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Twins Insider

Twins beat writers La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller of the Star Tribune join Michael Rand every week to turn the marathon of a baseball season into a series of short sprints. The Twins are worth talking about, and we hope you'll listen.

EPISODE 44
October 9
Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi talks to reporters during a news conference during the ALDS.

Podcast: Things the Twins must do to address pitching as offseason looms

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to break down the Twins as they head into the offseason sooner than expected after a three-game sweep by the Yankees. The series highlighted a need for high-end pitching. How can the Twins get more of it, and what will they prioritize this offseason?
EPISODE 43
October 6
Twin reliever Tyler Duffey reacted after New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, rear, knocked a grand slam home run in the third inning.

Podcast: After poor play and worse decisions in New York, can Twins respond?

Michael Rand and Phil Miller break down the lopsided weekend in New York, which saw the Twins outscored 18-6 on the way to a 2-0 ALDS hole. The Twins were outclassed in both games, and a handful of curious decisions by manager Rocco Baldelli contributed to the mess. Can the Twins, resilient all season, make a series of it back at Target Field on Monday?
EPISODE 42
October 4
Yankee Stadium will host Games 1 and 2

Podcast: Live from New York, listen to a Twins Game 1 breakdown

La Velle E. Neal III checks in from New York with Michael Rand as the Twins prepare to start the playoffs against the Yankees. They break down the 25-player postseason roster and try to figure out how the Twins are going to piece together 27 outs per game.
EPISODE 41
October 2
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli speaks to the media during a press conference.

Listen: The Twins aren't intimidated, but will they beat the Yankees?

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss how confident the Twins are -- or at least say they are -- heading into the American League Division Series in New York. Should they fear the Yankees? Will they ever name a Game 1 starter?
EPISODE 40
October 1
Twins third baseman Luis Arraez is taken from the game after an injury during the seventh inning

Listen: Best guess is Luis Arraez is on the ALDS roster for Twins

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand after a news-filled, season-ending road trip. They try to sort out the Twins' playoff roster.
EPISODE 39
September 26
Minnesota Twins celebrate after the Twins clinched the AL Central, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Detroit. The Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1, a

Listen: A Twins celebration to remember -- and a pivot to playoff strategy

Jim Souhan was on the scene in Detroit when the Twins clinched their first AL Central title since 2010. He checks in with Michael Rand as they discuss the Twins' earnest but business-like celebration as well as looming questions now that October baseball is official.
EPISODE 38
September 25
Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi

Listen: Is Jake Odorizzi the favorite to start Game 1 of a playoff series?

Phil Miller is in Detroit, where he joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins on the verge of clinching the AL Central. Along with that are two big questions that emerged from Tuesday's win: Is Jake Odorizzi in line to be a Game 1 starter, and is Kyle Gibson pitching his way into the postseason mix?
EPISODE 37
September 24
Texas Rangers' Nomar Mazara jogs to the dugout as Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Tyler Duffey (21) celebrates getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fly out wi

Listen: Completely remade bullpen has become a strength for Twins

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand talk about the 180 the Twins have pulled with their bullpen this season. Remember Blake Parker? Adalberto Mejia? Those guys (and others) were supposed to be big contributors. They're long gone, and mostly in-house candidates have stepped up in their place.
EPISODE 36
September 20
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) threw a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the top of the second inning.

Listen: Did Kyle Gibson pitch himself off the Twins' postseason roster?

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins' comeback victory Thursday and Kyle Gibson's five-out start, which could jeopardize his spot on the playoff roster. If he's not in the mix, what does the playoff pitching staff look like?
EPISODE 35
September 18
Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) carries Minnesota Twins second baseman Ronald Torreyes (74) after their walk-off win. ] LEILA NAVIDI �

Listen: Marveling at another comeback and wondering who is the Twins' MVP

Chip Scoggins joins Michael Rand to talk about another big night for the resilient Twins, who cut their magic number to seven with a 9-8 victory over the White Sox. Also: A bold idea for the postseason rotation and a question: Who is the Twins' MVP this season?
EPISODE 34
September 16
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano looks up after hitting a Grand Slam in the eighth inning in the second baseball game of a baseball doubleheader against t

Listen: Did weekend in Cleveland provide blueprint for Twins in playoffs?

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand after covering the Twins' big weekend series victory in Cleveland.
EPISODE 33
September 13
Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) raced down the first base line after hitting a double in the sixth inning.

Listen: Who's still hurt, who will play for Twins in Cleveland?

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand from Cleveland to discuss the Twins' mounting health challenges and to update fans on which players could or should be back in the lineup for a key series starting Friday.
EPISODE 32
September 11
Center fielder Byron Buxton is one of several Twins who have missed significant playing time this season because of injuries.

