Twins continue to monitor relief market

Twins continue to monitor relief market

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Paul Molitor said chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine are continuing to look for ways to improve the roster, particularly the pitching staff.

Molitor acknowledged that the Twins haven't made any major moves this winter outside of signing catcher Jason Castro to a three-year, $24.5 million deal, but Molitor said he could see the Twins adding pitching help late in the offseason.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

First leg of Winter Caravan warmly received

Molitor, Twins players impressed by turnout; Dozier's status foremost on fans' minds

First leg of Winter Caravan warmly received

WILLMAR, Minn. -- Despite the Twins coming off a rough season, the first week of the annual Twins Winter Caravan drew large crowds of passionate fans, especially at each of the night stops.

The first leg, featuring manager Paul Molitor, broadcaster Dick Bremer and relievers Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Pressly, came to a close Thursday with the 15th stop of the week at the Kandi Entertainment Center in Willmar, roughly two hours west of Minneapolis.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB mourns death of Royals pitcher Ventura

MLB mourns death of Royals pitcher Ventura

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. The tragic news was confirmed by his agency, ISE Baseball, and the Royals. Ventura was 25 years old. 

"Our prayers right now are with Yordano's family as we mourn this young man's passing," said Royals general manager Dayton Moore. "He was so young and so talented, full of youthful exuberance and always brought a smile to everyone he interacted with. We will get through this as an organization, but right now is a time to mourn and celebrate the life of Yordano."

Continue Reading

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top spin rates helped Pressly post solid '16 numbers

Top spin rates helped Pressly post solid '16 numbers

ABERDEEN, S.D. -- With a fastball that averages 95 mph, to go along with a wipeout slider and a nasty curveball, it's easy to see Twins reliever Ryan Pressly has impressive stuff.

But with the power of Statcast™, it's possible to further analyze his repertoire, which ranks among the game's best when it comes to spin rates. His average spin rate of 2,572 RPMs on all pitches ranked as the eighth-highest mark in the Majors last year.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins, Phillies unveil shared DR academy

Clubs partner on training facility that will also provide housing for prospects

Twins, Phillies unveil shared DR academy

The Twins officially opened their new baseball academy in the Dominican Republic on Tuesday, hosting a grand opening in Boca Chica with the Phillies, who will share the facility.

The two clubs entered a partnership to help build the $18 million academy, which is housed on 45 aces and features six baseball fields and housing for prospects. It will allow prospects for both teams to live and train at the facility while also participating in education and cultural development programs.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kintzler hoping to expand repertoire in '17

Twins reliever looks to incorporate more offspeed pitches

Kintzler hoping to expand repertoire in '17

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. -- In 2016, only three pitchers threw their fastball more often than Twins reliever Brandon Kintzler,whose repertoire is heavily dependent on his two-seam fastball.

Yet despite throwing his sinker 88 percent of the time, it was one of the most effective pitches in baseball, helping lead to his 61.9 percent ground-ball rate, the eighth-highest mark in the Majors last season. It allowed Kintzler to have a breakout season with the Twins, posting a 3.15 ERA in 54 appearances while registering 17 saves in 20 chances with Glen Perkins out with shoulder surgery.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Gonsalves named tenth-best LHP prospect in MLB

Hader leaps from No. 6 to top of list, Groome slides into No. 2 spot

Gonsalves named tenth-best LHP prospect in MLB

MLBPipeline.com will unveil its 2017 Top 100 Prospects list on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a one-hour show on MLB Network at 8 p.m. ET. Leading up to the release, we look at baseball's top 10 prospects at each position.

Exactly half of last year's Top 10 left-handed pitching prospects list graduated off of prospect lists during the 2016 season. The top three -- Julio Urias, Blake Snell and Steven Matz -- all had large impacts, with Urias even pitching in the postseason. Four of the other five are still on the list, including new No. 1 Josh Hader.

Continue Reading

Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins open up annual Winter Caravan

Questions about Dozier, Sano and pitchers' health lead Day 1

Twins open up annual Winter Caravan

MANKATO, Minn. -- The first day of the annual Twins Winter Caravan kicked off on Monday, and while he's not scheduled to appear on any of the caravan's four legs over the next two weeks, the biggest topic of conversation revolved around second baseman Brian Dozier.

Two different routes left the Twin Cities on Monday, including a route featuring manager Paul Molitor, relievers Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Pressly, and broadcaster Dick Bremer. Fans at stops in cities such as Hutchison, New Ulm and Mankato all had similar questions for Molitor about next season, especially regarding a potential Dozier trade.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago among 4 Twins to avoid arbitration

Right-handers Gibson, Kintzler and Pressly also sign one-year contracts

Santiago among 4 Twins to avoid arbitration

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins avoided arbitration with all four of their eligible players on Friday, signing Hector Santiago, Brandon Kintzler, Kyle Gibson and Ryan Pressly to one-year deals, according to a Major League source. The club has not confirmed the deals.

