Results tagged ‘ Ron Gardenhire ’

Mauer, Gardenhire help recruit Parise, Suter

DETROIT — It was a big day for the Minnesota Wild today, as they signed top free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to identical 13-year, $98 million deals.

But the Wild were helped by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and catcher Joe Mauer, as they did their best to recruit the two players. Gardenhire and Mauer both appeared in a video to recruit Parise — a Minnesota native — while Mauer also appeared in one to sell playing in Minnesota to Suter.

Mauer jokingly downplayed his role in the signing of both players, but added he was pleased to hear the news of the two signings from Twins director of baseball communications Dustin Morse.

“If it was then I’m really happy,” Mauer said. “Dustin called me this morning and let me know the news, and definitely being a Minnesota guy, that’s nice to hear. It’s exciting. It’s exciting news.”

Mauer said part of his sales pitch was that they could both come to Target Field to take batting practice before a Twins game. He also told Parise about how special it is to play in Minnesota as a native of the state.

“I think I was wearing a Wild jersey and I was just telling both of them that they’d look good in green,” Mauer said. “I think I might have even promised them batting practice, but I’ve met Zach a couple times before, and he seems like a really good guy and I’m looking forward to meeting Suter, too.”

Parise has participated in batting practice with the Twins twice before, and signed a picture that is displayed in Gardenhire’s office. There’s also a $5 bill tacked to the picture from an unrelated bet Gardenhire made with St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Tom Powers.

Gardenhire joked that he told Parise he’d add that $5 to his contract if he signed with the Wild as part of his pitch.

“I don’t think he needs to the 5 dollars, but I definitely sent him a video,” Gardenhire said. “I’ve got a picture of him on my bulletin board, in a New Jersey jersey, and I told him I’d like that jersey to be green and there was 5 bucks over the top of it that I got from Tom Powers, which I told him I would add to his contract. That’s basically the video sent. So I’ll take credit for him. Then I offered him about 18,000 rounds of batting practice.”

Mauer and Gardenhire said they both are going to attend more Wild games this season considering the buzz generated by the two signings. Mauer spends his offseasons in Florida but added he’ll make sure to come to games when he’s back up in Minnesota for the holidays.

The Wild have reportedly sold 500-plus season tickets since the signings were announced this morning, and Gardenhire said he was happy to hear it.

“Season tickets ought be going up, and there’s always a lot of interest in the Wild anyway because it’s hockey country, the hockey town in the world, St. Paul/Minneapolis and mostly St. Paul,” Gardenhire said. “It’s No. 1. I don’t care what Detroit says; this is No. 1. Now we’ve got two of the best free agents coming to play for us. I’m pumped up. I’ll be up there in the press box with Sid [Hartman] watching.”

Rangers come to town (Game 62)

After winning back-to-back series for the first time this year and six of their last seven games, the Twins are finally playing they were expected to this season.

But they have a big test awaiting them at Target Field, as the Rangers come to town for a four-game series. The Rangers, who represented the American League in the World Series last year, are off to another good start this season, leading the AL West by 2 1/2 games entering Thursday.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire wasn’t shy when asked by a reporter whether Texas is the best team in the AL this year.

“I think so,” Gardenhire said. “I think Texas has the package deal. Their pitching is unbelievable. And they’ve got power arms in the bullpen. They can run and hit for power. They have a little bit of everything. And they have a unique bench that allows them to do a lot of different things. So they’re a really solid baseball team.”

Lineups for Thursday’s 7:10 CT start at Target Field:

Rangers (35-28)

1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. David Murphy, DH
3. Josh Hamilton, LF
4. Michael Young, 2B
5. Adrian Beltre, 3B
6. Nelson Cruz, RF
7. Mitch Moreland, 1B
8. Yorvit Torrealba, C
9. Endy Chavez, CF

LHP Derek Holland (5-1, 4.36 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 2.14 K/BB)

Twins (23-38)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Rene Rivera, C
9. Matt Tolbert, 2B

RHP Nick Blackburn (5-4, 3.57 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 1.82 K/BB)

Twins trying to keep things loose (Game 61 vs. Indians)

CLEVELAND — Having won five of their last six games, the Twins are trying their best to keep things loose.

The relievers are certainly doing their part, as they’ve been coming up with interesting ways to make their way to the bullpen before the game.

Before Monday’s game, they were a bobsled team, and before Tuesday’s game they were a canoe before closer Matt Capps joined and became a motor to power the boat. Catcher Drew Butera has been the creative mind behind it all, but left-hander Chuck James has been called the ring leader among the relievers.

