Staff Directory 6370604

Phil Miller

Reporter | Minnesota Twins and MLB

Phil Miller has covered the Twins for the Star Tribune since 2013. Previously, he covered the University of Minnesota football team, and from 2007-09, he covered the Twins for the Pioneer Press.

A native of Pekin, Ill., Miller attended the University of Utah, and worked for 26 years at The Salt Lake Tribune, spending five years as assistant sports editor, and later as a reporter covering communities, college football and basketball, and the NBA's Utah Jazz.
Recent content from Phil Miller
Former Twins reliever Craig Breslow didn't quite make it in medical school, but that opened other professional paths — like being named the top base

How a former Twins reliever and nomadic pro became boss of the Red Sox

Craig Breslow pitched for the Twins in 2008, 2009 and 2017. He's found even more success as a baseball executive — and nearly landed in Minnesota's front office.
When Twins infielder Kyle Farmer got in the way of Matt Chapman of the Blue Jays to apply this tag last season at Target Field, it was perfectly legal

Out of the way! Twins infielders learn new rules to improve safety.

Last year Kyle Farmer was happy to get in the way of a baserunner so he could apply a tag, but that won't slide under new rules meant to improve safety this season.
A sweeping sinker and a fantastic attitude are just two of the attributes the Twins believe reliever Daniel Duarte can bring to the 40-man roster.

Despite cruel twists of career, Twins relief hopeful still optimitic

Daniel Duarte, 27, played for 11 minor league teams over nine years before landing with the Reds in 2022. Last season he was pitching great, then he felt another twinge in his arm. The Twins still see his potential.
Max Kepler is coming off one of his best seasons with the Twins with 24 homers, 22 doubles and a career-high .260 batting average.

'Old' Kepler takes stock of his status as Twins' elder statesman

Max Kepler is still young, even for a ballplayer, but he's now the longest-tenured player on the Twins roster. In the final year of his contract, he's starting to believe in his talent after a blistering second half.
Twins pitcher Brock Stewart spent the offseason getting ready to deliver strong showings as he did last season.

Can Stewart stay healthy — and as effective as he was last year?

Righthander Brock Stewart, who dominated out of the bullpen for the Twins last season when he wasn't sidelined by a forearm injury, ramped up his offseason schedule.
The Twins were able to make Pablo López an All-Star with the help of some mechanical tweaks. Can they have a similar impact on López's former roomma

How the Twins used analytics to get free agent Brigham to the bullpen

As a free agent this offseason, reliever Jeff Brigham reached out to his former roommate, Pablo López, for intel on the Twins. Then the front office showed him a blueprint to improve his career.
Matthew Spangler Jr., 9, of Miami waited in the rain Sunday with his mother, Reyna Spangler. to get autographs from Twins players at Hammond Stadium i

Twins forced to hold first full-squad workout indoors

A rainy day in Florida didn't keep the Twins from getting their work in.
Byron Buxton is ready to return to the outfield this season with the Twins after starting exclusively at designated hitter in 2023.

Buxton grateful for 2023 as a learning experience

Although delighted to return to center field, Buxton is determined to find the positives in last year's rough season.
MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, speaking in Tampa on Thursday, said the need for teams to provide a streaming broadcast option — which the Twins’ on

Manfred pushes streaming broadcast option for all teams, including Twins

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred isn't giving up on traditional cable TV packages, but wants baseball fans — especially those who have cut the cable cord — to be able to watch any game at a reasonable price.
Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers in the batting cage on Wednesday at spring training in Fort Myers, Fla.

Twins' Jeffers eager to pick up where he left off after a breakout 2023

After the best season of his young career, Ryan Jeffers joins fellow catchers and pitchers in reporting to spring training as a fresh season gets under way.
Walker Jenkins was the Twins' first-round pick in 2023.

'Freak of nature.' Jeffers makes bold prediction about top Twins draft pick

Walker Jenkins was the fifth overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft and has been working out with Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers, who sees a star in the making.
"We’re sensitive to the fact that some of our fans are finding it difficult to watch our games," said Twins President Dave St. Peter.

'It's not perfect.' Twins know TV contract isn't what fans wanted

Unable to put together a streaming service deal that makes financial sense and gives fans better access to games, the club is back with Bally Sports North for one more year.
Expect the Bally Sports North signs to remain around Target Field this season.

It's official: Twins will stay on Bally Sports North for 2024

A federal bankruptcy judge in Houston approved Diamond's bid to stay in business, though no mention was made of how much BSN will pay the Twins.
Joe Pohlad celebrated with players after the Twins defeated Toronto to win their Wild-Card Series in October.

