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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
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.
The Twins have designated hard-throwing Tyler Kinley for assignment.

Twins designate Rule 5 pitcher Kinley for assignment

The Twins have seven days to either trade Tyler Kinley or place him on waivers; if he's not claimed, they would have to offer him back to the Marlins, for whom he pitched the first five years of his pro career
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.
LaMarre

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.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (2) chatted with Twins special assistant Torii Hunter (48) during warmups. ] MARK VANCLEAVE � mark.vancleave@start

Rain wipes away Twins' big first inning against Boston

Before it fades from memory, from the record book, from any trace of existence, let's note what the Twins accomplished in the first inning Saturday.
St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn delivers during the first inning of a baseball game against the Boston Red Sox in Boston, Wednesday, A

Twins strike bargain deal with ex-Cardinals pitcher Lynn

The Twins agreed to a one-year contract that guarantees only $12 million to former St. Louis righthander Lance Lynn, one of the more accomplished pitchers in this free-agent class and another clear upgrade to what was one of the AL's worst rotations a year ago.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano

Sano hits two homers, Berrios strong as Twins beat Tampa Bay

Jose Berrios gave up three hits in four innings and Miguel Samo launched home runs to center field and left field in the 4-3 victory over the Rays.
Twins second baseman Brian Dozier

Brian Dozier appears likely to lead off for Twins

The power-hitting second baseman again figures to be at a familiar spot in the batting order.
Gabriel Moya impressed the Twins during seven appearances late last season, including a save in the season finale against Detroit at Target Field. Thi

Fast riser Moya is making his case to stay with Twins

Having just turned 23 and with only six big-league innings behind him, lefty Gabriel Moya is making a strong case that he's for a bullpen spot.
Twins outfield prospect Ryan LaMarre’s see ball, hit ball approach has been successful in spring training thus far. He’s 9-for-18 and leads the te

Twins prospect LaMarre tries to keep it simple in a complex game

Journeyman Ryan LaMarre picks up plenty by analyzing, but tries not to overthink things while at the plate. Manager Paul Molitor calls him a "get-dirty type of player."
Miguel Sano

Sano interviewed by MLB investigators in assault inquiry

Miguel Sano missed the Twins' workouts Tuesday after his representatives informed the team of his appointment with MLB's security departments
Sunday, the Twins agreed to terms with first baseman/designated hitter Logan Morrison, who hit 38 home runs last year for the Rays.

Twins pick up slugging free-agent first baseman Logan Morrison

Logan Morrison's new teammates like the sound of adding another lefthanded power hitter into the middle of what was already projected to be one of the AL's best offenses.
Reliever Addison Reed owns a career 3.84 ERA in save situations. That number drops to 3.14 in non-save outings.

Close or don't close, Twins' Reed just wants to win

New Twins pitcher Addison Reed gives team versatility in the bullpen. "I really don't care when I pitch," he said. "I just want us to win."
Twins pitcher Stephen Gonsalves

Gonsalves could be the Twins' big fish on the mound - someday

Coming off a 2017 season in which he dominated the Class AA Southern League, Stephen Gonsalves comes to camp as a legitimate candidate, albeit a longshot, for the 2018 rotation.
Miguel Sano was on the field Sunday at Twins' spring training.

Sano healthy and happy, but heavy and with uncertainty ahead

Miguel Sano reported to spring training Sunday, the three issues that complicate his 2018 season — health, weight and an assault investigation — seemingly reduced to two.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer ran the bases at the end of workouts Thursday in Fort Myers, Fla.

With his contract expiring, what's next for Mauer?

The Twins' most senior player officially reports to his 17th Twins camp Sunday with questions swirling around him, triggered by the expiration next October of his club-record, eight-year, $184 million contract signed in March 2010.
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi throws to the Baltimore Orioles during a baseball game in Baltimore, Saturday, Sept. 23, 2017. (AP Photo

Twins acquire Odorizzi from Rays for shortstop prospect

In Odorizzi, they have acquired a veteran who has won between nine and 11 games in each of the past four seasons with the Rays, and has compiled a career ERA of 3.83.
Zach Duke set some sort of unofficial major league record last year when he returned from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery after only 287

New Twins lefty Duke can handle many situations

The Twins' most noticeable upgrade in the bullpen is the presence of a trio of pitchers who were brought in to get critical outs, but also to help some of their young teammates better learn how.
Twins pitcher Trevor May warmed up in the bullpen on Tuesday at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers

Twins GM Levine: Free agent market slow, trade market even slower

As pitchers and catchers reported to spring training Tuesday, Twins' GM Thad Levine said he considers adding a pitcher to the rotation a need but nothing imminent appears in the works.
Nick Gordon, in this photo from 2017 spring training, is one of the Twins’ brightest prospects.