“It gives everyone something to look forward to,” James said. “It kind of eases the weight a little bit out there and lets everyone relax a little bit. We’ve been winning and it’s been working so I guess we’ll keep sticking with it now.”

He also added the Twins will debut a new creation before Thursday’s game at Target Field against the Rangers, so that should be “entertainment” as Ron Gardenhire has been calling it. SportsCenter is also going to do a piece on it, but here’s a link to see their bobsled antics from Monday in case you missed it:

Click here to watch the video.

Lineups for the 11:05 CT start at Progressive Field

Twins (22-38)

1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Luke Hughes, 1B
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Carl Pavano (3-5, 4.83 ERA, 3.89 FIP, 1.76 K/BB)

Indians (34-25)

1. Michael Brantley, LF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Grady Sizemore, CF
4. Carlos Santana, RF
5. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
6. Matt LaPorta, DH
7. Cord Phelps, 2B
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Lou Marson, C

RHP Justin Masterson (5-4, 3.28 ERA, 3.21 FIP, 2.15 K/BB)

Mauer to catch in extended Spring Training (Game 54)

DETROIT — Joe Mauer is scheduled to take a significant step toward his recovery from weakness in his legs and right shoulder on Thursday, as he’s scheduled to catch three innings in an extended Spring Training game in Fort Myers, Fla.

It marks the first time Mauer will get behind the plate in a game setting since catching 10 innings against the Royals on April 12, as he’s only served as a designated hitter in extended Spring Training to this point since being placed on the disabled list. He’s also expected to get four at-bats on Thursday and will increase his innings at catcher as he moves forward.

“We’ll see how everything goes there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He’ll get some at-bats and catch a ballgame and block some balls — the whole package. And we’ll steadily move forward and get him playing a full nine innings and we’ll go from there.”

Gardenhire said there is still no official timetable for Mauer’s return, but that he’ll need to prove he can catch a full nine innings on a regular basis before he rejoins the Twins.

“He has to be healthy and that means going about his business like he usually does,” Gardenhire said. “Once he’s healthy and has played enough games where everything is going along good, then we bring him up here. But it makes no sense to bring him back after a couple days. That’s why it’s been a long process.”

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Comerica Park

Twins (17-36)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Danny Valencia, 3B
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Jason Repko, RF
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Scott Baker (2-3, 3.65 ERA. 3.98 FIP, 3.05 K/BB)

Tigers (28-26)

1. Don Kelly, LF
2. Ramon Santiago, 2B
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Andy Dirks, CF
7. Jhonny Peralta, SS
8. Alex Avila, C
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

RHP Rick Porcello (4-3, 3.93 ERA, 4.13 FIP, 2.13 K/BB)

Game 9 vs. A’s: Cuddyer to second base

It’s obvious the Twins are doing just about anything they can to generate offense in the early going this season.

It’s certainly the case with today’s lineup with Michael Cuddyer getting his first start at second base since 2005, which gets his bat in there along with left-handed hitters Jason Kubel and Jim Thome against A’s right-hander Brandon McCarthy.

It’ll be interesting to see how Cuddyer does defensively at second, but Ron Gardenhire seemed comfortable with him as an option there, even if he’s not going to display too much range out there.

The Twins’ lineup does look more potent with the move, however, and so we’ll see if it can jump-start this sluggish offense. Gardenhire sure seemed to think so in his media session before Sunday’s game.

“You take a lineup like today, we’re pretty thick all the way up and down it,” Gardenhire said. “So, we’ve got some good hitters. It’s just a matter of time we start whacking the ball.”

Gardenhire also said no one is too worried about the slow start offensively, as the offense was the last thing the club was concerned about coming out of Spring Training.

“Is it frustrating for everybody? Yes, because we have very good hitters,” Gardenhire said. “But I’m not one of these, ‘Oh my goodness, what are we going to do?’ kind of things. I like our guys when they walk to the plate, I like the chance that we have every time we walk to the plate.”

Lineups for the 1:10 p.m. CT start at Target Field

Twins (3-5)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Justin Morneau, 1B
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Scott Baker (0-1, 6.00 ERA, 6 IP, 1.00 K/BB, 8.54 FIP)

A’s (3-5)

1. David DeJesus, CF
2. Daric Barton, 1B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Hideki Matsui, DH
5. Ryan Sweeney, RF
6. Mark Ellis, 2B
7. Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B
8. Landon Powell, C
9. Cliff Pennington, SS

RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-0, 4.50 ERA, 8 IP, 2.00 K/BB, 2.91 FIP)

Rain postpones Wednesday night’s game

Well, so much for the last post, as rain wiped out Wednesday night’s game against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. There’s still no rescheduled make-up date, although it’s likely to be played on Sept. 8 or Sept. 15, when both clubs share a common off-day.

