Staff Directory 102061883

Phil Miller

Reporter | Minnesota Twins and MLB
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Phil Miller has covered the Twins for the Star Tribune since 2013. Previously, he covered the University of Minnesota football team, and from 2007-09, he covered the Twins for the Pioneer Press.

A native of Pekin, Ill., Miller attended the University of Utah, and worked for 26 years at The Salt Lake Tribune, spending five years as assistant sports editor, and later as a reporter covering communities, college football and basketball, and the NBA's Utah Jazz.
Recent content from Phil Miller
Umpire crew chief Gary Cederstrom conducted a phone conversation as the Angel Stadium grounds crew used tarps, squeegees, small pumps and aeration mac

'We probably could have played': Rainout leaves Twins, Angels grumbling

The decision not to play as scheduled, which under MLB rules belongs to the home team, angered Twins and Angels players, who had been counting on a day off Thursday.
Luis Arraez celebrated his first major league home run with Twins third base coach Tony Diaz on Tuesday.

Twins offense explodes, 8-3 win over Angels boosts division lead to 6 1/2 games

The Twins tied the game at 3 by scoring three run on three pitches and them blew it open with an inning that left the Angels distracted and defeated.
The Twins' Miguel Sano was congratulated by teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

Sano's two-run home run in eighth inning lifts Twins over Angels

His second homer in five days since his return from injury gives Twins their sixth victory in seven games.
Rod Carew, the Twins' career leading hitter — he batted .334 over a dozen seasons from 1967 to ’78 — lives near Anaheim, Calif., and is joining

Joining Twins in Anaheim, Carew is enjoying what he's seeing

The Hall of Famer said he developed a lot of optimism about this Twins team during spring training, so he is not surprised to find them in first place.
After not pitching in the Seattle series, Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers came in to hold a precarious late lead against the Angels.

Rogers gets back on mound after an unexpected series off, gets win

After not pitching in the Seattle series, Rogers picked up the win on Monday night despite the game-tying run scoring while he was in the game.
The Twins' Luis Arraez stood next to second base as he celebrated his double against the Mariners -- his first hit in the majors -- during the eighth

Baldelli impressed with Arraez after two games

The 22-year-old minor league batting champion has impressed Twins manager Rocco Baldelli with his ability to square the baseball with his bat.
The Twins' Willians Astudillo lost his helmet as he lined out against the Mariners in the eighth inning Sunday. Seattle won 7-4, but the Twins took th

Twins power runs out in 7-4 series finale loss at Seattle

The loss was the Twins' first in a week, and they went without a home run for the first time since May 5.
Minnesota Twins' Jonathan Schoop celebrates with Eddie Rosario (20) after hitting a two-run home run off Seattle Mariners' Ryan Garton during the sixt

Bash away all: Twins flex their muscles against overmatched Mariners

The Twins became the highest-scoring team in the major leagues on Saturday night, blasted six home runs to take the top spot in that category, too, in an 18-4 rout of the Mariners, the Twins' fifth straight win.
Tony Oliva

Oliva joins Twins for 'first road trip in almost 30 years'

"I feel like a rookie again," the 80-year-old Twins Hall of Famer said.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Martin Perez winds up during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Seattle Mariners on Friday, May

Mariners meet a whole new Martin Perez in 7-1 Twins victory

Helped by singles, Martin Perez became the team's third six-game winner.
Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz is on the injured list with the sore wrist that's kept him out of the lineup all week.

Cruz understands Twins' decision to put him on injured list

The Twins put the designated hitter on the 10-day injured list because of a sore left wrist.
Infielder Luis Arraez joined the Twins for a get-your-feet-wet road trip to Seattle and Anaheim.

Rookie's mood changes from anger to tears after call-up

Luis Arraez was angry about being part of three losses as a member of the Rochester Red Wings -- until he found out he was being called up to the Twins.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton, right, was congratulated by Miguel Sano after Buxton hit a three-run homer off starting pitcher Erik Swanson, the f

Twins crush Mariners 11-6 with four early homers, two Sano doubles

Michael Pineda pitched seven strong innings and the Twins hit four home runs in the first four innings while Miguel Sano went 2-for-5 in his 2019 Twins debut.
Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario and designated hitter C.J. Cron celebrated after Cron hit a long two-run homer off Mariners starter Erik Swanson, the t

Flipped off: Cron takes good-natured beating for missing underhand toss

As C.J. Cron sat on the team's flight Thursday, part of Jake Odorizzi's meal kept dropping into his lap. And so began what Cron figures will be years of ridicule.
Twins lefthander Martin Perez gave up home runs in the first and second innings and left in the sixth inning because of a bruised left foot.

