new

For the players and coaches who have never before lined up on the foul line before a packed stadium and heard their names called out during introductions, the experience is a bit spine-tingling.
New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson (center) will try to get better results from a mostly familiar group. Clockwise from top right: Blake Parker, Mic

Twins pitching: Familiar staff, new spin

Twins pitching has been the American League's least effective over the past decade. Yet the optimism in the clubhouse, in the dugout and in the bullpen about the 2019 staff is relentlessly buoyant and earnestly sincere.
From left, Nelson Cruz, C.J. Cron and Jonathan Schoop are all Twins newcomers who can hit the ball over the fence ... and strike out ... and draw a wa

A hankering for homers: Twins join MLB's trend for free swingers

The revamped Twins lineup, with veteran slugger Nelson Cruz as its centerpiece, will rely on long-distance connections more than ever before, with all the side effects that strategy entails.
Twins reliever Matt Magill is recovering from biceps tendinitis and won’t be ready for the start of the season.

Twins day at camp: Matt Magill won't be ready for Opening Day

The righthander is expected to begin the season on the injured list.
Michael Reed

Twins trade Michael Reed to Giants for John Andreoli

The Twins resolved one roster battle on Saturday by trading outfielder Michael Reed to the Giants, clearing the way for Jake Cave to make the team as the fourth outfielder.
Fernando Romero during an exhibition game on Feb. 23 at Hammond Stadium.

Twins option Romero to Class AAA Rochester

Fernando Romero's departure could open the door for a nonroster player — like lefthander Tim Collins or righthanders Ryne Harper or Mike Morin — to make the team.
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has six days to scratch out 11 names from the clubhouse and get the roster to 25.

It's complicated: Many variables play into Twins final roster cuts

The Twins have to turn a 36-man clubhouse into a 25-man Opening Day roster over the next six days. Many factors will figure in the final moves.
Ronald Torreyes, left, and Tyler Austin are with the Twins, trying to prove the Yankees made a mistake by keeping other players instead of them.

Former Yankees teammates look for a shot on Twins

As spring training comes to an end, a multitude of competitors could end up crowding both Tyler Austin and Ronald Torreyes off the Twins roster.
Paul Molitor won’t be back in the Twins dugout in 2019, but the 2017 AL Manager of the Year says he still can see himself working for his hometown o

Paul Molitor makes a spring training trip to Florida, checks in on Twins

Former Twins manager Molitor calls firing amicable as he visits spring training
Ryne Harper is trying to earn another trip to the big leagues, and this time to pitch in a game. Harper spent three games with Seattle in 2017 but nev

Twins' Harper hopes to avoid being the next 'Moonlight' Graham

Ryne Harper has been called up to the majors but never got to pitch. Sound vaguely familiar?
Twins pitcher Jose Berrios signed an autograph for Gordy Anderson of Lake Crystal, Minn. after workouts at Hammond Stadium last month.

Berrios says he turned down contract offer, waiting for bigger payday from Twins

Twins pitcher Jose Berrios has two years and 44 days of service time and will be eligible for salary arbitration next winter.
Minnesota Twins catcher Jason Castro (15) talked with pitching coach Wes Johnson

Castro back behind the plate after choosing path to recovery

Jason Castro's complex knee surgery was followed by seven months of daily rehabilitation exercises — all so he could esume the occupation that keeps causing the meniscus to tear.
Willians Astudillo is the rare catcher-infielder-outfielder. That versatility has him in the mix for a Twins roster spot.

The Astudillo Project: Player's unique makeup intrigues Twins, fans

Willians Astudillo has spent his professional career — a decade long already, though he didn't break through to the majors until June 30 of last year — defying expectations and exploding stereotypes.
Eddie Rosario rounded the horn after a grand slam Tuesday.

Rosario, Cave blast Twins past Rays

An eight-run first inning did the trick, giving Jake Odorizzi plenty of breathing room.
Twins righthander Blake Parker, pitching last month, is known for an unusual, twitchy windup.

Introducing the Parker Shimmy: Twins reliever explains his moves

Not everyone is a fan, and plenty of observers are entertained. "I've gotten a lot of flak about it from different people," new Twins reliever Blake Parker said.
Acquired last July from the Dodgers in the Brian Dozier trade, Twins outfield and first base prospect Luke Raley played in the Arizona Fall League las

With Twins, Raley has a new team he wants to impress

The Twins have only known Luke Raley for a few months -- he came to the team in the Brian Dozier deal -- but they are impressed. He can play all three outfield positions.
Brian Dozier

Dozier tries fresh start with Washington but thought he'd be with Twins 'forever'

Brian Dozier joined Washington after an injury-filled 2018, and after he says the Twins said "no" multiple times about negotiating a long-term deal to stay in Minnesota.
Byron Buxton watched after hitting a two-run home run during Monday's spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles.

More fun, more smiles, more hits: Buxton's relaxed ways paying off

It doesn't take much kindling to ignite a firestorm of optimism for Byron Buxton, who so far this young spring training is knocking the baseball all over Florida.
Newly acquired Minnesota Twins utility player Marwin Gonzalez joined his teammates on the practice field for workouts Monday morning.

New Twin Marwin Gonzalez: 'I couldn't be in a better spot'

With the Astros, Marwin Gonzalez' skills allowed the team to work through injuries and suspensions. Plus, there was one one of the biggest hits in Houston's history.
Twins first baseman C.J. Cron became available when Tampa Bay waived him in spite of his respectable numbers.

Cron welcomed by Twins in a career littered with rejections

C.J. Cron's five-year career is oddly pockmarked by rejection, despite consistent production. Both of his previous teams unceremoniously dumped him
Twins right fielder Max Kepler watched his first of two home runs Sunday.

Batting leadoff, Kepler bashes pair of home runs for Twins

Max Kepler isn't sure yet whether he would enjoy being the Twins' leadoff hitter. Days like Sunday might help him make up his mind.
Twins lefthander Martin Perez delivered a pitch during Sunday's game against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park.

Martin Perez gives up two runs in two innings as Twins fall to Red Sox

The lefthander still made a positive impression on his manager, though.
Twins prospect Nick Gordon

Twins prospect Gordon backs brother's message to victims of domestic violence

Dee Gordon's mother, DeVona Strange, was shot by her boyfriend when Dee was 7. "It's definitely hard for him. But he wants to help people," Nick Gordon said of his brother opening up about the tragedy.

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano sidelined at least a week with cut on his foot

Injury-causing incident occurred during victory parade near Dominican Republic.
Twins pitcher Trevor May worked on fielding line drives with fellow pitchers last week in Fort Myers.

Seeking relief: Who'll be the Twins' closer? Will there be just one?

"It could play out a lot of different ways," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "The goal is to put our guys in the best possible spot to help us win games."
Taylor Rogers had a wretched start to 2018, but the lefthander finished it with 28 consecutive scoreless innings.

Twins' Rogers has spring statistics on his mind

He believes a good spring will spill over into the season, after he had a horrible start in 2018.
Miguel Sano appeared to be at least 20 pounds lighter than he was with the Twins in 2018.

Slightly smaller Sano aiming for big gains with Twins

After taking a look at the lighter and hopefully nimbler Sano, new manager Rocco Baldelli reaffirmed his commitment to Sano as his third baseman.
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.
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