Staff Directory 102061883

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 starting pitcher Kyle Gibson is among those discovering that less is more when it comes to their wind-up on the mound.

Some Twins pitchers wind up discovering less is more in their delivery

Decades ago, most major league starting pitchers routinely whirled their arms and pivoted their torsos and coiled their bodies in a theatrical ballet before unleashing the ball.
An epic slump like the one that has engulfed the Twins' Brian Dozier for nearly two months might seem like a real-life horror movie to a lot of player

One more time? Dozier has turned around slumping seasons before

In 2016, for example, Brian Dozier turned his season around to an incredible extent. From June 18 on, he hit .293 with a record-setting 35 home runs
Eduardo Escobar drove in the Twins’ lone run Sunday at Cleveland with a first-inning double. Two more doubles would follow.

Three doubles add to Escobar's MLB-leading totals

By becoming the first Twins player with a three-double game since Robbie Grossman in 2016, Eduardo Escobar reached 30 doubles for the season, easily the most in baseball.
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario collected a solo home run off Adam Plutko in the eighth inning Saturday.

Rosario powers Twins to 9-3 victory over Cleveland

Eddie Rosario collected two singles, a double and a home run on Saturday
Byron Buxton

Twins send Buxton to Class AAA Rochester to get healthy and then some

The Twins will judge his rehab assignment — and decide when to bring him back to the majors — based on his hitting as much as his recovery from the toe injury.
Brian Dozier is congratulated by Logan Morrison after Dozier hit a two-run home run off Indians starting pitcher Corey Kluber during the fourth inning

'Solid' Gibson outpitches Kluber, Twins earn 6-3 victory over Cleveland

Eddie Rosario and Brian Dozier hit home runs for a reawakened offense, and the Twins enjoyed their most heartening victory in a couple of weeks.
Miguel Sano

Sano jumping into workout program in Florida

The Class A Fort Myers Miracle, idle due to the Florida State League All-Star Game, will resume their season Monday, presumably with Miguel Sano in the lineup.
Joe Mauer

Mauer returning four weeks after balance problems forced him out

Joe Mauer went 0-for-10 for Rochester in his three-game rehab assignment at Rochester, but manager Paul Molitor said he's unconcerned by that.
Detroit’s JaCoby Jones (right) was greeted by Jose Iglesias (1) after hitting a two-run homer Thursday.

Lynn stays in one batter too many as Twins fall to Tigers

JaCoby Jones hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh to break a tie and lift Detroit.
The Tigers' Niko Goodrum scored on a single by Victor Reyes during a four-run rally in the eighth inning of Detroit's 5-2 victory over the Twins on We

Offense sputters, Reed stumbles as Tigers beat Twins with four-run eighth

The Twins got only one more hit after scoring two runs in the first inning and reliever Addison Reed gave up five singles when the Tigers put together their winning rally.
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco has taken part in daily workouts and frequent extended spring training games since his 80-game steroid suspension began,

Polanco readying for rehab assignment as suspension nears end

The shortstop has taken part in daily workouts and frequent extended spring training games since his 80-game steroid suspension began, but that's about to change.
Matt Belisle pitched for the Twins in the wild card playoff game at Yankees Stadium on Oct. 3, 2017.

Belisle rejoins Twins; Mauer hitless in Rochester rehab doubleheader

Matt Belisle pitched in 62 games for the Twins in 2017 with nine saves after closer Brandon Kintzler was traded to Washington in late July.
Twins players Logan Morrison, clockwise from bottom left, Eddie Rosario, Gregorio Petit, Fernando Rodney, Fernando Romero and Jose Berrios play domino

Bringing the Twins clubhouse together: 'Everybody can play dominoes'

From small beginnings among a few guys to now an all-in tournament involving players and coaches, dominoes has captivated the Twins' entire clubhouse.
Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios celebrated with catcher Bobby Wilson

Anger management: Berrios channels frustration to go nine innings in victory

Jose Berrios pitched the second complete game of his career and benefited from three home runs in the first four innings as the Twins split their four-game series with a 7-2 victory.
Eddie Rosario dodged an inside pitch Thursday.

Rosario, Escobar are hot, but Twins don't follow suit

Eddie Rosario is hitting .364 with 23 extra base hits since May 1. The Twins are 18-17.
Eduardo Escobar (center) celebrated his eighth inning homer with Eddie Rosario, left, and Gregorio Petit

Escobar's HR helps Twins scratch out doubleheader split with White Sox

Limited to just one hit through seven innings in the opening game of a doubleheader, the Twins' bats came alive in the eighth capped by Eduardo Escobar's three-run blast. Zack Littell's MLB debut was a dud but 'incredible' experience in Game 2.
Eduardo Escobar

Thanks, Torii: Escobar 'doubles' down on advice from Hunter

He'll be better remembered Tuesday for his game-winning home run, but Eduardo Escobar considers himself a doubles specialist after heeding the advice of Torii Hunter.
The Royals’ Ryan Goins celebrated with third base coach Mike Jirschele after hitting a two-run triple during the second inning against the Twins on

Twins fall into nine-run hole, rally comes up short in 11-8 loss

The Twins closed from a 9-0 deficit after two innings to 9-8 before losing for the fifth time in six games. Rookie Fernando Romero was knocked out by the Royals during a seven-run second inning.
Eddie Rosario.

Rosario waiting for his chance to steal home

Twins manager Paul Molitor likes Eddie Rosario's aggressiveness — when it's in the right situation.
The Kansas City Royals' Alcides Escobar is surrounded by teammates after hitting the game-winning home run in the 14th inning against the Twins

Walk-off shame: Twins tie baseball record with 14th-inning loss to Royals

Alcides Escobar's home run off Taylor Rogers sent the Twins to their eighth walk-off loss in 50 games, a dubious distinction that has been done only twice before in major league baseball.
Twins manager Paul Molitor is a proponent of using data-driven strategy to help his team win, but part of him wonders if what’s good for his team is

Molitor notes data-driven strategy looming ever larger in baseball

The Twins manager is a proponent of doing whatever helps his team wins, but part of him wonders if what's good for his team is good for his sport.
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano is congratulated by teammates after his two-run home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas Ci

Twins bats regain steam in Kansas City heat; losing streak ends at 4

Miguel Sano, Brian Dozier and Eddie Rosario -- all of whom had been struggling on offense -- played key roles as the Twins beat Kansas City 8-5
Twins starter Jose Berrios went back to work after giving up a home run, but got little run support from his teammates in a 3-1 loss to Seattle on Sun

Berrios gets little birthday support as Twins lose to Mariners

Minnesota lost its fourth in a row despite Berrios' strong 7⅓ innings.
The Twins peeled more than $7 million off their $22 million obligation to Phil Hughes by trading him to San Diego on Sunday.

Twins trade Hughes to Padres

The Twins peeled more than $7 million off their $22 million obligation to pitcher Phil Hughes by trading him to San Diego on Sunday, but the discount came at a not-insignificant price.
Seattle Mariners' Jean Segura, right, scores as Twins catcher Mitch Garver waits for the throw during the first inning

Paxton outduels Romero in victory over Twins

Young Twins starter Fernando Romero held his own again but Seattle's James Paxton was on as well, picking up 11 strikeouts in a 2-1 victory.
Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana has not appeared in a Major League game since the playoffs at Yankee Stadium last October.

Santana still bothered by finger, will make next start at Fort Myers

Ervin Santana threw 45 pitches over two innings at Class AA Chattanooga on Wednesday, never eclipsing 90 miles per hour, and showed signs that more healing on his middle finger is necessary.
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.
Read our comment standards welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune