MINNEAPOLIS -- Third baseman Trevor Plouffe, who has been out since July 2 with a fractured left rib, has progressed to hitting off a tee, fielding ground balls and participating in running drills, and he could head out on a rehab assignment by the end of this week.
Plouffe said the pain in his ribs subsided in the last week, and he started baseball activities on Friday and hasn't had any issues.
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins officially hired an advisory firm, Korn Ferry, on Tuesday to assist with the search for the club's new general manager, but interim GM Rob Antony said he hasn't thought much about his future and chances of being retained as full-time GM.
Antony, who replaced long-time GM Terry Ryan in an interim role on July 18, said he's more focused on finding ways to improve the organization going forward with the non-waiver Trade Deadline fast approaching on Monday. He said the hiring decision is ultimately up to owner Jim Pohlad and president Dave St. Peter, and it doesn't do him any good wondering whether he'll get the job or if he'll be retained if another GM is hired.
MINNEAPOLIS -- With one week until the Aug. 1 non-waiver Trade Deadline, Twins interim general manager Rob Antony knows how important this week could be for the future of the franchise and his potential to remain the club's full-time GM.
Antony, named the interim GM when Terry Ryan was unexpectedly relieved of his duties on July 18, has full discretion to make trades. Antony has been with the organization since 1987, serving in a variety of roles, including one as Ryan's right-hand man as an assistant general manager since 2007. Despite the fact that the Twins are mired in last place in the American League, he was just as surprised as everyone else when Ryan stepped down once he was informed by owner Jim Pohlad he would not return as GM next year.
MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.
The latest edition of MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week (July 18-24) is led by a trio of Diazes in Isan Diaz, Yandy Diaz and Lewin Diaz, each of whom had a big week.
BOSTON -- Two of the biggest constants of the season for the Red Sox -- Rick Porcello winning at home and the Boston bats hitting at home -- intersected nicely in Sunday's 8-7 victory over the Twins that salvaged a split of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
BOSTON -- A rough series defensively for Twins third baseman Miguel Sano concluded with his most costly error yet, as he couldn't field a grounder that proved to be a four-run swing for the Red Sox.
Sano, who entered having made errors in back-to-back games and also had a pop fly land behind him Saturday, couldn't handle a grounder from Aaron Hill with two outs and two on in the fifth, allowing a run to score. Five pitches later Travis Shaw deposited a curveball from Tommy Milone into the right-field seats, which turned out to be crucial in Minnesota's 8-7 loss at Fenway Park.
BOSTON -- Twins catcher Kurt Suzuki was held out of Sunday's 8-7 loss to the Red Sox after receiving eight stitches to his chin Saturday, but manager Paul Molitor said he was hopeful Suzuki would be available to play in an emergency.
Suzuki, who suffered the cut to his chin after a foul tip from Dustin Pedroia hit his mask in the second inning in Saturday's 11-9 win, worked with the training staff before Sunday's game to add more padding to his mask.
Sano kisses baseball before throwing to first for final out
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com |
Ervin Santana may have "Smell baseball" but Miguel Sano has the market cornered on "tenderly love baseball." Sano kissed the baseball before throwing to first for the final out in Saturday night's wild 11-9 win over the Red Sox. He said it's something he'd done in the Minor Leagues, but did it on Saturday because it was an emotional back-and-forth game. He let a popup drop behind third base and made a throwing error but also went 3-for-4 with a homer at the plate.
BOSTON -- A night after the Twins won by outpitching the Red Sox at Fenway Park, this time they simply outhit them in a wild game Saturday that was the longest nine-inning game in team history at four hours, 11 minutes.
It was the kind of the win the early-season Twins likely wouldn't have pulled off, as Ricky Nolasco lasted two innings and they trailed by three runs with two outs in the seventh. But with the help of a five-run rally in the seventh, Minnesota was able to come through with an 11-9 victory while collecting a season-high 19 hits.
BOSTON -- When Brandon Kintzler signed a Minor League deal with the Twins in December, he never imagined he'd be the closer at any point this season.
Kintzler was just looking for a team to give him a shot to prove he was healthy after undergoing knee surgery after the 2014 season and spending time last season rehabbing the injury. Kintzler, who pitched with the Brewers from 2010-15, has proved he's healthy and much more, as he's been a pleasant surprise with a 2.05 ERA and converting all eight of his save opportunities, including a 1-2-3 ninth in Saturday's 11-9 victory over the Red Sox.
Brewers prospect caps huge game with walk-off shot; Indians' No. 2 notches season-high four hits
By Mike Rosenbaum
The Midwest League is notorious for dampening the power of young hitters. Apparently no one told that to Isan Diaz.
The Brewers' No. 11 prospect slugged a pair of home runs on Saturday, including a walk-off shot to propel Class A Wisconsin past Lake County, 9-8. Diaz also hit a triple in the contest en route to finishing 3-for-4, while his six RBIs represented a new career high.
COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- When Rod Carew had a heart attack this past September near his home in Southern California, the first goals in his recovery was to make it to Spring Training and the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremonies this year.
He can now check off both boxes. Mike Piazza and Ken Griffey Jr. will be handed their plaques on Sunday behind the newly reconstructed Clark Sports Center.
BOSTON -- After Mookie Betts smacked his second straight leadoff homer for the Red Sox, it seemed it could be another long night for the Twins. Instead, right-hander Kyle Gibson settled in, tossing eight strong innings of two-hit ball, and was backed by a solo homer from Brian Dozier and an RBI double from Miguel Sano in a 2-1 win on Friday night at Fenway Park.
It wasn't easy for Minnesota after Gibson departed, however, as closer Brandon Kintzler loaded the bases with nobody out with David Ortiz at the plate for Boston. But Kintzler got Ortiz to ground into a double play, with the Twins getting the outs at home and first. Hanley Ramirez lined out to right to end the game, and it handed Kintzler his seventh save.
