Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
DETROIT — Shortly after the Twins acquired 21-year-old right-hander Dakota Chalmers from the Oakland A's for closer Fernando Rodney, Twins pitching coach Garvin Alston received a phone call. It was from Chalmers, with whom he'd worked in the summer of 2015 after the A's drafted him in the third round out of an Atlanta-area high school. "He reached out to me and he gave me a call and we talked for a little bit," said Alston, formerly a roving pitching instructor for the A's. "I told him, 'Welcome to the organization and let's get to work.' "
DETROIT—Through four innings Sunday afternoon, Aug. 13, Kohl Stewart was cruising in his big-league debut. Pounding the strike zone with his 93-mph sinker and keeping the Detroit Tigers honest with just enough off-speed offerings, Stewart had a one-run lead and had thrown just 47 pitches while allowing just three balls to leave the infield. Then came the fifth and a slow-drip disappointment that sent Stewart and the Twins to a 4-2 loss at Comerica Park.
DETROIT — Once considered too brash for his own good, a humbled Kohl Stewart arrived at Comerica Park on Saturday, Aug. 11, in preparation for his big-league debut on Sunday afternoon. Two months from his 24th birthday, the right-hander from Houston credited a greater understanding of his repertoire and how to attack hitters along with tweaked workouts that have enabled him to keep his throwing shoulder and landing knee healthy. Most of all, however, he thanked his wife.
CLEVELAND — Assistant hitting coach Rudy Hernandez had his in-game dugout privileges restored after the Twins recently petitioned Major League Baseball on his behalf. A native of Venezuela, Hernandez now goes back and forth between the indoor batting cages and the far corner of the dugout, where he usually spends part of the game chatting with the team's Spanish-speaking players.
CLEVELAND — Addison Reed had pitched just twice since coming off the disabled list with an elbow impingement, but the Twins gave him a chance Thursday afternoon to make up for lost time out of their beleaguered bullpen. It didn’t work. Michael Brantley’s one-out single past a diving Miguel Sano at first base scored Greg Allen from third and sent the Cleveland Indians to a 5-4 victory and the Twins to their 12th walk-off loss.
CLEVELAND — Bartolo Colon's record-setting 246th victory on Tuesday night for the Texas Rangers resonated in the visiting clubhouse at Progressive Field. After breaking Dennis Martinez's 20-year-old mark for most wins by a pitcher born in Latin America, the 45-year-old Colon soon heard from two of his closest friends in the game: Twins pitchers Ervin Santana and Fernando Rodney. "I'm very proud of him," Rodney said Wednesday. "I think it's a great career. Now I hope Ervin breaks the record."
CLEVELAND—Less than a week into August, the Minnesota Twins already have passed first basemen Joe Mauer and Logan Morrison through waivers, according to a person with direct knowledge. Had either player been claimed, the team awarded the claim would have been responsible for the remaining salary on those players' contracts. The Twins also would have had the option of either revoking the waiver placement or working out a trade with the team that was awarded the claim.
CLEVELAND — Now that the dust has settled after completing a five-player sell-off that included franchise stalwarts Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar, the Twins are in make-up mode. In a letter emailed to season-ticket holders on Monday, Aug. 6, Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey set out to help the team's fans "understand the difficult steps we took aimed at achieving the only goal that matters ... to achieve sustainable championship-caliber baseball." Among the highlights:
ST. PAUL — Ryan Jeffers was waiting to catch a bullpen at rookie-level Elizabethton this summer when he fell into an easy conversation with a fellow physics buff. Josh Kalk, the Twins' senior analyst for baseball research and development, introduced himself to the club's second-round pick out of UNC Wilmington and started "a good conversation about the more scientific part of baseball," said Jeffers, who is two semesters shy of completing work toward his physics degree.
In a surprise move, the Twins opted not to trade 41-year-old closer Fernando Rodney before Tuesday's non-waiver trade deadline. A market glutted with late-inning relievers led to Rodney, who has worn nine different major league uniforms in his 16-year career, staying put. "I'm not surprised," Rodney said. "They tried to find a way to build the team. That's why they made those moves, I think. And with the pieces we have here, we're going to continue to play hard and have fun."