As franchise values rise, would the Pohlads sell the Twins?

Carl Pohlad's children and grandchildren have many business endeavors outside of baseball. The family has an answer for those who wonder about the depth of its interest in baseball.
Cleveland Indians' Carlos Santana gestures to teammates as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run during the fourth inning of the team's b

Carlos Santana has bedeviled the Twins; now they are set to sign the veteran slugger

An All-Star in Cleveland, the first baseman had 23 home runs and 86 RBI last season playing for the Pirates and the Brewers.
Fans watched the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Twins at Hammond Stadium prior to last year's spring training being shut down.

Twins get reliever from Cincinnati off waivers

Righthander Daniel Duarte pitched in 31 games for Cincinnati last season and also spent part of the season in Class AAA.
Bally Sports North will televise Twins games again this season.

Twins games will be televised by Bally Sports North again in 2024

A direct-to-consumer streaming option, which the Twins said they were determined to create this year, will apparently have to wait while MLB develops a leaguewide strategy.
Byron Buxton signed autographs for Twins fans on Saturday at Target Field's TwinsFest.

Buxton ready to play center field again: 'Simple as that'

Byron Buxton is excited to get back into position for the Twins this season and says he's back to hitting with power.
Joe Mauer greeted fans during TwinsFest at Target Field on Saturday in what he described as a "very emotional" experience.

Hundreds of Twins fans congratulate Mauer on Hall of Fame selection

The St. Paul-born catcher attended TwinsFest days after getting word he's headed to Cooperstown this summer.
Twins pitcher Pablo López recently delivered loads of baseball equipment to children in Cabimas in his native Venezuela. The player with a reputation

López on Twins leadership: 'Willing to help, but willing to accept help'

After a strong 2023 season, the veteran pitcher already has been named the Opening Day starter by Twins manager Rocco Baldelli.
Joe Mauer signs the spot on Thursday where his plaque will be added at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Mauer tours Hall of Fame and says, 'It's starting to sink in'

During a visit to Cooperstown with the other newly elected members, Joe Mauer said he's been hearing from familiar old friends -- and famous new acquaintances.
Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer tipped his hat to the cheering crowd before his first at bat on the final game of the season.

First Class: Minnesota's Mauer elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Joe Mauer, the Minnesota Twins legend from St. Paul, joins an exclusive club as the third catcher elected on the first ballot to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Twins press conference to announce the signing of No. 1 overall draft pick Joe Mauer, a Cretin-Derham Hall grad who will head to the club's Elizabetht

Twins in the Hall of Fame: Can you name them all?

Kirby and Killer. The fabulous four from St. Paul. With Joe Mauer being elected, the list of former Twins in the Hall of Fame now stands at 13. Here they are:
Joe Mauer flashed a smile in 2009, when the Twins catcher won AL MVP honors.

Mauer's likely 'beautiful moment': the call from the Hall

Early reports suggest Joe Mauer will join fellow St. Paul legend Paul Molitor in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Johnny Bench, a 1989 first-ballot inductee, did an impersonation of Harry Caray as he sang "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" during Hall of Fame induction

Mauer would join exclusive club by making Hall of Fame on first try

Only two catchers have ever been elected by Baseball Writers' Association of America members to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
The one sure way to watch the Twins: head to the ballpark.

Twins TV picture still blurry after 'surprise' deal involving Amazon

Amazon and Diamond Sports came to an agreement that took baseball by surprise. It's another curveball for the Twins and their fans, who want to know more about the future of team broadcasts.
Joe Mauer spoke during his induction into the Twins Hall of Fame at Target Field on Aug. 5.

The votes are in ... will Joe Mauer make the Baseball Hall of Fame?

The former Twins catcher and first baseman was tracking well among ballots made public in his first year of candidacy.
The Twins signed former Royals reliever Josh Staumont, who is coming off thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, to a one-year contract Wednesday.

Twins sign veteran reliever to one-year deal

Former Royals righthander Josh Staumont was sidelined after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last season.
Twins fans flocked to Target Field for the playoffs in October. Now those fans await news about the team’s television home in 2024.

Bally Sports North is still in the picture for Twins' television rights

A Jan. 10 bankruptcy trial in Houston could play a role in who televises the Twins' games in 2024.
Niko Goodrum

Veteran utilityman Niko Goodrum returns to Twins on minor-league deal

Goodrum was drafted by the Twins in 2010 and made his major league debut for them in 2017.
Bailey Ober was among six younger Twins players who shared in a Major League Baseball bonus pool.

