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Phil Miller

Reporter | University of Minnesota football
phone: 612-839-3827
Phil has covered college football, basketball, the NBA (Utah Jazz) and major-league baseball (Minnesota Twins) since for more than 20 years.
Recent content from Phil Miller
MLB Insider: All the stats converge in St. Paul

MLB Insider: All the stats converge in St. Paul

The popular website Baseball-Reference.com is run by a Twin Cities man.
Francisco Liriano's super slider the next challenge for Twins

Francisco Liriano's super slider the next challenge for Twins

The Twins will face Liriano, whose slider electrified Minnesota during a memorable rookie year in 2006, but became frustratingly inconsistent after elbow surgery sidelined him for 18 months.
Rivals in AL Central help to toughen up Twins

Rivals in AL Central help to toughen up Twins

The Twins say they have discovered something thrilling during an unusually Central-heavy first six weeks to the season: They can compete.
Twins send Vargas to minors in search of his swing

Twins send Vargas to minors in search of his swing

Kennys Vargas, who went 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter in the Twins’ 11-3 loss on Sunday, has not been the power source in the middle of the lineup that manager Paul Molitor wants to see.
Once again, Twins' finish needs some polish

Once again, Twins' finish needs some polish

Tampa Bay small-balled Twins starter Kyle Gibson, eviscerated Minnesota’s bullpen and piled up 19 hits, failures that obscure the overall successes of the weekend, after the Twins took two out of three.
Twins notes: Bad day includes rare video challenge loss

Twins notes: Bad day includes rare video challenge loss

For just the second time this season in the eight instances that Paul Molitor has challenged a call, the ruling wasn’t overturned.
Ugly all around as Twins thumped by Tigers 13-1

Ugly all around as Twins thumped by Tigers 13-1

Sloppy at plate, in field and on mound, the Twins lost their seventh of nine to the Tigers and ended their road trip with a 3-3 record.
Twins notes: Stretching keeps Suzuki flexible as he nears milestone

Twins notes: Stretching keeps Suzuki flexible as he nears milestone

Kurt Suzuki didn’t have much time Wednesday to talk about reaching 1,000 games in the major leagues. He had to go stretch. Again.
Nolasco strong, Twins offense erupts in Detroit

Nolasco strong, Twins offense erupts in Detroit

Five weeks to the day after his actual debut, Ricky Nolasco finally looked like the pitcher his new manager was expecting to see.
Hicks' mission: Prove he belongs in the big leagues

Hicks' mission: Prove he belongs in the big leagues

Manager Paul Molitor will be watching Hicks’ focus, which has been a problem for the 2008 first-round pick in the past. That might be the best indicator of whether, at 25, he has matured, the manager said.
Twins can't cash in on Detroit; Tigers win in 10th

Twins can't cash in on Detroit; Tigers win in 10th

The Twins had their chances Tuesday night in Detroit. But the Tigers pounced when it mattered, winning in 10 innings.
Twins hitting coach Brunansky earns players' trust

Twins hitting coach Brunansky earns players' trust

Tom Brunansky, a holdover from Ron Gardenhire’s staff, was the first hire for Paul Molitor's staff, too.
Twins give Aaron Hicks another shot at the majors

Twins give Aaron Hicks another shot at the majors

The 25-year-old outfielder will join the Twins in Detroit; Shane Robinson has been placed on the Family Emergency List by the team.
Twins notes: May plays it too safe

Twins notes: May plays it too safe

The righthander threw first-pitch strikes to 11 of 24 batters.
Twins hitters struggle against Salazar, Indians

Twins hitters struggle against Salazar, Indians

Cleveland pitcher Danny Salazar struck out 11 Twins in seven innings in the Indians' 8-2 victory Sunday.
Twins continue their climb in Cleveland

Twins continue their climb in Cleveland

The Twins again broke out the offense on Saturday, winning 7-4 for their 10th victory in 12 games.
Twins notes: Circumstances lead Mauer, Dozier to 'hug it out'

Twins notes: Circumstances lead Mauer, Dozier to 'hug it out'

The photo of Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer hugging in the infield Friday night after colliding while Mauer caught a pop-up got noticed.

