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
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 put a new spin on familiar pitching staff

With few additions, the familiar Twins pitching staff seeks improvement
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.
Twins first baseman C.J. Cron became available when Tampa Bay waived him in spite of his respectable numbers.

Cron welcomed by Twins in a career littered with rejections

C.J. Cron's five-year career is oddly pockmarked by rejection, despite consistent production. Both of his previous teams unceremoniously dumped him
Twins right fielder Max Kepler watched his first of two home runs Sunday.

Batting leadoff, Kepler bashes pair of home runs for Twins

Max Kepler isn't sure yet whether he would enjoy being the Twins' leadoff hitter. Days like Sunday might help him make up his mind.
Twins lefthander Martin Perez delivered a pitch during Sunday's game against the Red Sox at JetBlue Park.

Martin Perez gives up two runs in two innings as Twins fall to Red Sox

The lefthander still made a positive impression on his manager, though.
Twins prospect Nick Gordon

Twins prospect Gordon backs brother's message to victims of domestic violence

Dee Gordon's mother, DeVona Strange, was shot by her boyfriend when Dee was 7. "It's definitely hard for him. But he wants to help people," Nick Gordon said of his brother opening up about the tragedy.
Sano

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano sidelined at least a week with cut on his foot

Injury-causing incident occurred during victory parade near Dominican Republic.
Twins pitcher Trevor May worked on fielding line drives with fellow pitchers last week in Fort Myers.

Seeking relief: Who'll be the Twins' closer? Will there be just one?

"It could play out a lot of different ways," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "The goal is to put our guys in the best possible spot to help us win games."
Taylor Rogers had a wretched start to 2018, but the lefthander finished it with 28 consecutive scoreless innings.

Twins' Rogers has spring statistics on his mind

He believes a good spring will spill over into the season, after he had a horrible start in 2018.
Miguel Sano appeared to be at least 20 pounds lighter than he was with the Twins in 2018.

Slightly smaller Sano aiming for big gains with Twins

After taking a look at the lighter and hopefully nimbler Sano, new manager Rocco Baldelli reaffirmed his commitment to Sano as his third baseman.
Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco arrived for Friday's news conference to announce contract extensions for he and outfielder Max Kepler.

Steady growth from Kepler and Polanco nets big reward from Twins

Max Kepler, from Germany, and Jorge Polanco, from the Dominican Republic, came up through the Twins system as international signings from different worlds. They now have the richest contracts on the team.
Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) signed autographs for fans after an informal workout at spring training.

Twins betting on long-term value by locking up Polanco, Kepler

It's a lot of money, but it's less, perhaps substantially less, than they would earn if they continue to progress as they have to date.
New Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson directed the setup of high-speed cameras — designed to provide instant analytic info on a player’s performanc

Twins install high-speed cameras at spring training to capture instant analytics

The Twins are one of several teams to invest thousands of dollars in new technology to document players' every move — on the mound, at the plate and in the field.
Mitch Garver

Twins' Garver steps up to improve defense behind the plate

Having made an Opening Day roster for the first time last spring, Mitch Garver is eager to do whatever it takes to stay with the Twins when they leave Fort Myers.
Miguel Sano last June.

Sano won't play in Caribbean Series; conflict over reason why

Miguel Sano was removed from the Dominican Republic's roster for the Caribbean Series, with his team and the Twins stating different reasons for the move.
Chase De Jong called out numbers for bingo games at TwinsFest last week.

Twins designate De Jong for assignment after signing lefty Perez

Martin Perez, a fixture in the Texas Rangers' rotation since arriving in the majors in 2012, has a one-year deal with an option for 2020.
Fernando Romero handed a baseball back to its owner after he autographed it at TwinsFest. He is vying for a starting role, but behind the scenes he is

The Romero debate: Develop as starter or try him as Twins' closer?