Ober leads six young Twins players getting big bonuses from MLB

The bonuses come from a $50 million pre-arbitration pool distributed to players who win, or receive votes for, the Rookie of the Year, MVP, Cy Young and All-MLB Team awards.
Provus: Changes coming to Twins broadcasts factor in taking TV job

Provus: Changes coming to Twins broadcasts factor in taking TV job

Cory Provus said the Twins approached him in mid-October about moving from radio to TV to replace Dick Bremer. But how the games will be available on TV and the web still hasn't been settled.
Bally Sports North will continue to televise Timberwolves games this season, and likely those of the Wild. But Twins broadcasts are up in the air.

Bally Sports North will televise Wolves; Twins' TV future unclear

A federal bankruptcy judge's ruling keeps Wolves games on TV this season, and likely those of the Wild. But the Twins could face a financial hit.
Remember those Twins? Yennier Cano finished second in MLB in holds with the Orioles, Mitch Garver won a World Series in Texas and Josh Donaldson hit .

Remember them? Tracking 107 ex-Twins who played elsewhere in 2023.

Luis Arraez won a batting title in Miami, Mitch Garver, Robbie Grossman and Martín Pérez won World Series rings with Texas, and that's just the top of the iceberg.
Sonny Gray and Carlos Correa each won two awards in voting by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Twins 2023 honors: Gray, Correa win two awards each

Sonny Gray was named the Twins' MVP as well as the team's best pitcher. Carlos Correa and four other players were honored in voting by the Twin Cities chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Royce Lewis and Max Kepler should be happy teammates again next season.

Who stays? Who leaves? Player-by-player look at the 2024 Twins roster

Star Tribune baseball writer Phil Miller goes through the Twins roster with an eye to who'll be back and who's likely to end up elsewhere.
Reliever Caleb Thielbar took the loss for the Twins on Wednesday night by giving up two runs in the fourth inning to the Houston Astros.

Baldelli defends unconventional 'bullpen game' in Twins' playoff loss

The only Twins lefthander to pitch, Caleb Thielbar, was the victim of a two-run homer by José Abreu. Starter Joe Ryan lasted just 26 pitches.
Byron Buxton popped out to first base in his only at-bat of the postseason. Buxton hadn’t appeared in a game for the Twins since Aug. 1.

Buxton back on roster for Game 4, doesn't come through as pinch-hitter

An injury to Alex Kirilloff gave the Twins a chance to activate Byron Buxton for the playoff roster. His at-bat came in the eighth inning, with the Twins trailing by a run.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray (54) was taken out of the game by manager Rocco Baldelli after giving up a home run to Astros third basema

Astros crush Twins; Gray pummeled, error helps Houston to big lead

With two games at home and Sonny Gray on the mound, the Twins' route to the AL Championship Series seemed sunny and bright. Now? Everywhere they look, there are shadows after a 9-1 loss to Houston.
Twins third baseman Kyle Farmer went all out to try to catch a foul ball — he just missed it — on Sunday in Houston.

Winning puts Twins 'in the driver's seat' as ALDS comes to Minnesota

Beating the Astros on Sunday night has turned the ALDS into a best-of-three series and given the Twins home-field advantage going into Tuesday afternoon's game.
The Twins and Astros lined up Sunday for the national anthem at Minute Maid Park.

Houston rarity: Minute Maid roof stays open for Game 2 against Twins

MLB overruled the Astros and said the second game of the American League Division Series would be played in open air.
Minnesota Twins center fielder Michael A. Taylor catches a fly out hit by Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena during the sixth inning in Game 1 of an American

Twins center fielder Taylor impresses teammates, but not himself

A former Gold Glove winner in the outfield, Michael A. Taylor has been an unassuming backbone of the Twins defense this season.
Astros DH Yordan Alvarez greets third base coach Gary Pettis after hitting the second of his two home runs during Game 1 of an American League Divisio

Astros roll to early lead, hold on to beat Twins in Game 1 of the ALDS

Home runs from Jorge Polanco and Royce Lewis got the Twins within striking distance. But Yordan Alvarez homered twice and Justin Verlander threw six shutout innings for the defending World Series champions.
Carlos Correa singled home the Twins’ first run in Wednesday’s 2-0 victory over Toronto at Target Field.

It's October. In Houston. And Correa returns, this time as a Twin.

Carlos Correa was an early part of Houston's dynasty before being tugged into Minnesota twice in the past two years.
Twins pitchers Pablo López and Bailey Ober worked out at Target Field on Thursday.

