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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

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.

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.
Japanese pitcher-outfielder Shohei Ohtani arrives for a press conference at Japanese National Press Center in Tokyo, Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017. Otani an

Twins could lure Japanese star Ohtani after voiding Dominican teen's deal

The termination of Jelfry Marte's contract is why the Twins have been identified last week as one of three teams with the ability to offer Japanese star Shohei Ohtani more than $3 million.
The Twins' Paul Molitor won the American League Manager of the Year award Tuesday.

Molitor rewarded with American League's top manager award

Paul Molitor was chosen as the American League's top manager over two other finalists, each of whom led their teams to 100-win seasons
Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, left, and General Manager Thad Levine.

Falvey, Levine ready for second GM meetings as Twins bosses

Derek Falvey and Thad Levine spent much of last year's meetings getting a crash course on their own players. Now, they already have "a pretty good understanding" of what other teams covet.
Minnesota Twins' Brian Dozier (2) and Byron Buxton (25) celebrate after their baseball game against the Kansas City Royals, Sunday, April 30, 2017, in

Finest in the field: Buxton, Dozier win Gold Glove awards

It's the first time since Joe Mauer won as a catcher in 2010 that any Twins player has earned a Gold Glove, which is awarded for best defensive player at each position.
Derek Shelton

Twins name Derek Shelton bench coach

Shelton, 47, is a former catcher in the Yankees minor league organization, but he's been in the major leagues as a coach for 13 seasons
Twins great Kirby Puckett shared a laugh with coach Rick Stelmaszek in 1999 spring training.

Former Twins coach Stelmaszek dies at 69

Rick Stelmaszek oversaw the bullpen, organized spring training, tutored the catchers and kept Twins players entertained with sense of humor.
Miguel Sano

Levine: Sano could face surgery on leg that sidelined him

Miguel Sano, sidelined for the season's final six weeks by a stress reaction in his left shin, might require surgery to insert a permanent rod to help support the bone.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton crashes into center field wall while making the catch on on a fly ball by the New York Yankees' Todd Frazi

Buxton's injury leads to Granite's opportunity — and big mistake

Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton made a spectacular catch in the second inning, but left the game in the fourth. Zack Granite replaced him, and made a crucial baserunning error.
The Twins' Joe Mauer stretched during a workout at Yankee Stadium on Monday. The Twins face the Yankees in the American League wild-card playoff game

Let the game begin: Twins take their shot at Yankees in wild-card playoff

The Twins are in the wild-card playoff for the first time. But it was the excitement that surrounded their "Game 163s" in 2008 and 2009 that led to baseball creating the one-game showdown.
Twins manager Paul Molitor and his players thanked fans at Target Field before Sunday's game against Detroit.

Unexpected success could be the start of something big for Twins

All indications, including the Twins' own history, suggest that the 2017 postseason, no matter if it lasts one night or a month, is only the prelude to something that figures to last much longer.
Miguel Sano spent Monday afternoon in the visitors’ clubhouse, undergoing treatment for his sore left shin and hitting a few pitches in the indoor c

Roster status of hobbled Sano to be decided this morning

Miguel Sano spent Monday afternoon in the visitors' clubhouse, undergoing treatment for his sore left shin and hitting a few pitches in the indoor cages.
Paul Molitor’s contract as Twins manager is up at season’s end, with little word out of the front office as to where he stands.

Molitor's job status still uncertain as Twins head to postseason

Twins manager Paul Molitor, 61, enters Tuesday's wild card game in New York with zero games of postseason managing experience. He does not have a contract for next season.
Twins pitcher Bartolo Colon pitched for the Twins in the regular-season finale on Sunday at Target Field.

Colon makes case for playoff roster spot by pitching Twins to 5-1 win

In the regular-season finale, 44-year-old Bartolo Colon allowed only three hits and just one run over 6 1/3 innings, a performance that helped deliver the Twins' 85th victory of the season.
Miguel Sano started as the designated hitter Saturday night, his second game back from his stint on the disabled list, and singled in his first at-bat

Miguel Sano goes 1-for-4 in first full game back for Twins

The Twins lost 3-2 on Saturday to a Tigers team that used Andrew Romine at all nine positions on the field, including at pitcher for one at-bat by Miguel Sano.
Glen Perkins took over with two out in the ninth inning Saturday in what might have been his final appearance pitching for the Twins.

Emotional Perkins realizes end of career could be near

Three-time All-Star Glen Perkins was tearful Saturday night after perhaps his final big-league game.
Twins third baseman Miguel Sano grounded out in the seventh inning.

Sano pinch hits in first game back; Berrios pitches in relief in 6-3 win

In the Twins' 6-3 victory over Detroit on Friday, Miguel Sano played for the first time since Aug. 19, and Jose Berrios earned the victory after coming out of the bullpen for the first time in his career.
Twins pitcher Nick Blackburn left the field with trainer Dave Pruemer after being injured in the 6th inning of a game in 2012.