Santiago agreed at $8 million, Kintzler at $2.925 million, Gibson at $2.9 million and Pressly at $1.125.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Billy Joel to perform at Target Field in July

Billy Joel to perform at Target Field in July

MINNEAPOLIS -- Since opening in 2010, Target Field has welcomed musical acts such as Paul McCartney, Tim McGraw, Kenny Chesney and the Zac Brown Band. It will add to that list when the Twins host legendary musician Billy Joel on July 28, marking his first concert in a Minnesota outdoor stadium.

The Twins made the announcement Thursday in a news conference at Target Field featuring president Dave St. Peter, manager Paul Molitor and first baseman Joe Mauer. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Jan. 20 at 10 a.m. CT, while American Express cardholders have access to a presale that starts Monday at 10 a.m.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins add catcher Gimenez on Minors deal

Twins add catcher Gimenez on Minors deal

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added a veteran catcher on Thursday, signing Chris Gimenez to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

Gimenez, 34, is the second backstop signed by the Twins this offseason, joining Jason Castro, who was inked to a three-year, $24.5 million deal in November. Both are known for their defense, game-calling and pitch-framing skills.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Will Dozier stay, or will he go?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers fans' questions

Inbox: Will Dozier stay, or will he go?

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Brian Dozier sweepstakes should be coming to an end this week, as the Twins want to set a deadline for a potential trade to give the second baseman some peace of mind after the process has dragged on throughout the offseason.

With reports that the Dodgers and the Twins have hit a snag in their trade talks involving Dozier, it seems more likely that he'll will remain in Minnesota heading into this season. The Giants and Braves remain in the mix, but the Dodgers have always been the best trade fit for Dozier given their strong farm system and need for a second baseman.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Vogelsong, Tepesch join Twins on Minors deals

Righties invited to Major League Spring Training

Vogelsong, Tepesch join Twins on Minors deals

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added to their rotation depth Wednesday, signing right-handers Ryan Vogelsong and Nick Tepesch to Minor League deals with invitations to Major League Spring Training.

Vogelsong, 39, has 12 seasons of big league experience with a career 4.48 ERA, but struggled last season with the Pirates, posting a 4.81 ERA with 61 strikeouts and 40 walks in 82 1/3 innings. Vogelsong, though, also missed more than two months after being struck in the face by a pitch from Colorado's Jordan Lyles in May.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hunter, Hawkins join Twins' broadcast crew

Hunter, Hawkins join Twins' broadcast crew

MINNEAPOLIS -- In addition to their duties as special assistants to the baseball operations department, former Twins stars Torii Hunter and LaTroy Hawkins will also serve as part-time analysts for Fox Sports North's broadcasts of Twins games in 2017.

Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven will remain the club's primary analyst alongside play-by-play broadcaster Dick Bremer, but Hunter and Hawkins will rotate into the analyst role along with fellow former Twins Jack Morris and Roy Smalley. It's the first venture into television broadcasting for Hunter and Hawkins, who both retired after the 2015 season.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins might keep Dozier, boost power with FA

Twins might keep Dozier, boost power with FA

MINNEAPOLIS -- While much of the Twins' offseason has centered around whether they plan to trade second baseman Brian Dozier, and their quest to improve the pitching staff, it doesn't mean the new front office isn't looking for ways to add offense as well.

Coming off a 103-loss season, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have spent much of the offseason evaluating the franchise and building out the baseball operations department. But the Twins have also met with several agents for position players throughout the winter, including the representative for outfielder Jose Bautista.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Spring is in the air: First workout dates announced

Despite the frigid temperatures throughout many big league cities, Major League Baseball's announcement Tuesday of the first workout dates of Spring Training should be enough to warm the hearts of baseball fans everywhere.

The following are the first Spring Training workout dates, subject to change, both for pitchers and catchers and full squads of the 30 Major League clubs. 

Continue Reading

Twins announce Minor League managers

Twins announce Minor League managers

MINNEAPOLIS -- Jeff Smith's promotion to first-base coach after serving as manager at Class A Advanced Fort Myers for the past two seasons led to a shakeup among Minnesota's Minor League managers.

Jake Mauer, the brother of Twins first baseman Joe Mauer, was promoted to manage Double-A Chattanooga after managing at Class A Cedar Rapids the past four seasons. Mauer, in his 10th year coaching in the organization, replaces former Twins first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, who returns to manage at Fort Myers to take over for Smith and be closer to home. Mientkiewicz previously managed at Fort Myers from 2013-14 before moving up to Chattanooga for the past two seasons.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Several Twins rotation candidates look to improve in 2017

Several Twins rotation candidates look to improve in 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- Other than veteran right-hander Ervin Santana, the Twins' rotation struggled in 2016, combining to post a Major League-worst 5.39 ERA.

The Twins used 11 starters, and only Santana had an ERA of less than 5.00. And no starter reached 10 wins. Improving the pitching staff has been a priority this offseason, but outside of adding defensively-minded catcher Jason Castro and selecting Justin Haley in the Rule 5 Draft, Minnesota hasn't done much to add to its existing rotation.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Sano ready to grab hold of third base for Twins

Sano ready to grab hold of third base for Twins

MINNEAPOLIS -- With the Twins deciding to outright veteran Trevor Plouffe this offseason, third base is finally open for Miguel Sano to take over full-time.

