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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
Sano on what's ahead: 'More RBIs, more team wins. I can feel it.'

Sano on what's ahead: 'More RBIs, more team wins. I can feel it.'

Miguel Sano's 37 RBI lead the American League, and he's quick to deflect the praise. "Everybody here is hitting really good," he said.
'All about Ervin': Santana pitches two-hit shutout for Twins over Baltimore

'All about Ervin': Santana pitches two-hit shutout for Twins over Baltimore

Just one Baltimore base runner reached third base Tuesday night against Ervin Santana, who led the Twins to a 2-0 victory over the Orioles.
Down 5-0 in second inning, Twins recover to smash Orioles 14-7

Down 5-0 in second inning, Twins recover to smash Orioles 14-7

Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano had four hits apiece, Joe Mauer had his first three-hit game since Aug. 16 and Kyle Gibson was the winning pitcher despite giving up six runs in five innings.
'Be safe out there.' Twins outfielders mindful of Buxton's speed

'Be safe out there.' Twins outfielders mindful of Buxton's speed

The Twins spend extra time practicing those in-between fly balls, striving for better communication and fewer collisions.
Under new leadership, Twins pitchers reaping reward of advanced stats

Under new leadership, Twins pitchers reaping reward of advanced stats

Scouting meetings are so intricately detailed now, they're practically entertainment, at least to a baseball junkie like Twins manager Paul Molitor.
Rainout sets up a Target Field first: a true doubleheader

Rainout sets up a Target Field first: a true doubleheader

The matter of a makeup date was in the hands of the players, thanks to a collectively bargained MLB limit of three day-night doubleheaders per season without player approval.
Vargas delivers in a pinch before Twins beat Royals in 10 innings

Vargas delivers in a pinch before Twins beat Royals in 10 innings

Kennys Vargas parked a game-tying pinch-hit home run deep into the seats in the ninth inning. The Twins then drew three consecutive walks and won in 10 innings.
Mauer has shined with glove this season for Twins

Mauer has shined with glove this season for Twins

According to FanGraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating, Mauer is 2.4 runs better than an average first baseman. That's already easily the best mark since he moved to the position in 2014, and it leads the American League.
Long and short of it: Twins home run streak reaches 16 but Rockies win

Long and short of it: Twins home run streak reaches 16 but Rockies win

The Twins on Tuesday homered in their 16th consecutive game, but Twins pitchers have also given up a long ball in 10 consecutive home games.
Coming Saturday: Another mystery starting pitcher for the Twins

Coming Saturday: Another mystery starting pitcher for the Twins

Uncertainty has surrounded the identity of the Twins' starter on each of the first two Saturdays of May, and this Saturday will make it three in a row.
Chaos returns: Twins find little relief from bullpen

Chaos returns: Twins find little relief from bullpen

The bullpen, one of the reasons for surprise and optimism though the first four weeks of the season, melted down during last week's six-game homestand.
Tonkin is latest longtime Twins player sent packing

Tonkin is latest longtime Twins player sent packing

In the span of three days, new Twins brass decided Kyle Gibson, Danny Santana and Michael Tonkin could not survive subpar starts in 2017.
Before Sunday's main event, Red Sox knock out Twins in undercard

Before Sunday's main event, Red Sox knock out Twins in undercard

Ahead of Sunday's much-anticipated pitching matchup of Chris Sale and Ervin Santana, Boston scored eight times in the second inning en route to an 11-1 romp over the Twins.
Late Friday: Joe Mauer hits first walk-off homer of his career

Late Friday: Joe Mauer hits first walk-off homer of his career

His first career walk-off homer ruined a late Red Sox rally.
Berrios could get nod to replace Gibson in Twins rotation next week

Berrios could get nod to replace Gibson in Twins rotation next week

The Twins' top pitching prospect, frequently flawless at Class AAA but mostly disappointing in 14 major league starts, is one of two candidates to be called up for a start.
Mauer's moment: First career walk-off HR carries Twins over Red Sox

Mauer's moment: First career walk-off HR carries Twins over Red Sox

Joe Mauer blasted a pitch from Matt Barnes over the fence in left-center field for a home run that gave the Twins a 4-3 victory. It was Mauer's first walk-off home run in 6,010 career at-bats.
Twins pull Buxton from game following multiple collisions with wall

Twins pull Buxton from game following multiple collisions with wall

Three plays in center field - including two hard hits into the wall - eventually prompted Twins manager Paul Molitor to pull Byron Buxton from Thursday's game for his own good.
'It's not working': Twins demote Gibson after another poor outing

'It's not working': Twins demote Gibson after another poor outing

Kyle Gibson, a fixture in the Twins rotation since his 2013 debut, pitched four more chaotic innings in a substandard season Thursday and was sent to the minors after Thursday's loss to Oakland.
Twins' ugly homestand ends with blowout loss to Detroit

