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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
Melotakis, Wimmers designated for assignment as Twins call up Gee, Hildenberger

Melotakis, Wimmers designated for assignment as Twins call up Gee, Hildenberger

Mason Melotakis, a second-round draft choice who was once considered a top bullpen prospect, was designated for assignment as part of the latest Twins' roster moves.
Soggy mess: Twins wait out long delay, give away game in a hurry

Soggy mess: Twins wait out long delay, give away game in a hurry

After a rain delay of nearly five hours, Nik Hurley didn't make it through the first inning of a 9-0 loss to the White Sox.
Santana struggles but Twins 'offense took care of it;' Vargas blasts 475-foot homer

Santana struggles but Twins 'offense took care of it;' Vargas blasts 475-foot homer

Miguel Sano and Kennys Vargas smashed home runs and the Twins' bullpen bailed out starter Ervin Santana for a 9-7 victory against the White Sox.
Hughes to experiment with return to pitching from the bullpen

Hughes to experiment with return to pitching from the bullpen

Twins manager Paul Molitor said the team will "try" Phil Hughes in the bullpen when he returns from the disabled list. He hasn't pitched since May 21.
Top overall pick Lewis signs $6.7 million contract with Twins

Top overall pick Lewis signs $6.7 million contract with Twins

Lewis signed at a news conference between games of the Twins' doubleheader, and he will soon report to the Twins' Gulf Coast League rookie team in Fort Myers, Fla.
Twins swept by Indians in doubleheader, fall from division lead

Twins swept by Indians in doubleheader, fall from division lead

Now 14-23 at home, the Twins fell out of first place for the first time since May 9. They will try to avoid a four-game sweep Sunday with Kyle Gibson on the mound against Trevor Bauer.
Mariners use the long ball to beat Santana, Twins 6-4

Mariners use the long ball to beat Santana, Twins 6-4

The Mariners handed Ervin Santana a two-run deficit just five pitches into his start Wednesday, and beat the Twins at Target Field.
Another bullpen collapse costs Twins chance to sweep Giants

Another bullpen collapse costs Twins chance to sweep Giants

Matt Belisle gave up four runs in the eighth inning and Craig Breslow five in the ninth as the Twins blew a one-run lead in a 13-8 loss to San Francisco.
Turley gets first major league lesson: Don't fall behind in the count

Turley gets first major league lesson: Don't fall behind in the count

Turley is almost certain to get another start for the Twins, likely Friday against Cleveland.
Gimenez gets steal sign vs. Giants, and runs with it

Gimenez gets steal sign vs. Giants, and runs with it

Twins catcher Chris Gimenez on Saturday stole his first base since August 4, 2015.
Two home runs add up to victory for Twins, Berrios

Two home runs add up to victory for Twins, Berrios

One inning after Kennys Vargas blasted a solo home run, Brian Dozier turned on a high fastball in the fifth inning to provide all the offense the Twins would need to beat the Giants.
Santana pitches, hits his way to victory for Twins

Santana pitches, hits his way to victory for Twins

Twins starter Ervin Santana pitched a 4-0 shutout, and three of those runs came off of his bat as well with a bases-clearing double.
Ehire Adrianza doing a bit of everything for Twins

Ehire Adrianza doing a bit of everything for Twins

Ehire Adrianza is a career .229 hitter, but since changing his swing the above-average shortstop has gone 8-for-27 (.296) in sporadic usage, and he believes he can do even better.
Newest Twin Heston is getting a career reboot

Newest Twin Heston is getting a career reboot

Friday is the the two-year anniversary of Chris Heston's career highlight: The day he no-hit the Mets in Citi Field.
There's no such thing as a sure thing with top pick in MLB draft

There's no such thing as a sure thing with top pick in MLB draft

The No. 1 pick in baseball is a crapshoot, and the Twins - with Tim Belcher and Joe Mauer as their previous top picks - know that as well as any other team.
Stunned in Seattle: Two-out, two-run walk-off homer sinks Twins