Twins starter for Game 1 in Houston will be Ryan ... or Ober or Maeda

The Twins are still considering the possibilities against the Astros, who have already set Justin Verlander as their starter.
Minnesota Twins pitcher Sonny Gray (54) and Carlos Correa celebrate after their pickoff play in the fifth inning.

How Correa masterminded that critical pickoff play to preserve Twins' lead

Winning Twins pitcher Sonny Gray credited shortstop Carlos Correa with the idea that ended a Toronto rally.
Jhoan Duran has his hand looked at by trainers during the ninth inning as they repaired a small cut suffered while he was warming up.

Duran gets finger repaired, then mows down Blue Jays to end series

Jhoan Duran's thumbnail had somehow sliced a small cut into the side of his thumb as he warmed up, and blood was oozing out.
Lewis' momentous homers help Twins snap historic losing streak, win Game 1

Lewis' momentous homers help Twins snap historic losing streak, win Game 1

Royce Lewis returned from the injured list with two home runs, Pablo López got the win over the Blue Jays and the Twins snapped their 18-game playoff losing streak in front of a raucous crowd at Target Field.
Twins fans waved their Homer Hankies before Tuesday’s game at Target Field.

Twins-Toronto Game 1 recap: Lewis is player of the game

Royce Lewis homered in each of his first two at-bats Tuesday, powering the Twins to a 3-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 1 of their AL wild-card series.
Target Field is prepped for the Wild Card Series that begins Tuesday. The Minnesota Twins worked out at Target Field in Minneapolis Monday, October 2,

Twins playoff roster update: Correa, Lewis likely; Buxton complicated

Royce Lewis could be at his normal position or designated hitter, while Carlos Correa said he will definitely be at shortstop. Byron Buxton's status is less clear.
Target Field is prepped for the Wild Card Series that begins Tuesday. The Minnesota Twins worked out at Target Field in Minneapolis Monday, October 2,

Power hitters, power arms: Twins believe they have postseason formula

"The goal is to win the championship — but also to give the fans something to root for, to celebrate," said Game 1 starter Pablo López.
Carlos Correa has tasted champagne plenty of times: he’s played in 79 postseason games.

Twins players have deep playoff experience. Will that help them go deep in playoffs?

The 2023 Twins have played in 217 playoff games in their careers. They have won World Series. And soon they will try to use this experience to end a historic postseason losing streak.
Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals, 4/27/12. (left to right) Twin Carl Pavano pitched to the Royals in the first inning.] Bruce Bisping/Star Tribu

World Series champions on Twins postseason rosters

The 2023 Twins have four players who have previously won World Series on the roster.
Twins pitcher Kenta Maeda hands the ball to manager Rocco Baldelli before leaving in the eighth inning on Thursday.

Will Twins use Maeda as a reliever in wild-card series?

Veteran righthander Kenta Maeda could still be a starter, as manager Rocco Baldelli hasn't decided on who will get the ball if there's a Game 3.
Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Luis Medina delivers during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Thursday, Sept

Thursday's Twins-Oakland game recap

Oakland righthander Luis Medina gave up one run on three hits over six innings to cap off his rookie season.
Twins first baseman Alex Kirilloff took the throw to retire Oakland’s Lawrence Butler after a grounder during Thursday’s game at Target Field.

Twins lose home finale, will be No. 3 seed in AL playoffs

When the Twins return to Target Field next week, figure the intensity to be exponentially higher than the sleepy, playing-out-the-string feel of this getaway matinee.
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Ryan Jeffers waas congratulated in the dugout after he knocked a two run homer in the sixth inning to tie the game.

Jeffers homers to trigger another Twins victory over Oakland

The Twins are now 12-0 this year, and 18-1 over the past two seasons, when Ryan Jeffers homers.
“If we’re on base a lot, if we’re going to walk a lot more, even if it comes at the expense of striking out more, a lot of times, I think you’

For Twins, bevy of strikeouts looking just the price to pay for plate discipline

The Twins easily lead the majors in called third strikes taken, but they don't consider that to be a crisis or arguably even a problem.
Twins righthander Pablo López, making his final start of the regular season Wednesday night, gave up three runs in 4⅓ innings. He struck out six.

Wednesday's Twins-Oakland game recap

A quick look back at Wednesday night's game, a 6-4 victory for the Twins over the Oakland Athletics.
Royce Lewis (shown this month against Texas) took part in a simulated game before the Twins’ Wednesday contest against the Athletics at Target Field

Twins' Lewis expresses optimism about return after simulated game

Royce Lewis, who suffered a strained left hamstring last week, is swinging but not yet fielding or running as he bids to join the Twins' playoff roster.
Twins pitcher Sonny Gray allowed only four hits and one run Saturday but was charged with the loss.