Cruz, Perez hurt; Twins rallies keep falling one hit short in loss to Tigers

Nelson Cruz's sore wrist caused the Twins to pinch-hit for him in a key situation and Martin Perez suffered his first loss of the season after he left the game with a bruised heel.
Nelson Cruz sat in the Twins dugout last week in New York.

Twins' Nelson Cruz will get MRI Monday on injured left wrist

It's too early, manager Rocco Baldelli said, to know whether the 38-year-old designated hitter can avoid a stay on the injured list.
Shohei Ohtani is off to a slow start at the plate since his return from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. As he recovers, Ohtani will onl

Twins-L.A. Angels series preview

C.J. Cron and Blake Parker get to face their former team.
Twins catcher Mitch Garver hit a triple in the bottom of the third inning, bringing in Byron Buxton for a run in the night game of a Saturday doublehe

Twins respond to Detroit's HRs, bash 15 hits in nightcap to earn split

After the Tigers hit four home runs in an afternoon victory, the Twins turned in a 15-hit attack to win the nightcap.
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected in the third inning Saturday.

Gardenhire, now with Detroit, ejected again by Wendelstedt

Saturday was Ron Gardenhire's 79th career ejection and sixth by umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, including a memorable one during the 2010 playoffs.
Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi throws to a Detroit batter during the first inning

In command: Odorizzi sets down 20 in a row, runs scoreless streak to 20 innings

Jake Odorizzi on Friday pitched seven innings of one-hit baseball, and the Twins earned their third shutout in four games by dominating the Tigers 6-0.
Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton (25) leapt to make a spectacular catch on a ball hit by Astros first baseman Yuli Gurriel on Thursday.

Confident Twins beat Astros again, have baseball's best record

Fine weeks into the season, the Twins are three games ahead in the AL Central and exuding confidence. "We believe we're the best team in the league," said second baseman Jonathan Schoop.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano

Twins' Sano ready for next step in rehab assignment

Sano went 4-for-4 on Thursday, including a two-run homer, in Class A Fort Myers' 4-3 walkoff victory over Clearwater. Then he packed his bags for Class AA Pensacola, where the 2017 All-Star is expected to play this weekend.
Twins pitcher Michael Pineda was 31-31 with a 4.16 ERA in four seasons with the Yankees.

Weekend series gives Twins chance to end losing ways at Yankee Stadium

After taking three of four from Houston, the Twins travel to New York to take on the injury-decimated Yankees.
This is a 2019 photo of Jason Castro of the Minnesota Twins. This image reflects the 2019 active roster as of Feb. 22, 2019, when this image was taken

Thursday's Twins-Houston game recap

The Twins routed the Astros 8-2 on Thursday to win the four-game series 3-1 at Target Field.
Twins first baseman C.J. Cron smacked a three run, 418-foot home run off Toronto starter Matt Shoemaker on April 15.

Built for distance: Target Field seeing big spike in home runs

Good to pitch, good to hit: That's the balance the Twins were seeking when Target Field was built. But that hasn't always been the case in a ballpark that faced unique construction challenges.
Byron Buxton came to the plate in the eighth inning knowing he had new tools to help in his base-stealing pursuits.

Twins' Byron Buxton adds extra gear for stolen-base mission

The center fielder has started wearing a protective mitten for his left hand once he reaches base.
Minnesota Twins Ehire Adrianza rounded the bases after hitting a home run in the third inning.

Odorizzi outduels Verlander, Adrianza's first homer gives Twins 1-0 win over Astros

The greatest visiting pitcher in Target Field history created another masterpiece Monday. Then Ehire Adrianza defaced it and Jake Odorizzi eclipsed it.
Byron Buxton went deep for the first time this season Sunday. It was the Twins’ 23rd and final homer against the Orioles this season.

Twins sweep Orioles, lead AL Central by two games with Astros in town

After beating the Orioles six times in nine days, the Twins move on to a week of tougher competition, against the Astros at Target Field followed by a weekend series with the Yankees.
Jake Cave

Cave returns to Twins after 'nice little trip' to Rochester

Only four days after getting sent down to the minors, the outfielder was recalled to replace the injured Willians Astudillo.
Astros righthander Justin Verlander beat the Twins for the 20th time in his career on Wednesday. He gets his first shot at No. 21 on Monday.

Twins-Houston series preview

The Twins will face Justin Verlander for the second time in five days to open the four-game series.
Taylor Rogers is one of the Twins’ few dependable relievers so far.

Is it time to panic over the Twins' unreliable bullpen?

