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Twins Place Garver on the 10-day IL, Activate Sano

As a direct result of a collision at home plate during the eighth inning of Tuesday night's 4-3 over the Los Angeles Angels, the...

The Twins See Willians Astudillo as Their Third Catcher, not a...

The Minnesota Twins clubhouse looked like a gathering place for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before Saturday’s game against the Cleveland Indians. The players put on green shirts with “La Tortuga” spelled out in the font from the cartoon series over long-sleeve shirts and other warm gear for the sub-40-degree weather, a reference to Willians Astudillo’s nickname. Astudillo has gained notoriety in the Twin Cities and around baseball for his willingness to play all over the diamond, and his reluctance to strikeout and draw walks in the three true outcomes era. He’s a stout man on a mission to show that chubby people can run too. 👀👀 pic.twitter.com/5lBuNOL7V7 — SotaStick™ (@SotaStickCo) March 30, 2019 But the Twins view him as an asset because of his ability and willingness to play multiple positions and produce at the plate, placing him on their 25-man roster out of Spring Training this year. Despite playing […]

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Looking Ahead to 2019: Position Players

In the final installment of the “Looking Ahead” series, it’s time to look at the position players who are currently on the roster and what their role may be in the 2019 season. You can see what the Twins pitchers look like by looking at the article about the bullpen and the starting rotation. Catchers Jason Castro Castro missed most of the 2018 season with a torn meniscus in his right knee and should be healthy by the time spring training starts if he isn’t already. With only one year left on his three year, $24.5 million deal, the Twins backstop looks to share time after an impressive showing from Mitch Garver in 103 games behind the plate. Castro had a rough start to 2018 but the 19 games he played are too small of a sample to take a deep dive in. Mitch Garver Garver took advantage of Castro’s […]

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Midwest Swing: Top 50 Free Agents and Landing Spots pt. 2

John Becker is back to talk the Hall of Fame ballot and the second part of our Top 50 available Free Agents going into...

Midwest Swing: Former Twins Pitching Coach Garvin Alston

Garvin Alston joins us to talk his season with the Twins, the friendliness of the organization, and how impactful Jason Castro's season ending injury...

Breaking Down the Catching Concerns for the Twins

It has been 1,758 days since Twins fans last saw Joe Mauer calling pitches behind the plate. In that time, the Twins have struggled to find a reliable replacement for Mauer, using 19 backstops since August 19, 2013. Then again, you could say that the Twins have only used 19 catchers in over the last four-plus seasons, as that is tied for the second-fewest in the league in that time. But outside of an all-star appearance in 2014 by Kurt Suzuki, the Twins haven’t had a catcher who can provide offense since Mauer made the move to first base. Since 2014, Mauer’s first full year not catching, the Twins rank second-to-last in WAR from their catchers including ranking in the bottom five in the “Offense” and “Defense” statistics, per Fangraphs.  It’s all come to a head this year as their backstops are batting .190 with a .573 OPS while performing below […]

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Mitch Garver and Bobby Wilson are Twins Catching Duo with Jason...

When Jason Castro’s meniscus tear was initially announced on May 5, the message was not to panic. Castro missed the 2011 season when he tore his ACL and damaged his meniscus in a Spring Training game, but he was placed on the 10-day disabled list and was certain that it was a short-term procedure. “It’s been a thing I’ve been dealing with a couple weeks now,” he said, adding that he thought he could play through it earlier this season. “We don’t think that a surgical procedure is necessary. We’re going to do the (cortisone) shot tonight. Hopefully that takes care of most of it.” Castro consulted with knee specialists, however, and they advised him to have a procedure done. He went under the knife on Tuesday in Vail, Colo., to have a small part of the meniscus removed, and during the procedure, they discovered the damage was worse than […]

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Lingering Knee Injury Forces Jason Castro to the Disabled List

When Jason Castro signed a three-year, $24.5 million deal in November 2016, the move was considered one of the signature transactions in the new Derek Falvey-Thad Levine regime. Castro was a first-round pick out of Stanford in 2008 and an All-Star in 2013 known for his pitch framing. There was some backlash from traditionalists at the time of the signing, however, because he had hit .210 in the previous two seasons. His .242/.333/.388 line from last season was his best since his All-Star year, and his approach to pitch framing stood in stark contrast with his predecessor. Kurt Suzuki was an All-Star in 2014 and had hit well with the Minnesota Twins (.263/.316/.364), but was a notoriously poor pitch framer who openly dismissed advanced stats. “I still think that thing is false,” Suzuki told the Pioneer Press when asked about pitch framing in 2015. Conversely, it’s something that Castro has […]

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Kepler, Escobar and Garver are Making the Most of Their Extended...

One explanation for the Minnesota Twins’ poor start to the season is the absence of key contributors. Injuries have kept Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano off the field, and Jorge Polanco was issued an 80-game PED suspension before the year even began. Jason Castro has dealt with a lingering knee issue, and Ervin Santana has yet to make a start. There have been other, non-injury related, issues as well: The bullpen has been unreliable, Jose Berrios has been up and down and a few of the Twins’ free agent signings have not panned out yet. Throw in the snow-outs and the Puerto Rico trip, and many in the clubhouse are eager to put April behind them and get into what they hope is a more regular rhythm. “There’s that subconscious boost that you get by turning the calendar a little bit,” said manager Paul Molitor, whose team entered May with […]

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Kepler Walkoff Saves Twins from Crushing Defeat Against Astros

After three frustrating innings against Houston’s wildly effective young stud Lance McCullers Jr., the Twins offense put its collective foot down in the fourth inning, hanging a snowman on the blue-chipper, who was unable to finish the inning before manager A.J. Hinch went to get him. BOX SCORE The Twins had to weather the storm the rest of the way, and didn’t do a particularly good job. At least not until Max Kepler stepped in. Here’s what we saw from our vantage point: Kepler had the game of his life… It wasn’t Kepler’s first walkoff homer — that came in 2016 against Boston’s Matt Barnes — but it was probably more meaningful, considering the Twins had squandered a seven-run lead and also keeping in mind the expectations for this team and how that season ended. Nevertheless, it wasn’t even Kepler’s only homer on the day, as he took McCullers deep […]

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