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Twins Update – Week of September 19th

One of the most underrated players in Major League Baseball, without question, is Brian Dozier, the smooth-hitting second baseman who continues to put together some very big numbers as he maintains his steady momentum towards being recognized as one of the top players at his position. Though he doesn't have the contract of Robinson Cano, the 27-year-old has impressed all season long, improving his power numbers and his ability to take the free pass, showing that he's the type of player who has a very bright future as he rounds out just his third season in the big leagues.

Now with 20 homers on the season and counting, Dozier has elevated to a new career-high in dingers and ranks with Anthony Rendon and Neil Walker as the top power-hitting second basemen in the league this season. One of the most important stats these days to evaluate a player is WAR (wins above replacement), with Dozier possessing a gaudy WAR near 5.0 on the season to show just how dominant he has been. But what truly separates Dozier from most of his peers is his ability to snag a bag if pitchers don't pay attention to him. Dozier helps to give the Twins an exciting young core to build around, providing plenty of optimism moving forward.

Of course, Dozier definitely hasn't been alone either, as Trevor Plouffe continues to show that he's capable of carrying a team offensively when he gets going. Leading the team in RBIs this season, the 28-year-old third baseman has also taken an enormous step forward for the Twins, establishing career high marks in RBIs, doubles and WAR. With some exciting matchups from now until the end of the season and guys like Plouffe and Dozier looking to show that the Twins have a very promising future ahead of them, the Twins look to make a major statement in the final weeks of the season.

Twins Update – Week of September 12th

One of the brightest parts of the Twins' season, and one to consistently slip below the national radar, has been the performance of rookie centerfielder Danny Santana. Over the course of the season, Santana has come on extremely strong and has taken his game to a different level since the beginning of August, solidifying him as a potent part of the top of the lineup. Santana has shown that he can hit for a very high average, put significant pressure on pitchers and catchers with his speed and, perhaps most importantly, be patient at the plate – a huge development for a talented youngster.

Put it all together and Santana represents an exciting piece of the future for the Twins, giving them a nice combination of good all-around hitting and dynamic speed that can change a game in a real hurry. In addition to Santana, Twins fans are also extremely excited about Trevor Plouffe, who has upped his production big-time from last season and has established a career high in RBIs with 73 and counting. With Plouffe showing some major flashes of his enormous potential and Santana setting the table at the top of the order, the Twins have an exciting young core of their offense that could do some very big things.

Also falling beneath the national radar for much of the season has been closer Glen Perkins, who has been very dependable at the back-end of the bullpen and has proven to be tough as nails in most big spots of the season in the late-innings. With the Twins looking to prove that they're going to be an important part of the playoff picture in the A.L. Central for many years to come thanks to their brewing young talent, there is still plenty of fanfare surrounding the Twinkies as they look to bring down some clutch September wins to wrap up the regular season on a high note.

Twins Update – Week of September 5th

With the Twins looking for a boost heading into the final portion of the 2014 season, rookie call-up Trevor May finally tallied his first big league win, flashing his enormous potential to fans as the Twins look to develop their talent and end the season on a high note. After struggling with his command in his first couple of starts, May has really buckled down in his last few, significantly dropping his walks while showing his talent to miss bats and pile up strikeouts. On Sept. 3 at home against the White Sox, May ended up going five strong overall innings, striking out six, walking just one and tallying his first one of the season.

The Twins have also received some other promising pitching contributions in recent weeks, most notably with Phil Hughes pitching yet another gem to pick up his 15th win of the season. In Baltimore against arguably the hottest team in baseball, the Orioles, Hughes dominated the O's over eight innings, allowing zero earned runs (three unearned) without walking a batter and ultimately delivering a clutch 6-4 win to start the month of September with a tough victory. Though Hughes scuffled a bit in June and July, the 28-year-old right-hander has been outstanding since then and has put together his best overall season as a pro.

With Hughes locking down the top of the rotation, the rest of the division and American League knows enough not to take the Twins lightly coming down the home stretch of the season. Lately, Joe Mauer has had a few different offensive explosions – including a four-RBI effort in the win in Baltimore – and the offense has shown an ability to come up with timely hits in the second half of the season. With some great divisional matchups in the final weeks of the season, most notably big series games both home and away against Detroit, there is still plenty of exciting baseball that the Twins will be right in the middle of as we near the end of the 2014 season.

Twins Update – Week of August 29th

When the Tigers came to Target Field for the beginning of a four-game set recently, they didn't really know what they were what they were getting themselves into. Though the Tigers are right in the heart of the divisional chase, the Twins touched them for a ridiculous 20 runs during a series-opening romp, with the final being 20-6. In the game, seven different Twins had at least two hits and Eduardo Escobar led the way by going five out of six, knocking in two runs and scoring three times while finishing a double shy of a cycle. Danny Santana also had himself a day, setting the table by going three of six with a homer and four RBIs.