Gray turns in another great performance but Twins lose 1-0 to Angels

Saturday marked the fifth time that Sonny Gray, whose record is now 8-8, has earned a quality start and walked away charged with a loss.
Twins first baseman Donovan Solano (39) fielded a ball in the ninth inning against the Angels on Saturday at Target Field.

Celebrations over, Twins keep eye on postseason

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli says the team will be strategic in the last seven games of the season as it seeks a long playoff run.
Los Angeles Angels second baseman Michael Stefanic (38) is tripped by Minnesota Twins center fielder Andrew Stevenson (45) as throws to first for the

Saturday's Twins-Angels game recap

Kenny Rosenberg pitched five shutout innings to earn a victory for the Angels.
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kenta Maeda (18) and other Twins players celebrate with champagne in the locker room after clentched the American Lea

Playing 'best baseball,' Twins beat Angels to clinch AL Central title

The Twins are the champions of the AL Central for the ninth time, and third time in the past five seasons. For the first time since 2010, they celebrated at home.
Royce Lewis has been placed on the 10-day injured list.

Lewis on injured list with hamstring injury; Luplow returns to Twins

Royce Lewis was put on the injured list because of a hamstring pull, but the team hopes he'll be ready for the playoffs. Jordan Luplow was recalled from St. Paul.
Joey Gallo of the Twins argued a strikeout call with umpire Bill Miller on July 25 at Target Field.

How the Twins are handling their march to MLB strikeout history

The Twins strike out in 29.6% of at-bats. They will shatter the MLB record for strikeouts in a season. They're also scoring runs and likely to win the division. So, should we care?
Byron Buxton’s balky knee continues to keep him away from action as the Twins head toward a possible playoff berth.

Buxton back? Cortisone shot in knee makes return to Twins possible

Head athletic trainer Nick Paparesta is confident the latest treatment plan will work as the Twins near the end of the regular season.
The Rays’ Randy Arozarena, right, celebrated after he hit a go-ahead solo home run with two outs in the ninth inning Wednesday at Target Field. Tamp

Twins fall to Rays as Jax surrenders ninth-inning homer for 10th loss

After trailing by four early, the Twins tied the score, but the Rays' Randy Arozarena crushed a homer with two outs in the ninth inning for a 5-4 win.
Twins first baseman Alex Kirilloff catches a throw from third baseman Royce Lewis to retire the Rays’ Randy Arozarena on a fourth-inning groundout.

Wednesday's Twins-Tampa Bay recap

Randy Arozarena's solo home run in the ninth inning broke a tie and clinched the game for the Rays.
The Twins’ Willi Castro hit a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the seventh inning Tuesday at Target Field.

Clutch Castro's two-run homer sends Twins past Rays, magic number to 10

Tuesday was "Remember me?" night at Target Field — but while Joe Ryan and Zack Littell started against their former teams, Twins reliever Louie Varland stole the win.
Twins relief pitcher Jhoan Duran, left, and center fielder Willi Castro celebrated the team’s 3-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday at Targ

Tuesday's Twins-Tampa Bay recap

Willi Castro delivered the key blow, a two-run homer in the seventh inning that was the difference in the 3-2 victory
Twins starting pitcher Sonny Gray conspired with Carlos Correa before the game to try a pickoff play on Monday against the Rays, and it worked out as

Gray, Correa concocted a pickoff plan, and it worked like a charm vs. Rays

Twins pitcher Sonny Gray and shortstop Carlos Correa sized up Tampa Bay's lineup Monday, and the situation presented itself when Jose Siri got caught off second.
Tampa Bay Rays' Josh Lowe, right, celebrates after hitting an RBI single during the first inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins, Monda

Struggles mount from the get-go as Twins lose, again, to Tampa Bay

Sonny Gray couldn't complete five innings and the bullpen didn't fare any better as the Twins remained winless against one of the best teams in the AL.
Matt Wallner (38) of the Minnesota Twins in the fourth inning Tuesday, August 15, 2023, Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • carlo

Mired in 9-for-53 slump, Wallner gets rare day off with Twins

Manager Rocco Baldelli said he thought the rookie might be "a swing away" from figuring out what's going wrong at the plate.
Atlanta outfielder Eddie Rosario has a chance to play on the top two home running hitting teams of all time.

Atlanta on pace to break Bomba Squad's 2019 home run record

The Twins and Yankees fought for the record until the final games of the 2019 regular season; the Braves hope to claim that mark by October.