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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
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.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton

Toe issue keeps Twins' Buxton sidelined

Byron Buxton was sidelined another day Friday because of a sore toe, an injury suffered on Sunday when he fouled a ball off his foot while playing for Class A Fort Myers during a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
David Hale

Twins claim Yankees pitcher Hale off waivers

The 30-year-old righthander pitched two scoreless innings for the Yankees against his new team on Monday.
The Twins have designated hard-throwing Tyler Kinley for assignment.

Twins demote struggling Kinley, call up 6-foot-10 Slegers

The Twins had hoped to keep Tyler Kinley on the roster all season. He lasted only four weeks and had a sky-high ERA to show for it.
Minnesota Twins' Max Kepler (26) waits on second base during a pitching change by the New York Yankees during the seventh inning of a baseball game, W

Lost in a fog: Missed opportunities hurt Twins in latest loss to Yankees

The Twins had their chances on a dreary night in the Bronx by loading the bases twice, but could not put together a big inning in a 7-4 loss.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton

Buxton's return more uncertain as sore toe gets further treatment

Byron Buxton still was being bothered by a sore left big toe a day after a hole was drilled in the nail, further clouding his return to the Twins.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Tyler Kinley (61)

Numbers are awful, but Twins' Kinley trying to apply game lessons

Tyler Kinley, who under MLB's Rule 5 has to remain on the major league roster all season or be offered back to the Marlins, has thrown 102 pitches this season, 50 of them 95 miles per hour or faster.
Twins center fielder Ryan LaMarre took a turn on the mound against the Yankees in the eighth inning Monday night. He gave up a home run and finished w

Twins' LaMarre, back from demotion, tries pitching in blowout

With the Twins trailing the Yankees by 11 runs in the eighth inning, Paul Molitor signaled for Ryan LaMarre to take the mound.
Twins outfielder Ryan LaMarre

Twins postpone Friday night's game, make unexpected roster move

Shortly after calling off Friday's game with the White Sox due to a daylong off-and-on cold drizzle, the Twins sent reserve outfielder Ryan LaMarre to Class AAA Rochester
Minnesota Twins pitcher Addison Reed

Twins newcomer Reed: Pressure situations no bother

Addison Reed has appeared in six of the Twins' 10 games, leads the bullpen in innings with eight, has given up only one run, and has prevented all five runners he has inherited from scoring.
Houston Astros J.D. Davis (28) is congratulated by the dugout after hitting an RBI-single against the Minnesota Twins in the sixth inning of a basebal

Twins squander chances in 2-0 loss to Astros, Verlander

The Twins failed again and again at the plate against Justin Verlander, with slumping Eddie Rosario having the toughest night of all at bat and in the field.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton accepted his Defensive Player of the Year award from Wilson Sporting Goods before Monday’s game against the Astros

Twins' Buxton honored as Defensive Player of the Year

"He's got the tools to be at the top in almost every category, whether it's first-steps, routes, closing speed, all those type of things," Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Angels rookie Shohei Ohtani hit a two-run homer as the designated hitter against the Indians on Wednesday. He had three homers and one pitching victor

Twins marvel, root for Angels DH/pitcher Ohtani

The notion of a true two-way player was a common topic in the Twins clubhouse last week, and Shohei Ohtani's challenge clearly intrigues his peers around the game.
The handler for an bald eagle went to get the bird after it tried to land on the shoulder of Mariners pitcher James Paxton in the outfield.

Fly, eagle, fly! Bald eagle takes detour, lands on Seattle pitcher

Super Bowl LII wasn't the only shocking turn of events involving eagles and patriots in a downtown Minneapolis stadium this year.
Miguel Sano and Logan Morrison (left) celebrated after the Twins beat Pittsburgh 7-3 on a cold, snowy night in Pittsburgh while closer Fernando Rodney

Hot bats in the snowy chill: Twins freeze out Pittsburgh 7-3

The Twins knocked out six extra-base hits in a game where the "feels like" temperature dipped to 22 near the end and closer Fernando Rodney caught snowflakes on his tongue.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson

Snow? Home opener starter Kyle Gibson says bring it on

"Minnesota fans aren't going to care if it's 32 degrees or 22 degrees, they're excited to see a baseball game," Kyle Gibson asserted.
Twins manager Paul Molitor watched during Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

Twins adjusting to baseball's new pace-of-play rules

Players and managers are still getting used to the boundaries and definitions that might come into play. "I can see the usefulness," second baseman Brian Dozier said.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano waved to a fan who, like both teams, dressed for the elements in Pittsburgh’s home opener.