Gordon, 12 others invited to Twins spring training camp

The Twins will learn this spring how close shortstop Nick Gordon is to being major league ready. He's among 13 non-rostered players invited to training camp.
Twins pitcher Ervin Santana grabbed the hand of 3-year-old Hayden Gibson, daughter of pitcher Kyle Gibson, at TwinsFest on Jan. 19 at Target Field.

Santana will be lost to Twins for 10-12 weeks

The All-Star starting pitcher is likely to miss the first month of the regular season after knuckle surgery on his pitching hand.
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 will provide Twins with a power arm, eventually

Michael Pineda is hopeful he can help the Twins this season after Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery last July. He threw a baseball again for the first time post-op in mid-January.
James Harrison, at 39, is the oldest defensive player in the NFL, but in only three games since the Patriots picked him up, he’s made a big differen

Harrison wasted no time finding perfect place in Patriots defense

After the Steelers jettisoned James Harrison, the linebacker joined the Patriots and quickly assimilated their defensive schemes.

Jim Pohlad says Twins interested in Yu Darvish at right price

If Derek Falvey recommends beefing up the Twins' pitching rotation by signing free-agent righthander Yu Darvish, team owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday…
Miguel Sano

MLB inquiry into Twins' Sano has no timetable

Miguel Sano remains in Fort Myers, putting his surgically repaired shin through workouts. There is no word from Major League Baseball what their investigation into an alleged assault two years ago has uncovered.
Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar and pitcher Alan Busenitz tried to stay warm during Monday’s ice fishing competition.

Not much biting for free agents, but Twins still want to land big one

None of the top dozen or so starting pitchers available this winter has signed a contract yet, and that, manager Paul Molitor theorized, might work to his team's advantage.
Addison Reed: Righthander will receive nearly $17 million over next two seasons.

Addison Reed is latest arm to bolster Twins bullpen

He is the third veteran reliever to join the Twins.
Yu Darvish is among the top unsigned free agents. The Twins are among teams interested in signing him.

Why is baseball free agent market slow? Teams might be wising up

The determination of baseball executives to make evidence-based decisions, to trust research over routine, has become just as conspicuous in January as in July.
Justin Morneau

Justin Morneau hired by Twins for front office job

Morneau, whose Minnesota career included one of the franchise's five American League MVP Awards, has been hired as a special assistant for his former team, according to a report on the Canadian Baseball Network.
In a Twitter post, the accuser describes an incident with Miguel Sano that occurred at Ridgedale Center in 2015.

Twins' Miguel Sano accused of assaulting, trying to kiss woman

A Twin Cities photographer on Thursday accused Twins third baseman Miguel Sano of grabbing her and trying to kiss her after an autograph session at a local mall in 2015.
Former Cardinals relief pitcher Zach Duke and the Twins finalized a one-year contract Tuesday. The 34-year-old was 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA in 27 relief ap

Twins sign reliever Duke; free agency remains quiet

In the context of the rest of the offseason's class of free agents, Duke isn't exactly a high-profile acquisition -- not with pitchers such as Jake Arrieta and Yu Darvish still hunting for contracts.
Free agent Mike Napoli would fit as a righthanded bat off the bench, part-time first baseman, designated hitter — and leader.

Twins have interest in Napoli for hitting, clubhouse presence

The Twins have contacted Mike Napoli's agent about a contract for 2018, in hopes of reaching a deal that the veteran turned down last year when he went to Texas.
Fernando Rodney

Rodney signs Twins deal: 'They told me I was going to be the closer'

The 40-year-old righthander owns 300 career saves with eight teams.
Reusse

Ohio writer wins baseball's Spink award; Reusse among three finalists

Star Tribune columnist was up for prestigious baseball writing award.
With new payroll flexibility, the Twins could nail down players such as Byron Buxton to long-term deals.

With new payroll flexibility, Twins might unpinch their pennies

Though they have nearly $70 million committed to six players for 2018, the Twins on the hook at the moment for less than $25 million in 2019, and virtually nothing in 2020.
The Twins celebrated Opening Day 2017 on April 13. Next season the radio broadcasts will be on a new (old) station.

Twins radio broadcasts will move back to WCCO Radio

The Twins and WCCO will reunite for the 2018 season and beyond, multiple sources confirmed Thursday, after 11 seasons on other outlets.
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