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Continued: Hartman: Vikings pass protection needs to improve

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: August 17, 2014 - 12:18 AM

Ex-Twins around the majors

With the Twins trading away Kendrys Morales, Sam Fuld, Kevin Correia and Josh Willingham, the team saved around $8 million in payroll this season. Willingham was due about $1.75 million, Correia $1.5 million, Morales about $4 million. The Twins payroll was at $85.4 million, and they shouldn’t have to take on any additional contracts to raise that number.

Speaking of former Twins, catcher Wilson Ramos is finally healthy for Washington. He hit a walk-off, ground-rule double Saturday to beat Pittsburgh and is hitting .297 with five home runs, 29 RBI and 20 runs scored in 56 games.

On July 13, former Twin Francisco Liriano was 1-7 with a 4.72 ERA for the Pirates, but in six starts since then he has gone 2-2 with a 1.89 ERA and 42 strikeouts over 38 innings, dropping his ERA to 3.78.

Meanwhile, Twins first-round draft pick Nick Gordon continues to have a quality first season with the Elizabethton Twins. In 44 games, Gordon was hitting .282 with a .323 on-base percentage, five doubles, three triples, one home run, 18 RBI and 33 runs scored. Gordon’s batting average ranks 17th in the Appalachian League, and he is just 18 years old.

Sid's Jottings

• Former Gophers and NBA player Bobby Jackson, who was a member of Rick Adelman’s Timberwolves staff last year and was with the current Flip Saunders staff until recently, will not be a member of the 2014-15 Wolves staff. “We’re going in a different direction when it comes to coaches,” Saunders said.

• The fact that the Vikings will share TCF Stadium with the Gophers this season will pose some problems for the Gophers, who had to scrimmage at Bierman Field on Saturday instead of TCF Bank Stadium because of the Vikings-Cardinals preseason game Saturday night. Meanwhile, ESPN believes the best the Gophers can do is duplicate last season’s mark of eight victories.

• Notre Dame made two late local hockey signings in Bo Brauer of Edina and Tony Bretzman of Mendota Heights.

• Former Vikings running back Toby Gerhart played his first preseason game with the Jaguars on Thursday and had six carries for 19 yards and one reception for eight yards in a 20-19 loss to the Bears. In that same game, Jared Allen made his debut for Chicago and had one tackle for a loss, while former Gophers safety Brock Vereen had four tackles.

• New WCHA Commissioner Billy Robertson, states that the WCHA will be moving into their new offices in Edina on Monday just off France Avenue and Interstate 494.

• DeLaSalle basketball standout Jarvis Johnson has his official visits with the Gophers, UNLV and Wisconsin, and Johnson says that he has been in contact with former Cooper standout Rashad Vaughn, who is a freshman at UNLV. “I have been talking to Rashad Vaughn and we are pretty close,” Johnson told “He is telling me that he likes it there and it is pretty comfortable to be there.”

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  • Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was sacked by the Raiders’ Ricky Lumpkin (93) and Justin Cole (46) in the fourth quarter of the preseason opener against the Raiders. The Vikings are trying to get their pass protection to the level it was at back in 2012.

  • Gordon

  • Wolitarsky

  • Kalil

  • Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed a two-point conversion to receiver Jarius Wright in the fourth quarter of Saturday night’s preseason victory over Arizona at TCF Bank Stadium. The rookie also threw two TD passes.

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