BOSTON -- As Twins rookie right fielder Max Kepler walked onto field at Fenway Park to take batting practice at the historic ballpark for the first time in his career on Thursday, he heard a familiar voice call out his childhood nickname.
Kepler turned around and immediately recognized it was his mom, Kathy, who surprised him by flying in from his native Berlin to see him play in the Majors for the first time. She was joined by his sister, Emma, who attends Florida State University, and was also able to make the surprise trip.
BOSTON -- As Kyle Gibson finished up the eighth inning, his seventh straight frame without giving up a hit to the Red Sox, he did his best to avoid Twins manager Paul Molitor in the Fenway Park dugout.
Gibson, who was at 96 pitches, wanted to go back out for the ninth, but he knew his manager was likely to turn to closer Brandon Kintzler to protect a one-run lead. Molitor quickly decided to go with Kintzler, and it nearly backfired after he loaded the bases with nobody out with David Ortiz coming to the plate. But Kintzler somehow wriggled his way out of the jam with the help of a double play with the infield in to help preserve a 2-1 win for the Twins and an outstanding performance from Gibson.
Berrios, Diaz among top prospect performers Friday
Mariners slugger makes immediate impact with new team; top Twins prospect fires eight strong
By William Boor
Dan Vogelbach sure knows how to make an introduction. Playing in his first game with Triple-A Tacoma since being traded from the Cubs to the Mariners on Wednesday, Seattle's new No. 15 prospect went 3-for-3 with two RBIs.
The 23-year-old wasted no time showing off his power stroke, hitting his 17th homer of the season in his first at-bat with Tacoma. After hitting that solo blast to right field in the second inning, Vogelbach followed up with an RBI double to left in the third.
BOSTON -- The front four in the Red Sox's batting order -- led by five hits from Dustin Pedroia -- overpowered the Twins in a 13-2 romp in Thursday night's opener of a four-game series at Fenway Park.
Steven Wright was perfect for 4 1/3 innings while improving his record to 12-5. The knuckleballer allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) over eight innings, walking one and equaling a career high with nine strikeouts. The win allowed Boston to maintain a half-game lead over the Orioles in the American League East.
BOSTON -- For as rough as this season has been for the Twins, they've been playing better baseball in recent weeks, as they entered Thursday's game against the Red Sox having won 10 of their last 15 games.
But it wasn't pretty in a 13-2 loss in the series opener at Fenway Park, as Tyler Duffey lasted a season-worst 2 1/3 innings, while Boston knuckleballer Steven Wright stymied the offense for eight strong innings. It marked Minnesota's first loss by more than five runs since June 17, when it lost by six to the Yankees.
DETROIT -- Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario hit ninth-inning home runs off Francisco Rodriguez to send the Twins to their first series win against an American League Central opponent since mid-May, taking the three-game set against the Tigers with a 4-1 win Wednesday afternoon at Comerica Park.
Ervin Santana and Justin Verlander gave up first-inning solo homers but settled in from there to deliver a pitchers' duel. While Verlander allowed only one other hit over his eight innings, walking two and striking out nine, Santana scattered six hits with a walk and two strikeouts to match for seven-plus innings.
DETROIT -- Ervin Santana turned in another quality start Wednesday to help the Twins take a road series from division-rival Detroit. He allowed one run on six hits over seven-plus innings and took a no-decision in Minnesota's 4-1 win.
It was his fourth quality start in six outings since June 19. Santana is 2-1 with a 2.03 ERA during that stretch. His solid outing came on a day that the Twins really needed it, as Tigers starter Justin Verlander delivered a strong start of his own, allowing one run over eight innings.
DETROIT -- Max Kepler came through in the clutch Wednesday afternoon in the Twins' 4-1 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park. Faced with the tall task of getting a ninth-inning hit off Francisco Rodriguez, Kepler took some advice from a teammate and belted a solo home run to right field that gave the Twins a 2-1 lead.
"I was [sitting on changeup]," Kepler said. "I remember somebody telling me he likes to throw changeups in all his fastball counts. Luckily he left it up, because if it were down, it probably would have been a good pitch."
DETROIT -- First baseman Kennys Vargas made his season debut for the Twins back on July 4 after spending the first part of the season at Triple-A Rochester. Vargas returned by hitting .471 with three home runs and four RBIs over six games leading into the All-Star break.
He had lost some of that power coming out of the break, entering Wednesday's series finale in Detroit having gone 3-for-15 in four games since, but that's nothing Twins manager Paul Molitor didn't expect.
Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit and covered the Twins on Wednesday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Gordon among top prospect performers Wednesday
Pair of Dodgers pitching prospects each rack up double-digit K's in strong starts
By Mike Rosenbaum
Ten was the magic number for a pair of Dodgers pitchers on Wednesday night as both Jose De Leon and Yadier Alvarez struck out 10 hitters in their respective starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City and Class A Great Lakes.
De Leon, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 20 on the Top 100, yielded four hits over a career-high eight scoreless innings to pace Oklahoma City in a 7-0 shutout of Tacoma. The 23-year-old right-hander hit one batter but did not issue a walk in the outing, as he demonstrated exemplary command of his arsenal by throwing 80 of his 105 pitches for strikes.
Twins hold on for Milone, top Tigers for first time in '16
By Jason Beck and Kyle Beery
DETROIT -- An unexpected pitching duel between Tommy Milone and Anibal Sanchez broke out before the Twins busted out a five-run seventh inning, capped by a Brian Dozier two-run home run, for a 6-2 victory over the Tigers on Tuesday at Comerica Park.
The win was Minnesota's first over Detroit in eight tries this season.