Stunned in Seattle: Two-out, two-run walk-off homer sinks Twins

Mike Zunino's two-out blast, his second homer of the game, came after Ben Gamel singled up the middle off Twins closer Brandon Kintzler. It was Seattle's fourth home run Wednesday.
More than just an All-Star berth, Sano wants spot in home run derby

More than just an All-Star berth, Sano wants spot in home run derby

Miguel Sano has pulled ahead of Cleveland's Jose Ramirez by 97,912 votes and Manny Machado by 118,836 in the fan voting for the starting spot at third base for the American League.
Sixteen years after No. 1 pick, no regrets for Twins or Joe Mauer

Sixteen years after No. 1 pick, no regrets for Twins or Joe Mauer

Joe Mauer is one of the great success stories not only in Minnesota draft history, but of the draft overall.
Mauer's moment: First career walk-off HR carries Twins over Red Sox

Mauer's moment: First career walk-off HR carries Twins over Red Sox

Joe Mauer blasted a pitch from Matt Barnes over the fence in left-center field for a home run that gave the Twins a 4-3 victory. It was Mauer's first walk-off home run in 6,010 career at-bats.
Getting his green card, Twins' Escobar pursues American dream

Getting his green card, Twins' Escobar pursues American dream

Eduardo Escobar, a Venezuelan native, flew to Miami after Monday afternoon's game to be interviewed by U.S. immigration, the final step in giving Escobar permanent resident status in the United States.
Greene? McKay? Wright? Falvey coy about Twins' No. 1 draft choice

Greene? McKay? Wright? Falvey coy about Twins' No. 1 draft choice

Baseball operations head Derek Falvey, handed the draft's most valuable asset in his first season as chief baseball officer, has the final say over how the Twins will use it.
Massive meltdown: Twins go from 8-2 lead to 16-8 loss in final two innings

Massive meltdown: Twins go from 8-2 lead to 16-8 loss in final two innings

The Twins bullpen, overburdened by a marathon holiday weekend, suffered its worst collapse in the team's 57-year history, giving up 14 runs in two innings to the Houston Astros.
Buxton hand injury not serious, but departure made big impact

Buxton hand injury not serious, but departure made big impact

Buxton said the finger was painful after the game, but "I was very relieved. It could have been worse than it was. Hopefully I'll be back out there tomorrow."
Rays drill back-to-back homers in 15th to sink Twins

Rays drill back-to-back homers in 15th to sink Twins

Losing bell tolls for Twins after nearly 6½ hours over 15 innings.
In need of pitching, Twins send Vargas back to minors

In need of pitching, Twins send Vargas back to minors

The Twins bullpen was forced to throw 201 pitches and absorb 9⅔ innings in the 15-inning defeat, with all seven relievers and Hector Santiago, Wednesday's scheduled starter, forced into action.
MLB Insider: Teams learn to make the most of their 25-man roster

MLB Insider: Teams learn to make the most of their 25-man roster

The Twins have turned to a four-man bench for now.
Playing big at short: Polanco claims position Twins never seem to fill

Playing big at short: Polanco claims position Twins never seem to fill

The the Twins' shortstop puzzle might lie in Jorge Polanco, a 23-year-old Dominican who was projected, as recently as 15 months ago, to be a second baseman.
Orioles manager Showalter: Twins 'not going away'

Orioles manager Showalter: Twins 'not going away'

Buck Showalter is now a believer in the team that had the worst record in baseball last season, proclaiming the Twins' sweep of the series much more than a fluke.
Berrios, Rogers pitch out of jams to cement Twins sweep over Orioles

Berrios, Rogers pitch out of jams to cement Twins sweep over Orioles

Jose Berrios shook off allowing three solo home runs to pitch another slid outing, and the bullpen led by Taylor Rogers got the outs needed to send the Twins to a sweep and a 14-5 road record.
'All about Ervin': Santana pitches two-hit shutout for Twins over Baltimore

'All about Ervin': Santana pitches two-hit shutout for Twins over Baltimore

Just one Baltimore base runner reached third base Tuesday night against Ervin Santana, who led the Twins to a 2-0 victory over the Orioles.
Sano on what's ahead: 'More RBIs, more team wins. I can feel it.'