Fernando Romero has a fastball that can reach 97 miles per hour and a slider that sits around 90, and he's averaged close to a strikeout per inning in six minor league seasons.
New Twins manager Rocco Baldelli signed an autograph for Brooks Geiger, 9, as he sat with his fellow coaches during an autograph session.

Twins' smaller payroll to reflect less emphasis on megadeals for free agents

Twins' parceling of one-year deals is game plan as rebuilt roster takes shape
Blake Parker

Closer candidate? Reliever Parker agrees to deal with Twins

Righthander Blake Parker, a 33-year-old veteran of four big-league bullpens, had a breakout season with the Angels in 2017 and 14 saves last year.
Nelson Cruz has 360 major league home runs despite not being a regular player until he was 28.

Home run-hitting Cruz saw Twins as team on rise well before free agency

Nelson Cruz, the 38-year-old designated hitter who has hit 203 home runs over the past five seasons, said Wednesday he saw Minnesota as a "good fit" while playing as a visitor here with the Mariners.
Byron Buxton spent Tuesday with patients at Gillette Children’s Hospital. Fans last saw him in a Twins uniform in the Twin Cities in May, a fact tha

Buxton says lack of September call-up 'didn't go over well'

After winning a Gold Glove with the Twins in 2017, Byron Buxton played with injuries in 2018 and spent much of the season at Class AAA Rochester.
Michael Pineda spent his first season as a Twin rehabbing from surgery.

Sano, Buxton steal Twins headlines, but Pineda's role for '19 could be big

North Score: Michael Rand and Twins beat writer Phil Miller tackle one of the many mysteries entering the team's 2019 campaign: What role will Micheal Pineda play?
Twins catcher Jason Castro, coming off a season in which he played just 19 games, is as veteran as they come right now for the Twins. He is 31.

After changes to roster, Twins sapped of cubhouse leaders

Players whose contributions might seem limited on paper can still help the team by setting a tone that creates comradeship and professionalism.
Tony Diaz, right, was first base coach for Colorado.

Base coaches Watkins, Diaz to join Twins staff

Tony Diaz was first base coach for the Rockies, and Tommy Watkins managed for the Twins in the minor leagues.
'Czar of velocity.' Twins to name Arkansas' Johnson pitching coach

'Czar of velocity.' Twins to name Arkansas' Johnson pitching coach

The Twins' new pitching coach has no experience in the majors. But 30 of Wes Johnson's pitchers have been drafted from the three colleges at which he's worked.
Joe Mauer played his final game on Sept. 30.

No average Joe: Mauer calls it a career with Twins

St. Paul native Joe Mauer played 15 seasons in Minnesota, and won three batting titles as a catcher. But concussion issues cut short his career.
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier congratulates teammate Joe Mauer after Mauer scored on a single by Eddie Rosario in July. Mauer retired on Friday.

'He's the man': Mauer's ex-teammates remember a role model

Joe Mauer made history by becoming the only catcher in major league history to win three batting titles.
Johnny Field

Twins lose Johnny Field, Oliver Drake on waivers

Field goes to the Chicago Cubs and Drake to the Tampa Bay Rays.
Among the former Twins scattered about the majors are Aaron Hicks, Yankees; Kurt Suzuki, Braves; Ryan Pressly, Astros; and Pat Neshek, Phillies.

Dozens of ex-Twins elsewhere. But did they contribute to new teams?

A record 45 players who once played for Minnesota wore a different major league uniform in 2018.Did the quality match up with the quantity?
Twins bench coach Derek Shelton (9) during spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

Bench coach Shelton impresses Twins in their managerial search

Derek Shelton is one of the finalists to replace Paul Molitor as Twins manager. Shelton, 48, will have a second interview.
Eddie Rosario was voted Twins' MVP by Twin Cities baseball writers.

