March 31, 2017

Shocker: After terrific spring, Byung Ho Park sent to minors

Of all the Twins during spring training, Byung Ho Park was by far the standout player on the team. He hit, he hit with power and drove in runs, resulting in a .353 batting average, six home runs (he hit another one Wednesday) and 13 RBI.

Despite those numbers, most of which were accomplished in March, Park will return to Triple-A Rochester. That decision is reverberating in Twins land. In Park’s place, the Twins decided to keep not one, but two more pitchers, according to various reports. Starters Tyler Duffey and newcomer Adalberto Mejia were thought to be competing for the fifth spot in the rotation. Mejia won the job on Thursday, but the Twins also decided to keep Duffey and add him to the bullpen, giving them eight relievers, according to MLB.com.

Park deserved to make the team, and I hope he gets that shot soon, but it’s hard to argue that the Twins don’t need all the pitching they can get. They had the worst pitching in the American League last season, a significant factor in the club losing 103 games.

Twins Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey, recently profiled by the New York Times, shared his pitching vision for the team:

“There’s an organizationwide desire to shed that label, the pitch-to-contact term,” Falvey said about the Twins. “So there’s a lot of energy around embracing some new programs to make sure we are talking about velocity development and how we get strikeouts and some elements to finish pitches. I think it’s the right fit now, because the organization is open to that conversation.”

Some reaction to the Park decision:

 

March 29, 2017

Byung Ho Park? Oh, he’s the Twins’ designated hitter

Byung Ho Park will start the 2017 season as the Twins’ designated hitter, while Kennys Vargas, also competing for the same spot, likely heads to the minors with a one-way ticket to Triple-A Rochester. That’s the only logical outcome after the spring Park has had, compared to what Vargas did in March. To be fair,... Continue Reading »

March 27, 2017

Kyle Gibson: Mr. Consistency?

Is this the year that pitcher Kyle Gibson finally wins consistently and puts his win-one, lose-one pattern of pitching behind him? Maybe it is. This spring he leads the team with 28.1 innings pitched, surrendering only five earned runs over that span to give him an ERA of 1.59. And he pitched well on Sunday,... Continue Reading »

March 23, 2017

Farewell, Ryan Vogelsong

The Twins have released starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong, ending his bid to make the club. Vogelsong, perhaps sensing that he wasn’t in the running for a rotation spot, apparently asked to be released so that he could get a shot at joining another team, according to MLB Trade Rumors, which cited a report by Twins... Continue Reading »

March 21, 2017

Welcome back to the Twins, Byung Ho Park

Korean slugger Byung Ho Park continues to make the case that he should start the season with the Twins after he hit his team-leading fourth home run of the spring on Monday. Not only does he have four home runs, but he also is hitting .394 and leads the team in hits with 13. Park’s... Continue Reading »

March 19, 2017

My apologies to Mr. Phil Hughes, baseball pitcher

Despite giving up three home runs in his last start, starting pitcher Phil Hughes still struck out four batters in five innings and came away with the no decision. And yet I singled out his tendency to give up the long ball in a recent post. But he improved on that previous effort by shutting... Continue Reading »

March 16, 2017

All our hopes and dreams may be realized, Twins fans

The hopes and dreams of Twins fans around the world (well, maybe) were lifted immeasurably on Wednesday after top pitching prospect, Adalberto Mejia, took the mound and dominated over three-plus innings of work. The Twins traded infielder Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants for Mejia last season. The big lefty struck out eight St.... Continue Reading »

March 14, 2017

The day Brian Dozier didn’t face Jose De Leon

It must have been an unusual day at the ballpark for Twins second baseman Brian Dozier. He wasn’t in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on Monday, but probably was in the dugout, sitting and wondering what might have been. That’s because the Twins faced Rays starter Jose De Leon. If that name sounds... Continue Reading »

March 12, 2017

Something that resembles Twins pitching loses 2 games on Sunday

Twins hitting is heating up. Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco and Daniel Palka all homered in split-squad action on Sunday, while the pitching is still a work in progress. The result was two losses and more questions about Phil Hughes and Ryan Vogelsong. Hughes, who is working his way back from season-ending surgery last year, didn’t... Continue Reading »

Next Previous

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.