Sano, who came up as a shortstop and third baseman in the Minors, has played only 51 of his 196 games in the Majors at third because he was blocked by Plouffe. Sano instead saw time at designated hitter before moving to right field early last season.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pragmatic approach will define Twins in 2017

Organization's goal is 'measurable' improvement with eye on long-term success

Pragmatic approach will define Twins in 2017

MINNEAPOLIS -- After losing 103 games to finish with the worst record in the Majors in 2016, the Twins are looking to build a better foundation in '17 with an eye on building a long-term winner under the direction of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine.

With a young core already in place and several veterans still on the roster, the Twins aren't in a full rebuild, but they also know how difficult it can be to go from losing 103 games to being in contention the next year. The key will be turning around a rotation that has been a major issue recently, including posting the worst record in the Majors last year.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

For Twins, 2016 brought challenges, change

New leadership arrives; 103-loss campaign had bright spots in Dozier, young talent

For Twins, 2016 brought challenges, change

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins entered the year with optimism buoyed by their surprising 2015 campaign, but they leave '16 ready to turn the page on a disappointing season that led to changes in the organization's leadership.

With expectations higher coming off an 83-win season, the Twins couldn't shake an 0-9 start, and longtime general manager Terry Ryan was dismissed shortly after the All-Star break. Minnesota sputtered down the stretch, finishing the year with 103 losses to post the worst record in the Majors.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Rosario to play for PR in WBC

Source: Rosario to play for PR in WBC

Puerto Rico added a pair of Major Leaguers to its World Baseball Classic roster on Tuesday. Mets pitcher Seth Lugo and Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario have committed to play for Puerto Rico in the 2017 tournament, sources told MLB.com's Jon Paul Morosi.

Puerto Rico opens WBC play in Pool D against host Mexico, Italy and Venezuela at Estadio Charros de Jalisco from March 9-12.

Continue Reading

David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Most amazing American League games of 2016

Most amazing American League games of 2016

The Indians came thisclose to bringing a World Series title home to their fans and to the American League after an amazing 2016 season. Taking the Chicago Cubs to the 10th inning of the seventh game of the Fall Classic was just about as memorable as it gets.

But the Indians were one of 15 teams in the AL, and each one had its own Game of the Year. In consultation with the MLB.com beat reporters for every team, here are the best individual games for each AL club during another fantastic year in Major League Baseball:

Continue Reading

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com based in Seattle. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inbox: Hot Stove additions on horizon?

Beat reporter Rhett Bollinger answers Twins fans' questions

Inbox: Hot Stove additions on horizon?

MINNEAPOLIS -- It's almost 2017, and the Twins are ready to turn the page on a disappointing 2016.

But there's optimism about a new front office led by Derek Falvey and Thad Levine, who hope to build the Twins into a consistent winner. So far this offseason, the club hasn't made a big splash outside of signing catcher Jason Castro to a three-year deal. There's still plenty of time before Spring Training for the Twins to make moves, and that leads to the first question of this week's Inbox:

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gibson reflects on holiday traditions

Gibson reflects on holiday traditions

MINNEAPOLIS -- The holidays are always a busy time for Twins right-hander Kyle Gibson and his wife, Elizabeth, who make their offseason home in Fort Myers, Fla.

But this year is even more hectic, as Elizabeth is due with their second child on Dec. 29. The Gibsons usually travel to Indiana to see his side of the family or Missouri for her side, but this year they're staying at home for the first time with their daughter, Hayden, who turns three in March.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins hire Jeff Smith, Pickler to join staff

Twins hire Jeff Smith, Pickler to join staff

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins rounded out their coaching staff under manager Paul Molitor on Wednesday, officially announcing the hirings of Jeff Smith as first-base coach and Jeff Pickler as a Major League coach and coordinator of Major League development.

The Twins also announced that assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez will remain in his current role, but will no longer be in uniform on the bench. Hernandez's duties will essentially remain the same, as he'll continue to instruct hitters in the batting cages and with video.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Twins add corner infield depth with signings

Twins add corner infield depth with signings

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins added to their corner infield depth on Wednesday, signing first baseman/third baseman Matt Hague to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. They also re-signed first baseman/outfielder Reynaldo Rodriguez to a Minor League deal.

Hague, the 2015 International League MVP while in the Blue Jays' organization, is coming back after a one-year stint with Japan's Hanshin Tigers. He hit .231/.339/.346 with two homers, six doubles and 11 RBIs in 31 games in Japan.

Continue Reading

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Photo: Snowy ballpark wishes you 'Happy Holidays'

|
Photo: Snowy ballpark wishes you 'Happy Holidays'

There's a time in the distant future, as the Internet of Things develops beyond WiFi-enabled crockpots, when ballparks will become sentient and talk to fans no differently than the team staff that work inside them. Ballparks will say things like "Welcome" and "Good season, huh?" and, in the offseason, they'll wish their fans happy holidays.

Continue Reading on Cut4