Twins' ugly homestand ends with blowout loss to Detroit

Catcher Chris Gimenez took to the mound to finish the game.
Boshers' reward for pitching well? Back to the minors

Boshers' reward for pitching well? Back to the minors

The lefthanded reliever became a casualty of the Twins' sudden shortage of bullpen arms and surplus of bullpen innings, spending roughly six hours in the big leagues before being sent back to the minors.
Nathan's tenure with '16 Cubs was brief, but richly rewarded

Nathan's tenure with '16 Cubs was brief, but richly rewarded

The Twins' career saves leader pitched two of the Cubs' 1,459 innings last season, appearing in three late July games before a roster crunch cost him a chance to finish the year with the eventual world champions.
Twins' bats revive in six-run sixth to thump Tigers

Twins' bats revive in six-run sixth to thump Tigers

Eddie Rosario's three-run homer was the key blow off Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez.
Twins' Opening Day roster remains unchanged

Twins' Opening Day roster remains unchanged

For the 16th consecutive game this season, the Twins on Friday used the same 25-man roster that they've had since Opening Day.
Headaches minimized for players, fans in Twins' rainout

Headaches minimized for players, fans in Twins' rainout

Fans who purchased the Twins' special $99 ballpark pass for every April and May game now have a nice bonus: entry to Target Field on a Saturday night in June, when Wednesday's game is made up.
Twins waste chances at beginning and end, lose to Cleveland 3-1

Twins waste chances at beginning and end, lose to Cleveland 3-1

The Twins left the bases loaded in the first and ninth innings without scoring, with Joe Mauer flying out to center field to end the game for their third loss in four games.
Falvey's ties to Cleveland still strong

Falvey's ties to Cleveland still strong

Cleveland manager Terry Francona really wanted to catch up with Derek Falvey, his longtime colleague with the Indians, on Monday, but found it nearly impossible. Every few seconds as they chatted, somebody else came up to greet Falvey, too.
Dozier 'surprised' by inside-the-park homer

Dozier 'surprised' by inside-the-park homer

Brian Dozier was only a couple of steps past second base Sunday when he received Gene Glynn's go-ahead when his fly ball to center wasn't handled cleanly.
Twins lose in 10 innings despite Dozier's inside-the-park homer

Twins lose in 10 innings despite Dozier's inside-the-park homer

For the second time in the series, hard-throwing reliever Ryan Pressly gave up a tie-breaking home run in a loss to the White Sox.
A new look at nine: Homers lead Twins to victory for 6-3 start

A new look at nine: Homers lead Twins to victory for 6-3 start

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano all homered for the Twins, who finished six-game road trip Thursday with an 11-5 rout over the Tigers. A year after starting 0-9, Minnesota is 6-3.
Haley's save also eats innings for Twins

Haley's save also eats innings for Twins

Rookie Justin Haley, a Rule 5 pick, got 10 outs for the Twins in Thursday's victory in Detroit.
With one swing, Twins lose momentum - and game - to Tigers

With one swing, Twins lose momentum - and game - to Tigers

A fourth-inning grand slam by Detroit's Andrew Romine erased the Twins' lead and led to a second loss in a row to the Tigers.
Pitching, yes. Hitting, no. Twins lose despite Santiago's strong outing

Pitching, yes. Hitting, no. Twins lose despite Santiago's strong outing

Hector Santiago limited his mistakes Tuesday, but Detroit lefthander Matt Boyd didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and the Tigers' bullpen didn't allow a run until the ninth.
Pass the Lysol: Twins make sure clubhouse, hotel clear of germs

Pass the Lysol: Twins make sure clubhouse, hotel clear of germs

After at least a half-dozen Red Sox players were stricken by the flu in the past week, it raised some concerns among Minnesota's players about to share the same locations in Detroit.
Twins coach Hernandez puts new meaning in 'behind the scenes'

Twins coach Hernandez puts new meaning in 'behind the scenes'

Rules limiting the number of coaches in the dugout during games have forced assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez to watch games from the clubhouse -- where he still makes a difference.
Santana plays ace card, leading Twins over Chicago

Santana plays ace card, leading Twins over Chicago

Ervin Santana gave up only two hits and two walks in six shutout innings as the Twins improved their record to an American league-best 5-1 by beating the White Sox.
Can he get a witness? Closer Kintzler had to show he wasn't cheating

Can he get a witness? Closer Kintzler had to show he wasn't cheating

Brandon Kintzler's nail cracked during spring training, but with three days off between outings, it was never a problem. Sunday, it needed some work while he was pitching.
Gaffes add up as Twins take first loss of the season

Gaffes add up as Twins take first loss of the season

The White Sox took advantage of Minnesota's mistakes early, clubbed a couple of homers later, and ended the Twins' nothing-but-winning week.
Twins notes: Molitor shifts 'solid' Buxton to 7th in batting order