Rosario named Twins' MVP by Minnesota baseball writers

Leading the Twins in a batch of offensive categories resulted in left fielder Eddie Rosario being named the team's most valuable player by the local chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Joe Espada

Twins talk to Houston coach Espada about manager job

Joe Espada, 43, has been mentioned as a candidate for multiple openings as the Astros participate in the playoffs.
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton had a summer filled with migraines, a fractured toe and a strained wrist, all of which limited him to 28 major leagu

Falvey: Buxton headed in right direction; Mauer, manager still in limbo

If there was any rift between Byron Buxton and the Twins over not restoring the Gold Glove outfielder to the major league roster in September, there are no signs of it now, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said Tuesday.
Minnesota Twins Joe Mauer was greeted by teammates after catching one pitch in the ninth inning. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ � cgonzalez@startribune.com � S

New Twins manager and Mauer's decision: The wait continues

There is not a firm timetable to replace manager Paul Molitor, but there will be interviews in the next week. "We're looking for someone who is truly open-minded," Derek Falvey said.
Joe Mauer played his final game — possibly — on Sept. 30.

New Twins manager and Mauer's decision: The wait continues

There is not a firm timetable to replace manager Paul Molitor, but there will be interviews in the next week. "We're looking for someone who is truly open-minded," Derek Falvey said.
Miguel Sano

No charges for Twins' Sano in Dominican Republic traffic incident

The police officer reportedly called the accident just that.
Miguel Sano

Reports: Sano detained after traffic altercation in Dominican Republic

In the Spanish-language El Nuevo Diario, it was reported a police officer suffered a fractured left leg early Sunday in an incident involving Miguel Sano. The Twins are aware of the situation but declined comment.
White, inexperienced, internal: Will new Twins manager break pattern?

White, inexperienced, internal: Will new Twins manager break pattern?

The 12 men who have led the Twins as manager have had much in common. But a new front office was brought in to shake up the Twins' long-established ways of doing business.
Paul Molitor was fired Tuesday as manager of the Twins.

In firing Molitor, Twins hope 'change of voice' will benefit younger players

The Twins were counting on a handful of players in their early 20s to take big steps forward in 2018, and that didn't happen for an assortment of reasons.
Joe Mauer hit a liner to left field and hustled his way to a double in his final at-bat of the season Sunday. The question now is whether the Twins ha

Retire? Joe Mauer's father says, 'I think he's still got more'

One prominent observer of the Twins hometown hero believes it would be a mistake for Joe Mauer to walk away from baseball.
Joe Mauer acknowledged the cheers from fans at Target Field when he came out on the field in his catcher's gear for the ninth inning.

Battling tears ... No. 7 ... Joe Mauer feels the love

Joe Mauer thrilled fans at Target Field when he took the field in the ninth inning wearing the catcher's gear he hadn't used in a game for more than five years. Mauer wiped away tears during the ovation, which lasted almost five minutes.
Jake Cave finished off a strong rookie season for the Twins on Sunday with his 13th home run, another 420-footer to straightaway center field that hel

Cave has solidified future with Twins

The outfielder finished off a strong rookie season Sunday with his 13th home run.
Joe Mauer caught one pitch at the start of the ninth inning on Sunday.

Mauer's surprise catching appearance came together quickly

Joe Mauer called Twins equipment manager Rod McCormick on Saturday morning with an urgent and unexpected request.
Jose Berrios delivered on Friday as the Twins won the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox.

Berrios, Garver shine for Twins in doubleheader sweep of White Sox

Jose Berrios pitched seven innings on one-hit baseball and became the first Twin to strike out 200 batters since 2010 in the first game. In the nightcap, Mitch Garver picked up six RBI.
Twins first baseman Joe Mauer exchanged a smile with plate umpire Mark Wegner before coming to bat in the first inning of the first game of Friday’s

'Trying to enjoy it': Mauer mum on future entering Twins' final weekend

Joe Mauer said that while driving to Target Field to open the final series of the season Friday morning, "it hit me a little bit," but did not say whether or not these are the final games of his career.
Twins catcher Willians Astudillo, who had a career high four RBI, scored on a single in the sixth inning Thursday in Minnesota's 9-3 win over Detroit.