Sano on what's ahead: 'More RBIs, more team wins. I can feel it.'

Miguel Sano's 37 RBI lead the American League, and he's quick to deflect the praise. "Everybody here is hitting really good," he said.
Down 5-0 in second inning, Twins recover to smash Orioles 14-7

Down 5-0 in second inning, Twins recover to smash Orioles 14-7

Jorge Polanco and Miguel Sano had four hits apiece, Joe Mauer had his first three-hit game since Aug. 16 and Kyle Gibson was the winning pitcher despite giving up six runs in five innings.
'Be safe out there.' Twins outfielders mindful of Buxton's speed

'Be safe out there.' Twins outfielders mindful of Buxton's speed

The Twins spend extra time practicing those in-between fly balls, striving for better communication and fewer collisions.
Under new leadership, Twins pitchers reaping reward of advanced stats

Under new leadership, Twins pitchers reaping reward of advanced stats

Scouting meetings are so intricately detailed now, they're practically entertainment, at least to a baseball junkie like Twins manager Paul Molitor.
Rainout sets up a Target Field first: a true doubleheader

Rainout sets up a Target Field first: a true doubleheader

The matter of a makeup date was in the hands of the players, thanks to a collectively bargained MLB limit of three day-night doubleheaders per season without player approval.
Vargas delivers in a pinch before Twins beat Royals in 10 innings

Vargas delivers in a pinch before Twins beat Royals in 10 innings

Kennys Vargas parked a game-tying pinch-hit home run deep into the seats in the ninth inning. The Twins then drew three consecutive walks and won in 10 innings.
Mauer has shined with glove this season for Twins

Mauer has shined with glove this season for Twins

According to FanGraphs' Ultimate Zone Rating, Mauer is 2.4 runs better than an average first baseman. That's already easily the best mark since he moved to the position in 2014, and it leads the American League.
Long and short of it: Twins home run streak reaches 16 but Rockies win

Long and short of it: Twins home run streak reaches 16 but Rockies win

The Twins on Tuesday homered in their 16th consecutive game, but Twins pitchers have also given up a long ball in 10 consecutive home games.
Coming Saturday: Another mystery starting pitcher for the Twins

Coming Saturday: Another mystery starting pitcher for the Twins

Uncertainty has surrounded the identity of the Twins' starter on each of the first two Saturdays of May, and this Saturday will make it three in a row.
Chaos returns: Twins find little relief from bullpen

Chaos returns: Twins find little relief from bullpen

The bullpen, one of the reasons for surprise and optimism though the first four weeks of the season, melted down during last week's six-game homestand.
Tonkin is latest longtime Twins player sent packing

Tonkin is latest longtime Twins player sent packing

In the span of three days, new Twins brass decided Kyle Gibson, Danny Santana and Michael Tonkin could not survive subpar starts in 2017.
Before Sunday's main event, Red Sox knock out Twins in undercard

Before Sunday's main event, Red Sox knock out Twins in undercard

Ahead of Sunday's much-anticipated pitching matchup of Chris Sale and Ervin Santana, Boston scored eight times in the second inning en route to an 11-1 romp over the Twins.
Late Friday: Joe Mauer hits first walk-off homer of his career

Late Friday: Joe Mauer hits first walk-off homer of his career

His first career walk-off homer ruined a late Red Sox rally.
Berrios could get nod to replace Gibson in Twins rotation next week

Berrios could get nod to replace Gibson in Twins rotation next week

The Twins' top pitching prospect, frequently flawless at Class AAA but mostly disappointing in 14 major league starts, is one of two candidates to be called up for a start.
Twins pull Buxton from game following multiple collisions with wall

Twins pull Buxton from game following multiple collisions with wall

Three plays in center field - including two hard hits into the wall - eventually prompted Twins manager Paul Molitor to pull Byron Buxton from Thursday's game for his own good.
'It's not working': Twins demote Gibson after another poor outing