Twins notes: Molitor shifts 'solid' Buxton to 7th in batting order

Paul Molitor wanted to make sure Byron Buxton isn't getting too discouraged by his slow start. He discovered he needn't have worried.
Buxton's defense shines as Twins start 4-0 for first time since '87

Buxton's defense shines as Twins start 4-0 for first time since '87

Phil Hughes pitched strong, Miguel Sano started at first base and the Twins outfield defense was highlight-reel-worthy. It added up to a 3-1 victory.
Twins notes: Dozier does homework, ready to run more

Twins notes: Dozier does homework, ready to run more

Twins manager Paul Molitor has essentially given Brian Dozier — who has successfully stolen second base 13 consecutive times — permission to run whenever he likes.
Notes: Duffey adjusting to reliever's role for Twins

Notes: Duffey adjusting to reliever's role for Twins

Consigned to the bullpen after manager Paul Molitor chose Adalberto Mejia for the fifth spot in the rotation, Tyler Duffey is trying to get used to entering a game already in progress.
Opening Day victory a walk in the park for Twins team 'on a mission'

Opening Day victory a walk in the park for Twins team 'on a mission'

The Twins sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh inning - and scored three times on bases-loaded walks - to break a 1-1 tie with the Royals, and pick up their first Opening Day win since 2008.
Twins plead for open minds as they turn page on 103-loss season

Twins plead for open minds as they turn page on 103-loss season

Hope and renewal are the currency of Opening Day, and while the Twins are trying to sell both, it's not clear they have the inventory on hand to satisfy many of their fans.
Twins' revolving door at shortstop opens to Polanco

Twins' revolving door at shortstop opens to Polanco

When the 23-year-old takes the field Monday, he will become the Twins' 11th Opening Day shortstop in the past 12 years, an amazing list that doesn't even take into account the seven other shortstops who manned the position somewhat regularly during that span.
Breaking down the 2017 Twins roster

Breaking down the 2017 Twins roster

Star Tribune Twins reporter Phil Miller takes a look at the 25 men who'll open the season with the team.
Cleveland Indians remain class of the AL Central

Cleveland Indians remain class of the AL Central

Derek Falvey walked into the Twins' dining room in Fort Myers, Fla., last week, and noticed something foreign, yet eerily familiar on the television: a Cleveland Indians game.
Hector the collector: Twins' pitcher Santiago lives a baseball fan's dream

Hector the collector: Twins' pitcher Santiago lives a baseball fan's dream

The basement of Twins pitcher Hector Santiago's home in the western suburbs of Phoenix looks like a sports bar on "Hoarders," a densely packed Hall of Fame starter kit.
Park bangs another home run as Twins beat Red Sox

Park bangs another home run as Twins beat Red Sox

Park is likely to be added to the Twins' 40-man roster Thursday, the winner of a competition with Kennys Vargas to capture the designated hitter role he lost last season.
One year later, ByungHo Park settles in as DH for Twins

One year later, ByungHo Park settles in as DH for Twins

Manager Paul Molitor said roster moves are coming that will provide "a fair amount of clarity" about the remaining roster competitions. The designated hitter situation doesn't appear to be among them.
Twins' Duffey hopes to show he belongs in rotation

Twins' Duffey hopes to show he belongs in rotation

For the second spring in a row, Duffey is part of a two- or three-way competition for the final spot in the Twins rotation, and for the second spring in a row, it's come down to the final week of camp.
Santana returns looking sharp as Twins, Orioles tie

Santana returns looking sharp as Twins, Orioles tie

Ervin Santana, who left Twins camp two weeks ago to join the Dominican Republic team in the World Baseball Classic, struck out six Orioles in a four-inning stint.
Hughes has rocky outing in 8-4 Twins loss to Houston

Hughes has rocky outing in 8-4 Twins loss to Houston

Phil Hughes surrendered a home run to George Springer on his first pitch of the day against the Astros and lasted only two innings. His spring ERA jumped to 6.75.
Pressure? That's child's play for Twins reliever, young father Boshers

Pressure? That's child's play for Twins reliever, young father Boshers

Buddy Boshers' young daughter keeps the Twins' bullpen contest in perspective. "She keeps me pretty busy, from the time I walk through the door."
Dozier, Polanco homer, Hughes sharp in Twins win over Rays

Dozier, Polanco homer, Hughes sharp in Twins win over Rays

Brian Dozier slugged his first home run of spring training and Phil Hughes pitched five strong innings as the twins defeated Tampa Bay 4-2.
Big man Adalberto Mejia making bigger pitch to be No. 5 starter

Big man Adalberto Mejia making bigger pitch to be No. 5 starter

Adalberto Mejia shut down the Cardinals to continue a strong spring.
Twins defeat Tampa Bay 9-4; Mauer robbed of home run