Listen: Byron Buxton injury alters postseason landscape for resilient Twins

Jim Souhan and Michael Rand talk about what Byron Buxton's season-ending injury means for the Twins' postseason hopes, dissect their pitching options without Michael Pineda and try to calm down fans who think anything less than a World Series would be a disappointment.
EPISODE 31
September 9
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Michael Pineda (35) aftr giving up a two run homer to the Chicago White Sox Jose Abreu in the third inning. ] JEFF WH

Listen: Can the Twins survive rash of injuries and Pineda suspension?

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discuss the Twins' dicey next six games and their mounting absences, among other topics,
EPISODE 30
September 5
Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Boston's Mookie Betts during the second inning

Listen: Twins' division lead is comfortable, but feeling about Berrios isn't

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand on the latest Twins Insider podcast to talk about the respect the Twins are getting in Boston and around the league. Plus plenty of talk about concern over Sam Dyson's arm trouble (moderate to low) and another ineffective Jose Berrios outing (high).
EPISODE 29
September 3
Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol reacts after the team's 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in

Listen: Can the Twins nail down division during critical 12-game stretch?

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins opening up a 5.5-game lead as they begin a 12-game stretch against winning teams -- including six against Cleveland. The home run record has been broken. The bullpen is shaping up. Brusdar Graterol is here. It's time to make the final push to October.
EPISODE 28
August 30
Twins center fielder Byron Buxton

Listen: With Twins injuries mounting, will reinforcements help soon?

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discuss the banged-up Twins, who didn't have four key regulars in their Thursday lineup. They also analyzed which players will be called up when rosters expand Sunday and wondered: Is Martin Perez making a bid to be in the October rotation?
EPISODE 27
August 25
Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) celebrated with designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) after Sano's 3-run home run in the bottom of the fif

Listen: The Twins have become the Yankees, and maybe that's OK

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss the Twins' 3-3 home stand, during which they actually increased their lead on Cleveland. ... These Twins aren't pitching well and aren't playing good defense, but they can sure hit. It's like rooting for the Yankees. ... A Byron Buxton injury update ... and reinforcements are on the the way soon.
EPISODE 25
August 22
Listen: Luis Arraez is a 22-year-old hit machine

Listen: Luis Arraez is a 22-year-old hit machine

Chip Scoggins and Michael Rand discuss Twins rookie Luis Arraez, who has drawn raves for his .341 batting average and approach at the plate. He's been a huge surprise in an already charmed season for the Twins, drawing praise from the likes of Rod Carew and the respect of opposing managers.
EPISODE 24
August 22
A squirrel interrupted the Twins-White Sox game for the second straight night on Tuesday.

Listen: Squirrel mania! (And in praise of Nelson Cruz)

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to discuss how the Twins have embraced the Target Field squirrel and how Nelson Cruz keeps pounding baseballs.
EPISODE 23
August 19
Minnesota Twins' Jorge Polanco (11) and Luis Arraez (2) celebrate after Polanco scored during the eighth inning of the team's baseball game against th

Listen: Twins still have issues, but 5-1 road trip sets them up to win

On the latest Twins Insider podcast, Michael Rand and Phil Miller discuss: *The much-maligned bullpen saved the day over the weekend. *How worried should we be about Jose Berrios? *The Twins prove again that they will crush bad pitching. *How likely is a Brusdar Graterol call-up? *26 of 38 against the White Sox, Tigers and Royals.
EPISODE 23
May 8, 2018
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Fernando Romero works during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals Monday, May 7, 2018,

Listen: Fernando Romero has Twins on a roll

La Velle E. Neal and Michael Rand break down Fernando Romero's sizzling first two starts for the Twins, try to figure out when their key injured players will return and delve into the Fernando Rodney Experience.
EPISODE 21
October 3, 2017
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana gestures after responding to questions during a baseball news conference Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in New Y

Listen: Here's the Twins' blueprint to finally beat the Yankees

Can these confident Twins do what their predecessors could not and beat the Yankees in the playoffs?
EPISODE 21
June 2, 2017
The Twins' 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

Listen: Who do you trust out of the Twins' bullpen right now?

Intro: Breaking down the Twins' bullpen woes; 18:00: MLB draft talk; 26:00: Why do the Angels have so many former Twins, and should they be concerned?
EPISODE 20
May 25, 2017
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana (54) celebrates with coaches and teammates after closing out a baseball game against the Baltimore Orio

Listen: Are the Twins for real? What does La Velle E. Neal III think?

Twins beat writer La Velle E. Neal joins Michael Rand as they dissect the Twins' surprising 25-18 start and try to answer the fundamental question: is this team for real?