How — if at all — should the Twins respond to what looks like a deficiency?
Eddie Rosario

'Hair on fire.' Rosario's sizzles at the plate ... and now in the field

Hitting has always been Eddie Rosario's passion. Fielding came second, but he has applied the same disciplined approach to preventing runs as to producing them.
Astros starting pitcher Justin Verlander delivers during the first inning against the Twins

Verlander shuts down Twins in Houston's 7-1 victory

Justin Verlander became the 10th pitcher ever to record 20 wins against the Twins, a group that includes four members of the Hall of Fame.
Jake Cave was the odd man out when the Twins expanded their pitching staff Wednesday.

Caving in: Bullpen needs cause outfielder Cave's demotion

With 27 games scheduled over 27 days beginning Friday, the Twins decided to expand their bullpen to eight pitchers. Jake Cave's fourth outfielder spot was the casualty.
Houston's Jose Altuve celebrates his three-run home run off Twins relief pitcher Tyler Duffey

Twins start with a bang, then fizzle against Astros in 10-4 loss

Eddie Rosario's three-run home run Tuesday in Houston made it look like Twins offense would roll once again but the Astros strung together big innings to get the win.
Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tags out the Twins' Byron Buxton on Monday.

'Now I get to run': Buxton ends stolen-base streak, ready for another

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has said Byron Buxton has permission to try to steal a base whenever he chooses.
The Twins' Jorge Polanco watched his two-run home run off Astros reliever Chris Devenski during the eighth inning Monday.

Twins' hot offense carries over in 9-5 rout of Astros

After drubbing the Orioles, Twins keep hits coming vs. Houston.
In a rare feat, Astros shortstop Carlos Correa tagged out Byron Buxton on a steal attempt in the eighth.

Buxton's streak of successful stolen bases ends

Byron Buxton hadn't been caught since May 23, 2017, in Baltimore, when he actually stole the base but overslid and was tagged out.
Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario (shown in a March game against the Tigers) cut off a ball headed for the outfield wall, backhanded it and then spun and

Rosario's hustle cuts off Orioles' rally

Eddie Rosario cut off a ball headed for the outfield wall, backhanded it and then spun and uncoiled a strong throw toward the infield, all in one motion, helping preserve a victory over the Orioles on Sunday.
The Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton, bottom, reached third base ahead of the tag by Baltimore Orioles' Rio Ruiz, top, after tagging up in the fourth inn

Big efforts spark Twins to Baltimore sweep, one game lead in AL Central

How the Twins battled through Sunday's game thrilled manager Rocco Baldelli: "It was beautiful. You could talk probably all day about what we saw and what we have to be happy about."
Jonathan Schoop, left, is congratulated by Eddie Rosario, center, and Nelson Cruz after hitting a three-run home run against the Orioles in the fourth

Twins belt 11 home runs in doubleheader sweep over Baltimore

Eddie Rosario led the charge. He connected twice in Game 1 and hit an encore home run in Game 2, allowing him to tie Harmon Killebrew and Brian Dozier's franchise record of five home runs in a three-game stretch.
Twins pitcher Martin Perez

Perez 'happy' to allow homer to Orioles third baseman Alberto

Hanser Alberto, a 26-year-old infielder who, despite playing more than 100 career games for the Rangers and Orioles, had never hit a home run until Saturday — and it came off one of his closest friends.
The Twins' Jonathan Schoop tips his helmet to the Baltimore crowd Saturday.

These Twins players feel right at home as visitors

Ballparks are full of behind-the-scenes employees who interact with the players on a daily basis, and those are relationships that immediately reconnect when the schedule brings players back.
Camden Yards in Baltimore..

More time off as Twins game at Baltimore is rained out

The Twins will play a doubleheader with Baltimore starting at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, with the rain out creating the team's seventh off day in the opening three weeks of the season.
Tyler Duffey has pitched in 111 games over the past four seasons for the Twins.

New plan helps Twins pitcher Duffey

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Speedsters Buxton, Hamilton now division rivals

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

Cruz angered by Bauer's inside pitches

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Twins pitching: Familiar staff, new spin

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

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

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

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

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

Twins trade Michael Reed to Giants for John Andreoli

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

Twins option Romero to Class AAA Rochester

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

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

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

Former Yankees teammates look for a shot on Twins

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Castro back behind the plate after choosing path to recovery

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

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

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

Rosario, Cave blast Twins past Rays

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

Introducing the Parker Shimmy: Twins reliever explains his moves

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With the Astros, Marwin Gonzalez' skills allowed the team to work through injuries and suspensions. Plus, there was one one of the biggest hits in Houston's history.
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