Pittsburgh outfielder dashes Byron Buxton's triple vision

Adam Frazier ended the Twins' rally and kept the Pirates in the lead by running down a line drive.
Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor is seen past home plate umpire Marty Foster, front left, and Twins catcher Mitch Garver as he watches the seventh

Twins miffed by Orioles catcher's ninth-inning bunt

Brian Dozier thought about approaching Chance Sisco at second base during a ninth-inning timeout Sunday but decided against it.
Jose Berrios gestured as he walked off the field after pitching out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth inning Sunday, finishing off a three-hit shutou

Three-hitter, four homers: Berrios, blasts shut down Orioles

Jose Berrios' complete game shutout combined with a big offensive outburst gave the Twins a 7-0 win Sunday and a 2-1 series victory over the Orioles to start the season.
Twins relief pitcher Zach Duke

Series preview: Twins at Pittsburgh

Thanks to a controversial replay reversal, Pittsburgh opened the season with a 13-10, 13-inning victory at Detroit on Friday, then swept a doubleheader with the Tigers on Sunday following a rainout Saturday.
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, Sun

Sunday's Twins-Baltimore game recap

The Minnesota Twins defeated the Orioles 7-0 behind a dominant showing by starting pitcher Jose Berrios and plenty of offense.
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano, left, watches his solo home run in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph and home plate umpire Doug Eddings in

Twins put it all together for first win of the season

Stellar pitching, which included a no-hitter by Kyle Gibson, and an offense powered by Miguel Sano led Minnesota to a commanding victory over the Orioles.
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano, left, watches his solo home run in front of Baltimore Orioles catcher Caleb Joseph and home plate umpire Doug Eddings in

Three home runs, no-hit bid lead Twins to first victory of the season

Gibson labors through six innings with gem intact.
Minnesota Twins' Ehire Adrianza rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fifth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball ga

Twins' Adrianza bringing more power to the plate

Adrianza, who made his first start of the season Saturday, spent the winter with the goal of becoming almost as valuable for his offense as his defense.
Byron Buxton stole second base Thursday as Orioles shortstop Manny Machado covered.

Buxton's blazing speed keeps stolen base streak alive

Byron Buxton's Opening Day steal means he's now halfway to the major league record for consecutive steals — Vince Coleman's run of 50 in a row for the Cardinals in 1998-89.
Twins reliever Fernando Rodney walked off the field after giving up a solo home run to the Orioles' Adam Jones in the 11th inning Thursday.

Twins lose to Orioles in 11th on afternoon of good and bad debuts

After rallying to tie the game with two runs in the ninth inning, the Twins lost their opener for the ninth time in 10 years when Adam Jones smashed a Fernando Rodney pitch over the wall in left field.
Twins reliever Fernando Rodney walked off the field after giving up a solo home run to the Orioles' Adam Jones in the 11th inning Thursday.

Despite taking the loss, Rodney 'felt good' in Twins debut

The Twins' new closer wasn't presented with a typical modern save situation on Thursday, but with something more old-fashioned, and significantly more difficult: a crisis.
Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey hoped to sign some of the team's young players to long-term contracts before the season began, in hopes of t

Despite efforts, Twins didn't sign young players to long-term deals

The Twins reached out to a handful of players, Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said, but couldn't find common ground on contracts that would buy out arbitration-eligible years.
Twins outfielder Ryan LaMarre

LaMarre emotional after claiming Twins' last Opening Day roster spot

Ryan LaMarre was choked up and tearful after beating out Zack Granite for the final spot on the Twins' Opening Day roster.
(Left to right) Tyler Kinley, Gabriel Moya and Phil Hughes

Relievers Moya, Kinley get bullpen spots with Hughes sidelined

Phil Hughes, who hasn't appeared in a regular-season game since last July 14, remained in Fort Myers to get treatment for a strained oblique muscle.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios throws during the third inning of a spring exhibition baseball game against the Washington Nationals at

Twins close exhibition season with 3-1 win over Nationals

Jose Berrios and six relievers combined to hold Washington to just two hits.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Tyler Kinley (61) practices on Feb. 17.

