Tsuyoshi Nishioka Revisited

Five years ago this week, TwinsFest was abuzz with the promise and potential of a hotshot Japanese middle infielder.  Most Twins fans, and certainly the organization itself, would love to forget what happened next, which is exactly why it’s worth remembering… While playing for the Japanese Pacific League’s Chiba Lotte Marines in 2010, Tsuyoshi Nishioka hit .346/.423/.482 with 22 steals, 11 homeruns and 8 triples. Just 25-years-old, Nishioka had eight years of experience at Japan’s highest level. He was ready to take his talents to America. The Minnesota Twins meanwhile, were the two-time defending AL Central Division Champions. With their … Continue reading Tsuyoshi Nishioka Revisited

US Open Racquetball Championships Preview

The 20th annual United Healthcare US Open Racquetball Championships begin in earnest when the main professional draw opens Thursday at the newly remodeled Lifetime Fitness in Target Center. It is 6th consecutive year the event has been held in Minneapolis. Billed as the “World’s Fastest Sport” with ball speeds reaching 180 miles per hour, the US Open is racquetball’s marquee tournament. Over 750 players participate in the various divisions, but it’s the pros who take center stage. Despite being ranked No. 2 due mainly to a scheduling change, 10-time champion Kane Waselenchuk is always the top attraction. Last year’s finalist … Continue reading US Open Racquetball Championships Preview

Q&A with Twins Reliever Neal Cotts

When Neal Cotts debuted with the Chicago White Sox in August 2003, the team was in the second of three consecutive runner-up finishes to the Twins in the AL Central. From 2002-2010, the Twins or Sox would capture the division title eight times. When the dust settled, our Twins could boast six AL Central Championships to the Sox two, but Chicago claimed the ultimate prize in 2005, their first World Series win since 1917. Cotts meanwhile, remained on the South Side of Chicago until 2006 before heading to the North Side for three seasons with the Cubs. Due to arm … Continue reading Q&A with Twins Reliever Neal Cotts

Q&A with Twins Pitcher Trevor May

It’s been an eventful season for Twins pitcher Trevor May. There have been flashes of brilliance and moments of misery. The rookie began the season as a starter and will finish it as a late inning reliever. There is a case to be made for each role going forward. At 26-years-old (on September 23), with a high 90s fastball and good control – 102 strikeouts versus 24 walks in 108 2/3 innings – it’s obvious May has some kind of future in the big leagues. To me, he looks like The Closer of the Future. The 6-5, 240 lb right-hander … Continue reading Q&A with Twins Pitcher Trevor May

Twins CF Byron Buxton Unfiltered

Sano and Buxton. Buxton and Sano. Those names in any order have represented hope for Twins fans the past three seasons. Now both are here. While Miguel Sano has taken Twins Territory by storm, belting 14 homeruns in his first 50 games, some patience is required when monitoring Byron Buxton’s progress. The No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton has hit .301/.383/.489 with 94 steals in 276 minor league games and was MLB.com’s No.1 ranked prospect the past two seasons. So far in the big leagues, his speed and athleticism are apparent. He’s among the fastest men to … Continue reading Twins CF Byron Buxton Unfiltered

Q&A with Twins Starter Kyle Gibson

With Phil Hughes on the Disabled List and Ervin Santana ineffective, it’s Kyle Gibson’s time to shine. The 3rd year hurler is 8-9 with a 3.96 ERA in 25 starts this season. Like his team in 2015, Gibson has been brilliant at times, a 1.36 ERA in six May starts, and poor in others, positing a 6.35 ERA so far in August. The 27-year-old former first round pick and I discussed his season, fantasy football and more during the last home stand. DZ: How would you assess your season so far individually? GIBSON: I think for me this year was … Continue reading Q&A with Twins Starter Kyle Gibson

Twins Reliever Kevin Jepsen Unfiltered

After stealing Sunday’s game in Baltimore, the Twins’ record stands at 63-61. Probably not what you had hoped when they ended May an improbable 30-19, but a lot better than you expected after four consecutive 90+ loss seasons and a 1-6 start to the 2015 campaign. If the Twins are able maintain a winning record and remain in the AL Wild Card race, their bullpen will need to continue the success they found this weekend in Baltimore. One reason for hope is Kevin Jepsen. Since his trade from Tampa on July 31, Jepsen has posted a 1.86 ERA and picked … Continue reading Twins Reliever Kevin Jepsen Unfiltered