Twins Insider

Twins Insider

Twins beat writers La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller of the Star Tribune 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 66: Podcast: What a difference a week makes for Josh Donaldson, Twins

Podcast: What a difference a week makes for Josh Donaldson, Twins

A week ago, it looked like the Twins' chances of winning the AL Central had evaporated in a flurry of dust at home plate in Chicago. But after the Josh Donaldson ejection game, the fortunes of the Twins and White Sox changed. Now the Twins are back in first place -- and Donaldson is a bathrobe-buying hero.


Episode 65: Podcast: Donaldson's ejection and the looming Yankees

Minnesota Twins' Josh Donaldson gives home plate umpire Dan Bellino the thumbs up sign after Bellino ejected him from the baseball game during the six

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss Josh Donaldson's post-homer ejection Thursday in what proved to be a very important loss to the White Sox. They also break down the increasing chance it will be Twins vs. Yankees again in the playoffs -- and how the Twins will stack up their starting pitching in the postseason.


Episode 64: Listen: Are the injury-riddled Twins ready for the stretch run?

Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (24) threw his bat on a swing in the second inning. ] JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com The M

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand talk about the recent six-game losing streak, a busy last few weeks on the schedule and the prospect of the playoffs looming ahead.


Episode 63: Podcast: Twins are in first place, but with plenty of room to improve

Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton celebrates after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday,

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discussed the Twins' reliance on early offense and home runs this season.


Episode 62: Listen: Twins have big bats, big arms ... and big cardboard heads

Face cutouts were placed behind home plate at Target Field for the Minnesota Twins home opener. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com – Mi

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand to discuss the Twins' strong 4-1 start that has included all-around excellence at the plate, on the mound and the field. But what about those big cardboard heads behind home plate at Target Field? Did they really pick the right Twins legends?


Episode 61: Listen: As Twins season begins, is the postseason a virtual lock?

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli at the end of the intrasquad game at Target Field.

La Velle E. Neal III and Chip Scoggins check in from Chicago and join Michael Rand as the Twins prepare to open this abbreviated 60-game season. On Thursday, we learned that 16 teams will make the MLB playoffs. That makes the loaded Twins near-locks to reach the postseason. We talked about that and more with first pitch just hours away.


Episode : Twins Insider: Chip Scoggins on games with no fans in Chicago

The Twins' coaching staff positions a fielder from the dugout during the second inning of a summer camp game against the Cubs

The Twins open the season against the White Sox on Friday night after playing the Cubs in an exhibition Wednesday.


Episode : Podcast: La Velle E. Neal is in Chicago and previews the American League Central

Podcast: La Velle's on site in Chicago, previews the Twins season

After driving to Chicago and checking into a sparsely populated hotel, Twins writer La Velle E. Neal III talks about the opening series with the White Sox and more with Chris Miller.


Episode 58: Podcast: What is the Twins' starting rotation? (And other listener questions)

Minnesota Twins pitcher Rich Hill (44) touched gloves with catcher Mitch Garver (8) after throwing live batting practice Monday evening.

Michael Rand takes a spin through listener-submitted questions, with everything from the serious (starting rotation? .400 hitter?) to the not-so-serious (tacos. Always tacos) in order to get you ready for a regular season that starts one week from today.


Episode 57: Podcast: Confident Miguel Sano returns amid (piped-in) Target Field cheers

Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton struck a training camp pose before the 2019 season.

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand on the latest podcast to talk about positive takeaways -- including fake crowd noise -- from Wednesday's intrasquad game at Target Field. Plus, the return of Miguel Sano and good news on Byron Buxton.


Episode : Podcast: In abnormal Twins season, 'dress rehearsal' offers normalcy

Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) fielded a fly ball that bounced off the right field wall.

The Twins are treated Wednesday's scrimmage like an actual game, complete with walk-up music and real batting orders. With the truncated regular season starting a week from Friday, La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discussed how players are adapting to the 'new normal' along with other subjects.


Episode 56: Podcast: The sad truth is Twins can't trust that Byron Buxton will be healthy

Twins center fielder Byron Buxton watched the ball drop after he stumbled during an intrasquad game Monday at Target Field. Buxton left the field via

Chip Scoggins joins Michael Rand on the latest episode of the Twins Insider podcast to discuss Byron Buxton's foot injury and what it would mean in the context of a short season if he misses significant time. Also, Chip is headed to Chicago to cover next week's opener. He promises he hasn't left Minnesota already.


Episode 55: Podcast: A Twins sprint to the World Series?

Byron Buxton runs to first in an intrasquad scrimmage at target Field,

It's going to be a strange 60 games, but make no mistake: The Twins are as confident as longtime writer Phil Miller has ever seen them. He and Michael Rand discuss that confidence, Byron Buxton and more.


Episode 54: Podcast: Neutral site World Series? Saturday doubleheaders?

Groundskeepers prepare the infield for batting practice at Nationals Park in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. The Houston Astros and Washington Na

Chip Scoggins and Michael Rand reflect on what would have been opening week for MLB and the Twins by examining what baseball could look like in 2020 when and if it returns. How many games can they fit into the regular season? If they push the regular season back, what does that mean for the playoffs? And what's the last date they could conceivably start the season?


Episode 53: Podcast: Memories of Opening Day -- and hopes for Twins in 2020

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Jose Berrios (17) tipped his hat to the crowd as he was pulled from the game in the in the eighth inning Thursday.

Phil Miller and Michael Rand trade stories about their favorite memories of baseball Opening DFays in the past. Thursday would have been opening day for the 2020 Twins, and whenever the season starts there will be great expectations.


Episode 52: Podcast: Add any Twins player to any Twins playoff team, 2002-present

JIM GEHRZ • jgehrz@startribune.com
Minneapolis/September 15, 2007/6:00PM
Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Johan Santana gave up four runs to Detroit

With what would have been opening day just 24 hours away, Michael Rand and Jim Souhan dive into Twins history with two questions: 1) What was the best Twins team of the last 20 years? and 2) If you could take any Twins player from any Twins season, 2002-present and add him to a different Twins team, who would you pick?


Episode 51: Podcast: When play resumes, Twins are loaded in majors -- and minors

Trevor Larnach showed power to all fields during 24 training camp at-bats.

Michael Rand chats with La Velle E. Neal III about the top 10 Twins minor league prospects -- some of whom should be on the doorstep of contributing at Target Field once MLB play resumes. Is Royce Lewis really No. 1? Is there some major pitching help on the way?


Episode 50: Podcast: Will Byron Buxton be ready for the start of the season?

Minnesota Twins Byron Buxton. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ¥ cgonzalez@startribune.com Ð Fort Myers, FL Ð February 18, 2020, CenturyLink Sports Complex, Hammo

La Velle E. Neal checks in with Michael Rand from Florida, where Byron Buxton stood in for live batting practice on Tuesday as he takes steps toward getting back on the field. They also discuss the impact of coronavirus on clubhouse access.


Episode 49: Podcast: Confident Twins are talking about World Series

Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano ran to first base after a single in the second inning.

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand from Florida with a glowing review of veteran pitcher Jhoulys Chacin's debut. Also on the docket: Miguel Sano's fitness (very good) and transition to first base (work in progress), Josh Donaldson's impact and a World Series-level confidence that is permeating Fort Myers.


Episode 48: Twins podcast: Watching out for regression from 2019 breakout players

Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler.

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand from spring training to talk about Max Kepler and a slew of other Twins players who exceeded expectations in 2019 -- and how they can sustain that level while avoiding regression.