Twins defeat Tampa Bay 9-4; Mauer robbed of home run

But the first baseman did manage to record his first RBI of the spring.
Granite's skill set is rock-solid for Twins

Granite's skill set is rock-solid for Twins

The Twins' top minor leaguer of 2016 has speed to burn, but that's not all.
Veteran Vogelsong makes bid for starting job, pleased with Sunday's outing

Veteran Vogelsong makes bid for starting job, pleased with Sunday's outing

Ryan Vogelsong, 39, likes where he's at right now.
Dee Gordon and the Twins' Nick Gordon meet on field as rivals

Dee Gordon and the Twins' Nick Gordon meet on field as rivals

It can't be easy being Dee Gordon's younger brother. You're trying to live up to your first-round-pick identity and get to the big leagues, and all anybody wants to do is make comparisons.
Twins use some power to defeat Miami 8-2, win seventh straight

Twins use some power to defeat Miami 8-2, win seventh straight

ByungHo Park, John Ryan Murphy and Dan Rohlfing hit home runs and Tyler Duffey gave up one run in three innings during his first start of spring training.
Boom: Hitting adjustment should help Sano make solid contact

Boom: Hitting adjustment should help Sano make solid contact

To restore his potency at the plate, Miguel Sano tinkered with his mechanics this offseason, namely working with former major leaguer Fernando Tatis
Four Twins prospects to pitch for Team USA vs. Twins in exhibition

Four Twins prospects to pitch for Team USA vs. Twins in exhibition

Each will throw an inning vs. Twins in an exhibition.
Twins rally for walk-off win in 10th inning

Twins rally for walk-off win in 10th inning

Chris Gimenez was thrilled to fight off a couple of sliders Monday and then line a single up the middle, which drove in the game-winning run in the 10th inning.
Outfield instructor Pickler brings fresh ideas to Twins

Outfield instructor Pickler brings fresh ideas to Twins

Twins manager Paul Molitor is impressed with the new coach's willingness to consider unconventional approaches — including new ways of examining statistics — in different situations.
Santiago strong for Twins in pre-WBC tuneup

Santiago strong for Twins in pre-WBC tuneup

Hector Santiago retired eight of the 11 batters he faced in 2⅔ scoreless innings, five of them via strikeouts, before departing to play for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic as the Twins rallied for a 4-2 victory over the Nationals at The Ballpark of the Palm Beaches.
Pressly close to taking 'next step' as a veteran standout in Twins bullpen

Pressly close to taking 'next step' as a veteran standout in Twins bullpen

Ryan Pressly has gradually gained experience with the Twins, figured out how to attack hitters, and put himself on the precipice of becoming a bullpen virtuoso — and perhaps a star.
Spring training puzzle: Where will Mauer bat in Twins order?

Spring training puzzle: Where will Mauer bat in Twins order?

The question of where to slot the three-time batting champion is becoming a ticklish matter as Joe Mauer reaches the later stages of his career.
Park homers again, Santana throws two shutout innings in 9-6 win

Park homers again, Santana throws two shutout innings in 9-6 win

ByungHo, as he wants to be called, homered for the second time.
Twins' day at camp: Buxton using spring training to move out of comfort zone

Twins' day at camp: Buxton using spring training to move out of comfort zone

For Buxton, that means improving his running game, and particularly against lefthanders. He has the speed to successfully steal against lefties, but he admits, not always the guts.
After rough debut, hard-throwing Chargois seeks bullpen spot

After rough debut, hard-throwing Chargois seeks bullpen spot

When the Twins' young righthander returned home for the winter in Sulphur, La., his family surprised him with a keepsake that he wanted no part of keeping.
Twins minor league manager Quade OK after scary car accident

Twins minor league manager Quade OK after scary car accident

"We can't believe we're not dead," Mike Quade said after his SUV was rammed from behind by a car going close to 50 miles per hour.
Challenges abound in Twins camp as first spring game arrives

Challenges abound in Twins camp as first spring game arrives

Competition in Fort Myers for spots in the Twins rotation and bullpen, along with DH and bench roles, could be fierce. The team opens Grapefruit League play Friday vs. the Rays.
Adrianza looking for elusive job security with Twins

Adrianza looking for elusive job security with Twins

Ehire Adrianza is in Twins camp to kick off spring training - his third organization in a month after being released by San Francisco and Milwaukee.
Twins pitcher Gibson tossing out traditional training methods

Twins pitcher Gibson tossing out traditional training methods

The 29-year-old former first-round draft choice decided he had to do something drastic after muddling through a discouraging season that included six weeks on the disabled list and a fat ERA.
Twins loading up on starting pitching candidates

Twins loading up on starting pitching candidates

Roughly a dozen arms will audition for a starting staff in flux. "It doesn't matter if you have a spot, you still have to prove it," Ervin Santana said
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