April 27, 2016

Twins’ Jose Berrios set to make his MLB pitching debut on Wednesday

After being swept on the road by the Washington Nationals — the birthplace of the Twins, by the way — the pitching staff emerged in sorry shape.

Kyle Gibson is headed to the disabled list, as is Ervin Santana. And Rice University product Tyler Duffey, who was called up to spell Santana, took a liner off the shoulder. Fortunately, the injury wasn’t so bad that he can’t stick around and avoid the DL — or so it appears.

Out of all of this, some good news: Top-rated pitching prospect Jose Berrios is on his way to Target Field to make his major league debut against the Cleveland Indians. The Twins think highly of Berrios. He was invited to Spring Training and pitched relatively well until getting roughed up late in March. He started the year at Triple-A Rochester and returned to form, pitching 17 innings with two wins, a 1.06 ERA, 20 strikeouts and eight walks, according to MLB.com. Last year in the minors he struck out 175 in 166-plus innings.

Berrios has the talent to help the Twins get back on track. They fell to 5-14 after their weekend in Washington, then beat the Indians 4-3 on Monday with a walk-off home run from Oswaldo Arcia. A win Tuesday night sets up Berrios for the sweep on Wednesday.

Extra innings…

Not all of the Twins’ talent has made the successful jump to the bigs. Byron Buxton, who has all the tools to be a star in the majors, was sent down to Rochester after struggling at the plate. Joining him was Max Kepler, another promising outfielder for the Twins. In their place, the Twins called up infielders Danny Santana, Jorge Polanco and hard-throwing righty, Alex Meyer.

In the minors, Meyer stuck out 19 in 17-plus innings with an ERA of 1.04.

The Twins did get that win Tuesday night, beating the Indians again in walk-off fashion, 6-5. This time, Miguel Sano delivered the winning hit. The last time the Twins had back-to-back walk-off wins was in 2005, according to data shared during the radio broadcast of the game.

All eyes are on Berrios and his start on Wednesday, but don’t forget Ricky Nolasco, the ace, of all things, in the early going of this season. Nolasco had another quality start on Tuesday. He didn’t get the win, but still gave the Twins seven-plus innings with no walks and nine strikeouts.

April 24, 2016

Twins on the verge of being swept by Nationals

Just when I thought it was safe to celebrate a Twins’ 8-1 victory over the Brewers — and I read way more into the win than I should have — the team heads to Washington, D.C. (the birthplace of the Twins, by the way) and drops two in a row for the third time in... Continue Reading »

April 21, 2016

Consecutive losses return as Twins fall to Brewers

After nine straight losses, followed by four consecutive wins, the Twins have returned to familiar territory with back-to-back losses, including a 10-5 defeat on Wednesday to the Brewers. Questionable defense in right field was the problem on Tuesday, but on Wednesday the attention shifted to left field and Oswaldo Arcia who had an error and... Continue Reading »

April 20, 2016

Tuesday’s loss raises fresh questions about Miguel Sano as a right fielder

The four-game winning streak came to an end Tuesday after the Twins lost 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Target Field. Key to the loss were two errors, one of which was committed by Miguel Sano in right field which allowed three unearned runs in the fifth inning. Yikes. Sano botches a line drive to... Continue Reading »

April 19, 2016

Twins extend winning streak to 4 games

Losing streak? What losing streak? The Twins are quickly making the baseball world forget their horrible start after they knocked off the Milwaukee Brewers in a rain-shortened game on Monday, extending the team’s winning streak to four games. After wait of 2:06, Twins declared winner, 7-4 over Brewers, after 6 innings due to rain. First... Continue Reading »

April 18, 2016

Twins end 9-game losing streak with sweep of Angels

The nine-game losing streak is over after the Twins not only captured their first win of the season but won consecutive games to sweep the Angels at Target Field. As my late, legendary high school coach Scott Muckey would say, "Well, we know one thing. We're not gonna lose them all." 😎 — Trevor Plouffe... Continue Reading »

April 12, 2016

Home cooking makes no difference as Twins lose again

Oh, boy. As if things needed to get worse, the Twins played their home opener on Monday before 40,000-plus fans, but before it was over the booing started and fans left early after the team stumbled to its seventh loss in seven games, losing 4-1 to the Chicago White Sox. That’s right: the Twins are... Continue Reading »

April 11, 2016

Twins fall to 0-6, seek home cooking on Monday

The good news? The Twins’ home opener is Monday against the Chicago White Sox. The bad news? Everything leading up to this point: the strikeouts, the lack of hitting, lack of pitching and the poor defense, all of which has contributed to the team’s 0-6 start. Twins manager Paul Molitor: “We’re going home 0-6 and... Continue Reading »

April 10, 2016

A different kind of autobiography from Rod Carew

At a discount retailer the other day, I came across an old hardback copy of a Rod Carew autobiography, co-written by former sports writer Ira Berkow. I quickly realized it was too tempting to pass up, so I paid the nominal fee and settled in to flap through its 236 pages. Right away I noticed... Continue Reading »

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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.