Twins Insider | Star Tribune
Twins Insider

Twins Insider

Twins beat writers La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller join Michael Rand every week to turn the marathon of a baseball season into a series of short sprints. The Twins are worth talking about, and we hope you'll listen.


Episode 44: Podcast: Things the Twins must do to address pitching as offseason looms

Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi talks to reporters during a news conference during the ALDS.

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to break down the Twins as they head into the offseason sooner than expected after a three-game sweep by the Yankees. The series highlighted a need for high-end pitching. How can the Twins get more of it, and what will they prioritize this offseason?


Episode 43: Podcast: After poor play and worse decisions in New York, can Twins respond?

Twin reliever Tyler Duffey reacted after New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, rear, knocked a grand slam home run in the third inning. ] JEFF WH

Michael Rand and Phil Miller break down the lopsided weekend in New York, which saw the Twins outscored 18-6 on the way to a 2-0 ALDS hole. The Twins were outclassed in both games, and a handful of curious decisions by manager Rocco Baldelli contributed to the mess. Can the Twins, resilient all season, make a series of it back at Target Field on Monday?


Episode 42: Podcast: Live from New York, listen to a Twins Game 1 breakdown

Yankee Stadium will host Games 1 and 2

La Velle E. Neal III checks in from New York with Michael Rand as the Twins prepare to start the playoffs against the Yankees. They break down the 25-player postseason roster and try to figure out how the Twins are going to piece together 27 outs per game.


Episode 41: Listen: The Twins aren't intimidated, but will they beat the Yankees?

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli speaks to the media during a press conference.

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss how confident the Twins are -- or at least say they are -- heading into the American League Division Series in New York. Should they fear the Yankees? Will they ever name a Game 1 starter?


Episode 40: Listen: Best guess is Luis Arraez is on the ALDS roster for Twins

A collision between Twins third baseman Luis Arraez and first baseman Willians Astudillo on Saturday in Kansas City left Arraez with a sprained ankle

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand after a news-filled, season-ending road trip. They try to sort out the Twins' playoff roster in light of several interesting decisions -- including a big one that will be determined by the health of rookie Luis Arraez.


Episode 39: Listen: A Twins celebration to remember -- and a pivot to playoff strategy

Minnesota Twins celebrate after the Twins clinched the AL Central, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Detroit. The Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1, a

Jim Souhan was on the scene in Detroit when the Twins clinched their first AL Central title since 2010. He checks in with Michael Rand as they discuss the Twins' earnest but business-like celebration as well as looming questions now that October baseball is official.


Episode 38: Listen: Is Jake Odorizzi the favorite to start Game 1 of a playoff series?

Minnesota Twins pitcher Jake Odorizzi watches a throw to a Detroit Tigers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Tuesday, Sept.

Phil Miller is in Detroit, where he joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins on the verge of clinching the AL Central. Along with that are two big questions that emerged from Tuesday's win: Is Jake Odorizzi in line to be a Game 1 starter, and is Kyle Gibson pitching his way into the postseason mix?


Episode 37: Listen: Completely remade bullpen has become a strength for Twins

Texas Rangers' Nomar Mazara jogs to the dugout as Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Tyler Duffey (21) celebrates getting Isiah Kiner-Falefa to fly out wi

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand talk about the 180 the Twins have pulled with their bullpen this season. Remember Blake Parker? Adalberto Mejia? Those guys (and others) were supposed to be big contributors. They're long gone, and mostly in-house candidates have stepped up in their place.


Episode 36: Listen: Did Kyle Gibson pitch himself off the Twins' postseason roster?

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson (44) threw a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the top of the second inning.

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins' comeback victory Thursday and Kyle Gibson's five-out start, which could jeopardize his spot on the playoff roster. If he's not in the mix, what does the playoff pitching staff look like?


Episode 35: Listen: Marveling at another comeback and wondering who is the Twins' MVP

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) carries Minnesota Twins second baseman Ronald Torreyes (74) after their walk-off win. ] LEILA NAVIDI �

Chip Scoggins joins Michael Rand to talk about another big night for the resilient Twins, who cut their magic number to seven with a 9-8 victory over the White Sox. Also: A bold idea for the postseason rotation and a question: Who is the Twins' MVP this season?