Twins beat Orioles 12-4 as players near final auditions for roster spots

The game was a chance for Gabriel Moya and righthander Tyler Kinley to showcase themselves one last time before the Twins' roster is finalized, as well one more look for Paul Molitor at bench candidates Robbie Grossman and Ryan LaMarre, who are competing with Zack Granite.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano was productive this spring despite the burden of a possible suspension from an assault allegation but said he’s now

Sano says he's happy to move past assault allegation

Major League Baseball's three-month investigation into a Twin Cities woman's charge that Miguel Sano assaulted her in 2015 "was obviously on my mind" this spring, Sano said Saturday, so he is happy that the case is now probably closed.
From left, Minnesota Twins players Addison Reed, Logan Morrison, Lance Lynn and Jake Odorizzi pose for a portrait together on Sunday morning, March 18

The Twins are built to win now, but the future is unclear

For a team with a talented young core that some believe could remain in place for a decade, there is an odd sense of urgency about the upcoming season, like an era is coming to an end just as a new one takes flight.
New Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Fernando Rodney (56)

Twins going with improved pitching, from start to close

For nearly every assignment a pitcher can take on, the Twins made an upgrade.
Byron Buxton robs Cleveland Indians designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion of a home run last season.

Center field shows how improved fielding became Twins goal

Promotions aside, one of the most underrated aspects of the Twins' sudden turnaround in 2017 was the defense.

Nearly no-hit, Twins rally vs. Houston for third tie of spring

A lineup full of Twins regulars managed little against Houston.
Twins lefthander Gabriel Moya.

Twins day@camp: Final bullpen spot a competition between Gabriel Moya, Tyler Kinley

It figures Tyler Kinley has the edge because he's a Rule 5 Draft pick.
Logan Morrison, left, and Jake Odorizzi will be keys to the Twins’ success this season.

Odorizzi gets Opening Day start as Twins revamp their roster

Almost every question about the Twins' 2018 roster was answered on Thursday, although one major issue remains unsettled leading up to next week's opener in Baltimore.
Twins infielder Jorge Polanco (11) has been suspended for the first 80 games of the season.

'Guys make mistakes.' Disappointed Twins rally around Polanco

Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco says he learned he had failed a steroid test a month ago, and now he's ready to take the consequences.
Twins infielder Jorge Polanco ran drills during a spring training workout in Fort Myers.

Twins kick it around, lose to Tampa Bay 11-1

The bullpen gave up eight runs, and fielding misplays marred Jose Berrios' pitching effort.
Lance Lynn, right, talks with fellow pitcher Michael Wacha during a game with Milwaukee last season.

Orioles thump Twins despite Lynn's impressive outing

The Twins bullpen failed, as Fernando Rodney, Trevor Hildenberger and Taylor Rogers all gave up runs.
Lance Lynn, right, pitched for the Cardinals last season.

New Twins pitcher Lynn makes spring debut today

The veteran righthanded pitcher got a one-year, $12 million deal, and is ready for his spring debut.
Pitcher Zach Duke was one of seven free-agent acquisitions by the Twins this offseason.

Somehow, Twins became the winter team of choice for MLB free agents

Lance Lynn is expected to sign a one-year contract Monday, making him the latest in a series of players who chose the Twins over competing — and sometimes better — offers.
Twins pitcher Fernando Romero faced nine Tampa Bay hitters Sunday and retired them all.

Top prospect Romero continues to impress as Twins tip Rays

The righthander has yet to give up a hit this spring.
Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi

Looking at Twins rotation candidates

The Twins' signing of Lance Lynn adds another arm to the rotation competition.
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