Astudillo helps pour on the offense in Twins' 9-3 win over Detroit

The rookie catcher, who has captured the imagination of Twins fans with his see-it-hit-it ways, powered another offensive explosion.
Joe Mauer did a TV interview after Tuesday’s game in Detroit.

Is it the end? Mauer enters final week of his ... season

In what could (possibly) be the last homestand of his career, it's (unofficially) Joe Mauer Week at Target Field. But Mauer insists his future remains a mystery.
Twins catcher Chris Gimenez congratulated pitcher Trevor May after a victory over the Athletics

May gets his own birthday gift — a first career save

Trevor May struck out Ramon Laureano to extricate the Twins from an eighth-inning jam, then held the A's scoreless in the ninth to pick up career save No. 1.
Twins shortstop Ehire Adrianza has had a hot bat lately. He is hitting .311 with six double and 11 RBI in his past 12 starts.

With more playing time for Adrianza comes more hits

Ehire Adrianza is a glove guy who is thrilled to be showing the Twins he has a bat, too.
Khris Davis celebrated his 10th-inning home run that ended the A’s 7-6 victory over the Twins.

A's hand Twins another walkoff loss, 7-6 in 10 innings

Khris Davis' second home run of the game gave the A's a win and the Twins their 14th walkoff loss of the season, the 10th via home run.
Twins lefthander Taylor Rogers had another scoreless outing Sunday at Kansas City, bringing his scoreless streak to 22 consecutive innings.

Amid his hot streak, twin brother is on Taylor Rogers' mind

Taylor Rogers is on a terrific run as a major league pitcher; he is hoping his brother gets the same chance.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi doffs his cap to an ovation when he was pulled in the eighth inning

Odorizzi takes no-hitter into eighth; Twins beat Yankees again

It had been quite a while since the twins beat the Yankees in consecutive games, and starting putcher Jake Odorizzi added extra drama to the occasion.
Royals second baseman Whit Merrifield has had a solid season for the last-place Royals.

Twins-Kansas City series preview

The Twins take to the road — where they have not done well — one last time this season.
Joe Mauer crushed a decisive grand slam, capping a six-run fifth inning that put the Twins ahead 10-1 against the Yankees on Tuesday night at Target F

First in 10: Mauer's slam breaks open Twins' streak-busting win over Yankees

Joe Mauer blasted out of lengthy slump with a grand slam to center field that helped the Twins end a nine-game losing streak to the New York Yankees.
Twins rookie Kohl Stewart came in for Tyler Duffey in the third inning and earned his first major league victory Tuesday.

Twins' 'opener' plan is a work in progress

The Twins intend to keep attempting the plan — having a relief pitcher pitch two innings followed by a "primary pitcher" — in September.
Tigers third baseman Jeimer Candelario, left, tags out Minnesota Twins' Tyler Austin in August

Twins' stolen-base output is in a downward trend

Unless the Twins run more over the season's final three weeks, they will finish with the fewest successful steals since 1984, and almost certainly one of the 10 lowest totals in team history.
Chris Gimenez

Twins show 'respect' for Wilson by trading him to contending Cubs

The trade has more to do with giving Bobby Wilson a shot at experiencing a pennant race than the deal itself, which is bringing Chris Gimenez back to Minnesota.
Jason Kipnis is greeted by Edwin Encarnacion and Roberto Perez after hitting a three-run home run as Twins catcher Mitch Garver looks away during the

Twins miss chance to win season series after loss to Indians

Jason Kipnis banged a home run off reliever Alan Busenitz to break open a tie game and Cleveland went on to win the deciding game of their three-game series, and the season series.
Byron Buxton.

Despite hot streak, Twins aren't certain to bring up Buxton

Derek Falvey, the Twins' chief baseball officer, said that no September decision has yet been made about Gold Glove center fielder Byron Buxton.
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