The Twins also announced that the two clubs will not be playing two on Thursday, as both clubs play travel after Thursday’s 1:05 p.m. ET start and play day games on Friday. The Twins host the A’s in their opener at Target Field and the Yankees travel to face the Red Sox in their first game of the year at Fenway Park.

Both teams adjusted their rotation with right-handers Carl Pavano and Freddy Garcia having their scheduled starts pushed back. Pavano will now start on Friday at Target Field, while Garcia won’t make his first start of the season until April 15 against the Rangers.

Twins left-hander Franciso Liriano will stay on regular rest and start on Thursday, while the Yankees will turn to right-hander A.J. Burnett on his originally scheduled start.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire didn’t seem too excited about the rain out and had this to say after the game was called:

“I’m not a weather forecaster but there’s green [on the weather map indicating rain] all the way to Detroit,” Gardenhire said. “So there might be a window, but it’s just a house with a window open.”

Mauer gets second day off

The Twins are still searching a bit for offense so far this season, and it might not get any easier on Wednesday night against the Yankees with catcher Joe Mauer getting his second day off of the season.

His off-day comes as no surprise, though, as Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he expected Mauer to get a day off in Toronto and New York. And right-hander Carl Pavano worked with backup catcher Drew Butera 15 times last season to great results with a 3.65 ERA and a 3.05 K/BB ratio over 105 innings.

Pavano, however, actually had similar numbers with Mauer behind the plate last year, as he posted a 3.79 ERA and a 3.40 K/BB in 17 outings over 106 innings. The difference, however, was with attempting base stealers, as runners were 18-for-20 on stolen base attempts with Mauer behind the plate, and just 13-for-19 when Butera was catching.

So with that in mind, Butera is expected to serve as Pavano’s personal catcher this season, which does give Mauer the comfort of having a schedule of expected off-days throughout the season.

Gardenhire said he understands the outcry when Mauer isn’t starting, but said it’s just something that comes with being a catcher, especially one coming off left knee surgery over the offseason.

“I’m like everybody else, I’d love to have Mauer playing all the time,” Gardenhire said. “I’m no different than any fan sitting out there on their rocking chair or armchair, saying they want Mauer in the lineup. Believe me, I like that too. But catchers need rest, and so we need to make sure we give him one a week when Pavano is pitching.”

Lineups for 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium:

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jason Kubel, DH
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Carl Pavano (0-1, 15.75 ERA, 13.45 FIP, 1.50 K/BB)

1. Brett Gardner, LF
2. Curtis Granderson, CF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, DH
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Nick Swisher, RF
7. Eric Chavez, 3B
8. Eduardo Nunez, SS
9. Gustavo Molina, C

RHP Freddy Garcia (first start of season)

New York, New York

It’s no secret that the Yankees haven’t been kind to the Twins in recent years.

After all, the Twins have gone just 2-11 against the Yankees the last two seasons, including a 1-6 record at Yankee Stadium. And Twins fans certainly don’t have to be reminded that the Yankees swept the Twins out of the postseason each of the last two years.

But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who has a career regular-season record of 4-25 against the Yankees in New York, preferred not to talk about his club’s struggles against the Yankees before Monday night’s game.

“We’re working our way back to the Minnesota area,” Gardenhire joked. “It’s just another stopover.”

The Twins will see a new face on the mound, however, as rookie right-hander Ivan Nova is set to start for the Yankees after posting a 1.80 ERA over 20 innings in Spring Training.

He made a one-inning relief appearance against the Twins last year on May 16, but Denard Span and Joe Mauer are the only current Twins who faced him that day. Gardenhire, however, did say the Twins read scouting reports and watched video on Nova to get ready for the game and called him a Yankees “super-prospect.”

So it’ll be interesting to see how the Twins do against Nova with another new lineup, as Michael Cuddyer was benched in favor of Jason Kubel in right field with Jim Thome getting the start at designated hitter to give the Twins more of a left-handed look.

Lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Yankee Stadium

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Jason Kubel, RF
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

RHP Scott Baker

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Russell Martin, C

RHP Ivan Nova RHP