'It's not working': Twins demote Gibson after another poor outing

Kyle Gibson, a fixture in the Twins rotation since his 2013 debut, pitched four more chaotic innings in a substandard season Thursday and was sent to the minors after Thursday's loss to Oakland.
Twins' ugly homestand ends with blowout loss to Detroit

Twins' ugly homestand ends with blowout loss to Detroit

Catcher Chris Gimenez took to the mound to finish the game.
Boshers' reward for pitching well? Back to the minors

Boshers' reward for pitching well? Back to the minors

The lefthanded reliever became a casualty of the Twins' sudden shortage of bullpen arms and surplus of bullpen innings, spending roughly six hours in the big leagues before being sent back to the minors.
Nathan's tenure with '16 Cubs was brief, but richly rewarded

Nathan's tenure with '16 Cubs was brief, but richly rewarded

The Twins' career saves leader pitched two of the Cubs' 1,459 innings last season, appearing in three late July games before a roster crunch cost him a chance to finish the year with the eventual world champions.
Twins' bats revive in six-run sixth to thump Tigers

Twins' bats revive in six-run sixth to thump Tigers

Eddie Rosario's three-run homer was the key blow off Tigers reliever Joe Jimenez.
Twins' Opening Day roster remains unchanged

Twins' Opening Day roster remains unchanged

For the 16th consecutive game this season, the Twins on Friday used the same 25-man roster that they've had since Opening Day.
Headaches minimized for players, fans in Twins' rainout

Headaches minimized for players, fans in Twins' rainout

Fans who purchased the Twins' special $99 ballpark pass for every April and May game now have a nice bonus: entry to Target Field on a Saturday night in June, when Wednesday's game is made up.
Twins waste chances at beginning and end, lose to Cleveland 3-1

Twins waste chances at beginning and end, lose to Cleveland 3-1

The Twins left the bases loaded in the first and ninth innings without scoring, with Joe Mauer flying out to center field to end the game for their third loss in four games.
Falvey's ties to Cleveland still strong

Falvey's ties to Cleveland still strong

Cleveland manager Terry Francona really wanted to catch up with Derek Falvey, his longtime colleague with the Indians, on Monday, but found it nearly impossible. Every few seconds as they chatted, somebody else came up to greet Falvey, too.
Dozier 'surprised' by inside-the-park homer

Dozier 'surprised' by inside-the-park homer

Brian Dozier was only a couple of steps past second base Sunday when he received Gene Glynn's go-ahead when his fly ball to center wasn't handled cleanly.
Twins lose in 10 innings despite Dozier's inside-the-park homer

Twins lose in 10 innings despite Dozier's inside-the-park homer

For the second time in the series, hard-throwing reliever Ryan Pressly gave up a tie-breaking home run in a loss to the White Sox.
A new look at nine: Homers lead Twins to victory for 6-3 start

A new look at nine: Homers lead Twins to victory for 6-3 start

Robbie Grossman, Max Kepler and Miguel Sano all homered for the Twins, who finished six-game road trip Thursday with an 11-5 rout over the Tigers. A year after starting 0-9, Minnesota is 6-3.
Haley's save also eats innings for Twins

Haley's save also eats innings for Twins

Rookie Justin Haley, a Rule 5 pick, got 10 outs for the Twins in Thursday's victory in Detroit.
With one swing, Twins lose momentum - and game - to Tigers

With one swing, Twins lose momentum - and game - to Tigers

A fourth-inning grand slam by Detroit's Andrew Romine erased the Twins' lead and led to a second loss in a row to the Tigers.
Pitching, yes. Hitting, no. Twins lose despite Santiago's strong outing

Pitching, yes. Hitting, no. Twins lose despite Santiago's strong outing

Hector Santiago limited his mistakes Tuesday, but Detroit lefthander Matt Boyd didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning and the Tigers' bullpen didn't allow a run until the ninth.
Pass the Lysol: Twins make sure clubhouse, hotel clear of germs