Twins notes: Inherited baserunners don't concern Perkins

In adding the four-out save to Glen Perkins’ responsibilities, Twins manager Paul Molitor has also introduced the closer to something else he hasn’t seen in awhile: baserunners.
Twins bring back Bernier to replace injured Nunez

Twins bring back Bernier to replace injured Nunez

With Eduardo Nunez unable to swing without soreness, the Twins placed him on the 15-day DL after Tuesday’s game, and called up Doug Bernier.
Twins win streak stopped with 2-1 loss to Oakland

Twins win streak stopped with 2-1 loss to Oakland

An eighth-inning rally faltered for Twins after they had been stifled by Oakland starter Jesse Chavez. Minnesota had just five hits, all singles.
Twins notes: Arcia out at least two weeks with hip injury

Twins notes: Arcia out at least two weeks with hip injury

When Oswaldo Arcia caught a fly ball, wound up and threw it home in the fourth inning Sunday, he successfully prevented White Sox baserunner…
Twins fall behind early, rally and hold on to beat Oakland

Twins fall behind early, rally and hold on to beat Oakland

The Twins now own a five-game winning streak, their longest in more than two years, and at 14-12, they are two games above .500 for the first time since May 21.
Twins give Rosario his first crack at major leagues

Twins give Rosario his first crack at major leagues

Eddie Rosario was summoned to the major leagues Monday when Oswaldo Arcia was placed on the disabled list because of a sore right hip.
Twins back at .500 with 5-3 victory over White Sox

Twins back at .500 with 5-3 victory over White Sox

Trevor Plouffe and Torii Hunter hit home runs to lead the Twins to a 5-3 victory on Saturday afternoon at Target Field. It’s their third straight win and moves the team to 12-12 on the season.
Twins notes: Catchers making progress throwing out base runners

Twins notes: Catchers making progress throwing out base runners

Saturday was the third time over the week the Twins threw out two baserunners in one game.
Milone 'shocked' by demotion to Class AAA

Milone 'shocked' by demotion to Class AAA

Tommy Milone was sent to Class AAA Rochester after Friday’s 1-0 victory over the White Sox to make room for Ricky Nolasco, who will start Saturday.
Gibson grinds his way to shutout win over White Sox

Gibson grinds his way to shutout win over White Sox

With zero margin of error to work with, Kyle Gibson worked his way out of trouble Friday. His reward was a 1-0 victory over the White Sox.
Fien goes on disabled list; Tonkin called up from Rochester

Fien goes on disabled list; Tonkin called up from Rochester

With Casey Fien injured, righthanded reliever Michael Tonkin is headed to Minnesota and will rejoin the Twins bullpen.
Price, Tigers too much again for Twins

Price, Tigers too much again for Twins

David Price was staked to an early lead, and a chance to turn the tables was blown.
Twins bench struggling Vargas

Twins bench struggling Vargas

Kennys Vargas was on the Twins’ bench for a second day in a row Monday. A thousand miles away, in Knoxville, Tenn., Miguel…
Hunter, Twins finding a groove after rough start

Hunter, Twins finding a groove after rough start

Torii Hunter thinks he’s found something important: his swing. The Twins have found something pretty critical, too: their confidence.
Twins notes: May makes his case to stick

Twins notes: May makes his case to stick

Trevor May is here to stay, at least if he pitches like that. The second-year righthander made the best start in his 12-game major…
Salazar Ks 10 for Cleveland, Hughes falls to 0-3 for Twins

Salazar Ks 10 for Cleveland, Hughes falls to 0-3 for Twins

Indians’ starter Danny Salazar struck out 10 Twins batters as Minnesota’s three-game win streak came to an end at Target Field.
Twins notes: Molitor bothered by baserunning blunder

Twins notes: Molitor bothered by baserunning blunder

Eduardo Nunez singled in the fifth inning Saturday, but that opportunity was foiled by a baserunning mistake.
Twins finally get a hit off Kluber; Plouffe's HR wins in extras

Twins finally get a hit off Kluber; Plouffe's HR wins in extras

Trevor Plouffe walloped a 3-1 pitch from Bryan Shaw into the left-field bleachers in Target Field, earning the Twins their third consecutive victory, 3-2 over the Cleveland Indians.
Twins notes: Lefty Thielbar easy choice for call up

Twins notes: Lefty Thielbar easy choice for call up

Caleb Thielbar’s exile from his home state lasted only 10 days.
Twins fall flat in forgettable home opener loss to Kansas City