The Twins enjoyed hitting Detroit pitching so much that they got out the lumber the next night as well, as they again jumped all over Tigers' pitching during a 12-4 blowout. This time it was Kennys Vargas who drove in five runs in the heart of the order, with Joe Mauer also knocking in three along the way. Escobar still hadn't cooled off either, as he racked up three more hits in five at-bats as he simply continued to rake.

Though not everything has been on the up-and-up this season for the Twins, they still have a bunch of really good ballplayers who have shown flashes of absolute dominance, particularly once their offense gets going. As the Twins look to pick up some momentum coming down the home stretch, they'll also have some plenty of opportunities to do some damage to some playoff hopes. A four-game set in Baltimore is sure to be rife with playoff implications, as will a four-game home series against the star-studded Angels in early September and back-to-back home matches against the Tigers and Indians. The Twins will also end the season with an intense divisional rival in Detroit against the Tigers, a series that will provide the perfect chance for the Twins to play the spoiler.

Twins Update – Week of August 22nd

With an excellent August so far, Phil Hughes is showing fans once again why he was so highly touted at the beginning of his career, as he's capable of absolutely dominating once he gets rolling in the right direction. After scuffling a little bit toward the end of July, Hughes has snapped right back into form, winning four straight games and pitching at least six innings in all of them. Hughes also hasn't exactly been going up against weak opponents either, as he carved up the A's in Oakland and took down the Kansas City Royals as well – both teams that are right in the middle of the hunt for the playoffs.

One of the strongest parts of Hughes' game right now is that he hasn't been giving up the free pass. Over that four-game winning streak, Hughes has surrendered only two weeks in total while compiling while compiling 30 strikeouts, which is an excellent ratio for any pitcher. With his Aug. 21 dominant performance against the Indians, the Twins' ace has lowered his ERA to 3.65 and improved his record to 14-8, showing that the Twins have one of the very best pitchers in the American League when he's got the hot hand.

With Hughes leading the way, the Twins will be looking to build a little momentum in the next couple of weeks as they look to head down the home stretch of the season on a high note. After playing the Tigers at home for a four-game set, they'll stay in the division to take on the Royals in Kansas City before heading over to Baltimore, where they'll matchup with the surging Orioles to wrap up the month of August. With plenty of baseball left to be played and Hughes right back in top-notch form, the Twins will be out to prove to the rest of the league that they can play neck-and-neck with any team in the league when they're playing Minnesota Twins' baseball.

Twins Update – Week of August 15th

The Minnesota Twins have had somewhat of an up-and-down season, but when they flash their talent, they can beat any team in the league on a given night. Recently in Oakland, the Twins showed exactly that when they pulled together to avoid a three-game sweep against the top team in baseball this season. Of course, it helped to have Phil Hughes on the mound, as the right-hander dished for seven innings, allowing just one earned run and ultimately pulling down his 12th win of the season to help the Twins avoid the series sweep. Hughes has been a very bright part of the Twins' season so far, as the former Yankee has reignited his career and has shown flashes of brilliance throughout the season.

After pulling down that win, the Twins kept up the momentum by taking two of three in Houston against the Astros, showing that they're a formidable team on the road once they get going. The series culminated in an incredible series-capping performance from Kyle Gibson, who went 7 2/3 innings while allowing just one earned run to help him pick up his 11th win of the season. Recently, Gibson has been pitching very well, earning wins over playoff contenders like Seattle and Kansas City as well as a road win against division rivals Chicago.

With Hughes and Gibson looking to keep up their recent strong pitching, the Twins are hopeful that they can end the season on a high note with a few winning streaks that could send them up the A.L. Central standings. With a four-game set at home against Kansas City, the Twins will have an excellent opportunity to play the spoiler, and then they'll stay at home for a highly anticipated series against rivals Cleveland and then Detroit. Though it won't be easy as they go up against some of the toughest teams in the American League in the coming weeks, the Twins have shown that they have no intention of rolling over, and fans are confident that the wins will keep on coming from now until the end of the season.

Twins Update – Week of August 8th

Though the season hasn't been all rays of sunshine for the Twins so far, there have also been plenty of amazing moments and performances that are cause for optimism, but perhaps none greater than the development of Kyle Gibson. Gibson had a rough 2013 rookie season for the Twins, but he has come back strong and continues to improve on a nightly basis, showing that he's the type of pitcher who has some serious upside. With his ERA coming down significantly and his command markedly improving as well, Gibson looks like he could be a very good pitcher for the Twins for quite a while.

Gibson also is showing no signs of slowing down this season either – quite the opposite, actually. After winning three of his last four starts and lowering his ERA back under 4.00, Gibson has been a bright spot in a stretch of the calendar that has been fairly rough on the Twins. With a recent strong performance on the road against the White Sox, Gibson even picked up his 10th win of the season, which is a mark that fans are hoping they'll get to see out of Gibson with regularity in future seasons.