Pass the Lysol: Twins make sure clubhouse, hotel clear of germs

After at least a half-dozen Red Sox players were stricken by the flu in the past week, it raised some concerns among Minnesota's players about to share the same locations in Detroit.
Twins coach Hernandez puts new meaning in 'behind the scenes'

Twins coach Hernandez puts new meaning in 'behind the scenes'

Rules limiting the number of coaches in the dugout during games have forced assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez to watch games from the clubhouse -- where he still makes a difference.
Santana plays ace card, leading Twins over Chicago

Santana plays ace card, leading Twins over Chicago

Ervin Santana gave up only two hits and two walks in six shutout innings as the Twins improved their record to an American league-best 5-1 by beating the White Sox.
Can he get a witness? Closer Kintzler had to show he wasn't cheating

Can he get a witness? Closer Kintzler had to show he wasn't cheating

Brandon Kintzler's nail cracked during spring training, but with three days off between outings, it was never a problem. Sunday, it needed some work while he was pitching.
Gaffes add up as Twins take first loss of the season

Gaffes add up as Twins take first loss of the season

The White Sox took advantage of Minnesota's mistakes early, clubbed a couple of homers later, and ended the Twins' nothing-but-winning week.
Twins notes: Molitor shifts 'solid' Buxton to 7th in batting order

Twins notes: Molitor shifts 'solid' Buxton to 7th in batting order

Paul Molitor wanted to make sure Byron Buxton isn't getting too discouraged by his slow start. He discovered he needn't have worried.
Buxton's defense shines as Twins start 4-0 for first time since '87

Buxton's defense shines as Twins start 4-0 for first time since '87

Phil Hughes pitched strong, Miguel Sano started at first base and the Twins outfield defense was highlight-reel-worthy. It added up to a 3-1 victory.
Twins notes: Dozier does homework, ready to run more

Twins notes: Dozier does homework, ready to run more

Twins manager Paul Molitor has essentially given Brian Dozier — who has successfully stolen second base 13 consecutive times — permission to run whenever he likes.
Notes: Duffey adjusting to reliever's role for Twins

Notes: Duffey adjusting to reliever's role for Twins

Consigned to the bullpen after manager Paul Molitor chose Adalberto Mejia for the fifth spot in the rotation, Tyler Duffey is trying to get used to entering a game already in progress.
Opening Day victory a walk in the park for Twins team 'on a mission'

Opening Day victory a walk in the park for Twins team 'on a mission'

The Twins sent 11 batters to the plate in the seventh inning - and scored three times on bases-loaded walks - to break a 1-1 tie with the Royals, and pick up their first Opening Day win since 2008.
Twins plead for open minds as they turn page on 103-loss season

Twins plead for open minds as they turn page on 103-loss season

Hope and renewal are the currency of Opening Day, and while the Twins are trying to sell both, it's not clear they have the inventory on hand to satisfy many of their fans.
Twins' revolving door at shortstop opens to Polanco

Twins' revolving door at shortstop opens to Polanco

When the 23-year-old takes the field Monday, he will become the Twins' 11th Opening Day shortstop in the past 12 years, an amazing list that doesn't even take into account the seven other shortstops who manned the position somewhat regularly during that span.
Breaking down the 2017 Twins roster

Breaking down the 2017 Twins roster

Star Tribune Twins reporter Phil Miller takes a look at the 25 men who'll open the season with the team.
Cleveland Indians remain class of the AL Central

Cleveland Indians remain class of the AL Central

Derek Falvey walked into the Twins' dining room in Fort Myers, Fla., last week, and noticed something foreign, yet eerily familiar on the television: a Cleveland Indians game.
Hector the collector: Twins' pitcher Santiago lives a baseball fan's dream

Hector the collector: Twins' pitcher Santiago lives a baseball fan's dream

The basement of Twins pitcher Hector Santiago's home in the western suburbs of Phoenix looks like a sports bar on "Hoarders," a densely packed Hall of Fame starter kit.
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