Twins fall flat in forgettable home opener loss to Kansas City

Kansas City outlasted Twins starter Trevor May, then feasted on a tattered Twins bullpen to roll to a 12-3 victory at a sold-out Target Field.
Hunter gives home opener fans a reason to cheer

Hunter gives home opener fans a reason to cheer

The pregame ceremonies became Toriifest on Monday.
Twins notes: Pop flies give Twins fits

Twins notes: Pop flies give Twins fits

CHICAGO – Eduardo Nunez caught all three outs in the fourth inning of Sunday’s 6-2 loss to the White Sox, and for every one,…
Plenty of blame to share after Twins blow four-run lead

Plenty of blame to share after Twins blow four-run lead

Mike Pelfrey couldn’t keep the Twins in front of the White Sox before their defense and bullpen did them in at the end.
Twins notes: Fien has stiff shoulder, hopes to avoid trip to DL

Twins notes: Fien has stiff shoulder, hopes to avoid trip to DL

Already down two starting pitchers, the Twins are down a reliever this weekend, too.
Milone's gem gets Molitor first victory as Twins manager

Milone's gem gets Molitor first victory as Twins manager

Tommy Milone kept the White Sox off balance all day with his mix of 88-mph fastballs and 80-mph changeups in a 6-0 victory.
With Nolasco on DL, May gets call for Twins home opener

With Nolasco on DL, May gets call for Twins home opener

Trevor May was recalled from Rochester and will start Monday’s home opener against Kansas City with Ricky Nolasco on the disabled list because of inflammation in his elbow.
Twins broadcaster Blyleven ruffles feathers with anti-Detroit tweets

Twins broadcaster Blyleven ruffles feathers with anti-Detroit tweets

Bert Blyleven angered Detroit natives during Thursday’s rain delay with a pair of tweets on Twitter that insulted the city.
Bert Blyleven slammed Detroit on Twitter

Bert Blyleven slammed Detroit on Twitter

The Twins broadcaster angered Detroit natives during Thursday’s rain delay.
Twins score a run but are easily swept out of Detroit

Twins score a run but are easily swept out of Detroit

The Twins snapped a 34-inning scoreless streak in an eventual 7-1 victory for Detroit, which completed a three-game sweep for the Tigers.
Twins notes: Nolasco having elbow examined

Twins notes: Nolasco having elbow examined

Ricky Nolasco reported feeling a “spike” in his pitching elbow during his start on Wednesday.
Who's on third? No Twins so far this season as Detroit rolls

Who's on third? No Twins so far this season as Detroit rolls

The Twins were lacking in all aspects of the game in losing without scoring for the second time in two games. Ricky Nolasco was knocked out in the fourth inning after giving up six runs.
Slipshod outfield play hurts Twins

Slipshod outfield play hurts Twins

Even when Jordan Schafer thought he was making a good play Wednesday, it turned out badly.
Nolasco looking forward to a fresh start after 2014's struggles

Nolasco looking forward to a fresh start after 2014's struggles

Wednesday’s start against the Tigers was supposed to be Ervin Santana’s Minnesota debut. Instead, it’s the first installment of what the Twins hope is Ricky Nolasco’s career restoration project.
Twins' Molitor era begins with a whimper in loss to Detroit

Twins' Molitor era begins with a whimper in loss to Detroit

Despite a new leader and season, The Twins still got baffled by the Tigers’ David Price on Opening Day.
Twins notes: Hunter gets ovation, irritation

Twins notes: Hunter gets ovation, irritation

Home plate umpire Joe West ruled Torii Hunter swung at a Joe Nathan pitch Monday, ending Minnesota’s 4-0 loss with two runners on base, on a strikeout Hunter insisted never happened.
Many ways to make a winner; Twins trying to find one

Many ways to make a winner; Twins trying to find one

Under Terry Ryan and Paul Molitor, the Twins seek the correct path after four 90-loss seasons.
Key to Twins offense might be a familiar, local face

Key to Twins offense might be a familiar, local face

Twins hope for a much a better performance in former MVP’s second year at first base
Hunter figures to help fill leadership void for Twins

Hunter figures to help fill leadership void for Twins

Hunter’s return also could mark the return of clubhouse leadership that has been sorely lacking
Twins say readiness, not tenure, will drive prospects' promotion