Episode 34: Listen: Did big weekend in Cleveland provide blueprint for bullpen game(s) in playoffs?

Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano looks up after hitting a Grand Slam in the eighth inning in the second baseball game of a baseball doubleheader against t

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand after covering the Twins' big weekend series victory in Cleveland. Topics: Twins frustration with Friday night's rainout; will the Twins use a bullpen game (or two) in the playoffs after having success in Cleveland? Brusdar Graterol makes his case for being on the playoff roster, but will Kyle Gibson make it?


Episode 33: Listen: Who's still hurt, who will play for Twins in Cleveland?

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) raced down the first base line after hitting a double in the sixth inning.

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand from Cleveland to discuss the Twins' mounting health challenges and to update fans on which players could or should be back in the lineup for a key series starting Friday.


Episode 32: Listen: Byron Buxton injury alters postseason landscape for resilient Twins

Center fielder Byron Buxton is one of several Twins who have missed significant playing time this season because of injuries.

Jim Souhan and Michael Rand talk about what Byron Buxton's season-ending injury means for the Twins' postseason hopes, dissect their pitching options without Michael Pineda and try to calm down fans who think anything less than a World Series would be a disappointment.


Episode 31: Listen: Can the Twins survive rash of injuries and Pineda suspension?

Twins starter Michael Pineda was suspended for 60 days Saturday for violating MLB's drug policy. The Minnesota Twins faced the Chicago White Sox in an

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discuss the importance of Saturday's Twins victory, their dicey next six games, their mounting injuries, Michael Pineda's suspension and the "zero percent" chance the Twins call up Alex Kiriloff.


Episode 30: Listen: Twins' division lead is comfortable, but feeling about Berrios isn't

Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios reacts after giving up a three-run home run to Boston's Mookie Betts during the second inning

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand on the latest Twins Insider podcast to talk about the respect the Twins are getting in Boston and around the league. Plus plenty of talk about concern over Sam Dyson's arm trouble (moderate to low) and another ineffective Jose Berrios outing (high).


Episode 29: Listen: Can the Twins nail down division during critical 12-game stretch?

Minnesota Twins relief pitcher Brusdar Graterol reacts after the team's 8-3 win over the Detroit Tigers in a baseball game, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2019, in

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to talk about the Twins opening up a 5.5-game lead as they begin a 12-game stretch against winning teams -- including six against Cleveland. The home run record has been broken. The bullpen is shaping up. Brusdar Graterol is here. It's time to make the final push to October.


Episode 28: Listen: With Twins injuries mounting, will reinforcements help soon?

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discuss the banged-up Twins, who didn't have four key regulars in their Thursday lineup. They also analyzed which players will be called up when rosters expand Sunday and wondered: Is Martin Perez making a bid to be in the October rotation?


Episode 27: Listen: The Twins have become the Yankees, and maybe that's OK

Minnesota Twins third baseman Miguel Sano (22) celebrated with designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) after Sano's 3-run home run in the bottom of the fif

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss the Twins' 3-3 home stand, during which they actually increased their lead on Cleveland. ... These Twins aren't pitching well and aren't playing good defense, but they can sure hit. It's like rooting for the Yankees. ... A Byron Buxton injury update ... and reinforcements are on the the way soon.


Episode 25: Listen: Luis Arraez is a 22-year-old hit machine

Listen: Luis Arraez is a 22-year-old hit machine

Chip Scoggins and Michael Rand discuss Twins rookie Luis Arraez, who has drawn raves for his .341 batting average and approach at the plate. He's been a huge surprise in an already charmed season for the Twins, drawing praise from the likes of Rod Carew and the respect of opposing managers.


Episode 24: Listen: Squirrel mania! (And in praise of Nelson Cruz)

A squirrel interrupted the Twins-White Sox game for the second straight night on Tuesday.

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to discuss how the Twins have embraced the Target Field squirrel and how Nelson Cruz keeps pounding baseballs. Also on the menu: Which Twins starting pitchers do you trust, and could the bullpen get a young flamethrower soon?