Twins athletic trainer Pruemer decides to call it a career

Dave Pruemer, 46, was hired by the Twins in 1995, shortly after graduating from Southern Illinois, and he worked at nearly every level of the system, starting at rookie-level Elizabethton
Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive during the fifth inning of a baseball game bet

Dozier calls for improved ballpark safety after 2-year-old girl hit by line drive

A line drive off Todd Frazier's bat in the fifth inning Wednesday struck a young girl in the face, visibly affecting Frazier and several other players who witnessed it.
Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregarious both homered for New York on Wednesday.

Yankees sweep has Twins searching for positives as season winds down

The Twins lost for the fifth time in six games Wednesday and fell to 1-8 in the Bronx over the last three years, continuing their long and durable domination by the Yankees.
The Yankees' Brett Gardner reacted after he was tagged out at the plate by Twins catcher Chris Gimenez during the seventh inning of New York's 5-2 vic

Squandered chances, mistakes allow Yankees to wear down Twins

Jose Berrios' command was absent, or at least shaky. The rest of the Twins contributed mistakes or fell short during the 5-2 loss at Yankee Stadium.
Tuesday marked exactly one month since third baseman Miguel Sano last played a game for the Twins after suffering a stress reaction in his left shin.

Sano's return? Molitor says, 'I don't know if that's going to happen'

Manager Paul Molitor is concerned about Sano trying to regain his timing in the midst of a postseason chase.
Since Eduardo Escobar took over at Sano’s position full-time while he recuperates, the backup has homered eight times, or one every 13.6 at-bats.

Escobar's home-run production rate jumps out

Since Eduardo Escobar took over at Sano's position full-time while he recuperates, the backup has homered eight times, or one every 13.6 at-bats.
Twins catcher Jason Castro and manager Paul Molitor check on Twins starter Ervin Santana before removing Santana in the sixth inning against the New Y

Lack of contact: Twins strike out 13 times as Santana takes 2-1 loss to Yankees

Jaime Garcia took advantage of the Twins being overaggressive at bat, striking out seven of the first 10 batters, while Ervin Santana pitched well in a ballpark that hasn't been kind to him in the past.
The Twins signed Miguel Sano to a contract that included a $3.1 million bonus at age 16 in 2009. Signing money is limited nowadays, and teams are left

MLB Insider: Teams seeking Sano-like talent at age 13

The Twins, like most MLB teams, will send scouts to a showcase in the Caribbean this week for Venezuelan prospects. All the players are 14 or younger.
Blue Jays designated hitter Kendrys Morales was out at second as Twins second baseman Brian Dozier turned a double play.

Toronto rides big eighth inning to 7-2 victory over Twins

A series of well-placed hits by the Blue Jays did in the Twins.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) stole second base Friday night.

Buxton's stolen bases are coming with ease

Byron Buxton has stolen 25 bases in 26 attempts this season, and the past 21 in a row.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Bartolo Colon (40) delivered a pitch in the first inning.

Comeback magic runs out for Twins, Colon in 4-3 loss to Toronto

Bartolo Colon's shutout - on 'Big Sexy Night' in his honor - vanished in the fifth inning, and Minnesota's bats went quiet.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Matt Belisle delivers against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Chicago on Tuesday, A

Promotion to closer doesn't alter Belisle's intensity

He says he's only vaguely aware of his success, and not at all concerned about having the title of "closer."
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Bartolo Colon watches an RBI double by Kansas City Royals designated hitter Brandon Moss as Eric Hosmer scores in the

Early knockout: Colon gone in second inning of 11-3 Twins loss

Bartolo Colon's shortest non-injury-related start in more than six years set the tone for a deflating loss to the Royals that ended a 3-4 road trip.
Twins catcher Chris Gimenez

Twins will get much-needed day off

With 21 days remaining in the season, the Twins still have 19 games to play, and they remain ahead of the pack chasing the final AL wild-card spot.
The Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton connects on a solo home run in the sixth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, M

Buxton continues to play for Twins despite thumb injury

Byron Buxton's hand might still be sore almost 10 days after he injured it while swinging a bat but as far as he is concerned, nothing has changed about his job.
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Buddy Boshers (62) talks with catcher Jason Castro following a single by Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer that scored th

Bullpen falls apart in eighth inning, Twins lose to Kansas City

After allowing only two runs over nine critical innings during the winning streak, the Twins' bullpen corps stumbled on Saturday in a 5-2 loss.
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario watches his two-run single during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals on Friday, Sept.

Twins hang on for 'stressful' road victory over Royals

One night after a three-run ninth-inning rally stung and stunned the former champs, Minnesota scored in each of the first five innings on Friday but let the Royals back in it.
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