Twins say readiness, not tenure, will drive prospects' promotion

Twins GM Terry Ryan says he won’t let off-field considerations trump what’s best for the everyday lineup.
Twins reward Boyer for his strong spring

Twins reward Boyer for his strong spring

He was told he made the team, then got a rare opportunity to start when Kyle Gibson was ill.
Pelfrey warms up his to new role with Twins

Pelfrey warms up his to new role with Twins

Mike Pelfrey “got some things off his chest” in a Sunday morning meeting with General Manager Terry Ryan about his move to the bullpen. Then Pelfrey made a startling discovery:
May shows look of runner-up for Twins' final rotation spot

May shows look of runner-up for Twins' final rotation spot

After a Friday flop, he seems to have finished second in the race to be fifth starter.
May doesn't shine as Pittsburgh beats Twins in rain-shortened game

May doesn't shine as Pittsburgh beats Twins in rain-shortened game

Trevor May didn't pitch very well in his chance to take the fifth starter spot in the Twins rotation.
Molitor prefers Twins players hit home runs when they count

Molitor prefers Twins players hit home runs when they count

Paul Molitor would prefer Kennys Vargas not turn batting practice into a Home Run Derby.
Molitor, Sandberg make Hall of Fame history

Molitor, Sandberg make Hall of Fame history

Molitor, Sandberg are first to face each other as managers.
Starting rotation battle: Pelfrey says he's healthy after loss

Starting rotation battle: Pelfrey says he's healthy after loss

If that was Mike Pelfrey’s last start for awhile, at least he’s made his point: He’s healthy and, he believes, ready to succeed.
Three in battle for final spot in Twins rotation

Three in battle for final spot in Twins rotation

Mike Pelfrey, Tommy Milone and Trevor May bring differing assets in their quest to make the Twins rotation.

Twins worry about catcher Pinto after whacks to head

FORT MYERS, Fla. – The Twins lost for the sixth time in four days on Saturday. They hope they haven’t lost their backup catcher,…
Two top pitching prospects fail to make cut

Two top pitching prospects fail to make cut

The group competing for the Twins' fifth spot in the rotation is down to three after Alex Meyer and Michael Tonkin were optioned to Class AAA Rochester on Friday.
Meyer's control could prove costly in battle for final spot in rotation

Meyer's control could prove costly in battle for final spot in rotation

Ricky Nolasco got little defensive support; Alex Meyer walked four.
Pelfrey strong as Red Sox rally to beat Twins 3-2

Pelfrey strong as Red Sox rally to beat Twins 3-2

Mike Pelfrey can feel himself getting stronger, and so is his case for a spot in the Twins’ rotation.
Molitor considering unconventional pitching moves

Molitor considering unconventional pitching moves

Twins manager Paul Molitor is looking for flexibility, which could mean relief pitchers must be ready to face more batters.
Gardenhire visits camp: 'I would love to manage again'

Gardenhire visits camp: 'I would love to manage again'

"I’ve got a lot left in me in baseball,” a tanned and relaxed Ron Gardenhire said during a low-key visit to the training camp he ran for 13 seasons.
Sano's home run helps Twins beat Cardinals 6-3

Sano's home run helps Twins beat Cardinals 6-3

Miguel Sano hit his second home run of the spring on Saturday, a tape-measure blast that bounced off the complex beyond the left-field wall helping the Twins win 6-3.
Hall of Famer Larkin tutors Twins prospect Nick Gordon

Hall of Famer Larkin tutors Twins prospect Nick Gordon

Twins prospect Nick Gordon got tutelage from Barry Larkin this winter
Pelfrey solid as Twins rally to defeat Miami

Pelfrey solid as Twins rally to defeat Miami

The righthander is making sure the choice for a fifth starter is a tough one.
'We can't have that.' Molitor yanks Hicks for mental mistake

'We can't have that.' Molitor yanks Hicks for mental mistake

Aaron Hicks was removed in the fourth inning from Tuesday’s 5-3 victory over Toronto after making a mental mistake on the bases for the second straight day.
Will Aaron Hicks finally stick with the Twins?

Will Aaron Hicks finally stick with the Twins?

The former first-round pick has twice won the Twins’ center field job in spring training, only to be demoted to the minors. Can he put it all together this time?
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