Of course, it also helps when the Twins provide the type of run-support that they did for Gibson's most recent start against the White Sox. The Twins exploded against the White Sox bullpen, with Danny Santana tallying five hits and leading the Twins to a 16-3 win, pointing out that this is a team that can do some serious damage in the batter's box when they start to click. All in all, the Twins had eight different batters gather at least two hits and they ended up with a ridiculous 23 in total for the game, marking one of the biggest offensive explosions in the entire league so far.

Twins Update – Week of August 1

It hasn't been an easy season for the Twins, but they're definitely not going down without a fight, which is something that the Indians recently found out when they headed to Target Field to take on the Twins. The Indians have been getting their fans to think about the playoffs as they make their move in the division, but the Twins ended up taking two out of three, winning two close ballgames and showing that the Twins still have plenty left in the tank. To cap off the series, it was the surprising start of Anthony Swarzak that got them over the hump, as the right-hander jumped into the rotation and pitched a gem to bring home the win.

One of the strongest parts of the team for the Twins also continues to be the heart of the lineup, as Brian Dozier has been a very consistent home run threat throughout the season and is on pace for a career year. Dozier has tallied at least four homers every month of the season and is already knocking on the door of 20, as the second baseman has already topped his career high in long-balls and is starting to look like the best-hitting second basemen in all of Major League Baseball.

With guys like Dozier continuing to produce and the Twins getting some timely hitting when they need it, a lot can still happen for the Twins between now and the end of the season. After a three-game set in Chicago against the White, the Twins will then come home to host the Padres before heading out to Oakland to take on the A's, which will present a challenge as the Twins link up with one of the top teams in the league this season. Though it's not going to be easy, the Twins are up to the challenge as they look to take their game to the next level and swing their way back into the mix in the division.

Twins Update – Week of July 25

After a rough first series following the All-Star break against the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays, the Twins got right back to their winning ways by taking two out of three at home against the Cleveland Indians, which is exactly the type of thing that they'll need to do as they look to get back into the thick of the playoff hunt in the American League Central. Against the Indians, it was once again their pitching that got them over the hump, as in their two wins they held the Indians to just four runs in total. In the opening game of the three-game series, it was Josh Willingham who smacked a homer in the bottom of the eighth to deliver the clutch 4-3 win, with Glen Perkins slamming the door shut with a perfect ninth.

The Twins will have to keep up the pitching, however, as they'll host division rivals Chicago for a four-game set at home – a crucial series for two talented clubs looking to get back in the playoff picture in the A.L. Central. Of course, the Twins will have to find a way to keep Jose Abreu from going off, off as the sensational youngster has been one of the most productive hitters in the entire league so far and has also had a flair for the dramatic.

But the Twins have had their own flair for the dramatic as well, which they hope will translate to some big wins against the White Sox. After wrapping up their 10-game home stand, the Twins will then stay in the division by heading to Kansas City to take on the Royals, another talented young team hoping to chase down the Tigers. From there, it's on to Chicago to play the White Sox once again, though this time it will be just a three-game set to start the month of August.

Twins Update – Week of July 18

Target Field was the epicenter of Major League Baseball during the annual Midsummer Classic, as fans and players from all over came to marvel at one of the great new baseball stadiums in the world. All of the top players in the game came together to put on a serious show in front of the fans right here in Minnesota, with the American League eventually edging out the National League 5-3 to bring home-field advantage to the A.L. in the World Series. In the game, it was Derek Jeter getting it all started with two hits and both Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera driving in at least two runs, with Cabrera belting a two-run blast in the first inning to set the tone.

But even though it was a few of the top stars in the American League that brought the A.L. to the cusp of victory, it was the Twins' own Glen Perkins who slammed the door shut with a perfect ninth inning. Perkins has been one of the most underrated relief pitchers in the league this year, tallying 22 saves on an impressive 1.07 WHIP during the first half of the season. For Perkins, it was his second consecutive All-Star appearance, and grabbing a save at home during the All-Star Game ranks as one of the top achievements in his impressive career.

The Twins will also be looking to take that momentum from the All-Star break into the second half of the season, as they really pulled it together in the final week of the first half to get them back into the mix in the A.L. Central. After taking three out of four against the sizzling Mariners in Seattle and two out of three from the Rockies in Denver before the break, the Twins have shown that they can pile up the wins on the road as well as at home. The Twins will now stay at home for a nice 10-game stretch, however, as they'll go up against the Rays, the Indians and then the White Sox.

Twins Update – Week of July 11

After losing a few series in a row, the Twins bounced back in a big way on a recent West Coast road trip, taking a couple of big games against the red hot Mariners in Seattle. In the first three games of the series, the Twins let up just three runs despite the Mariners heading into the series doing very well at the plate, getting the Twins back on a winning track. In the process, Phil Hughes also turned in his best start in a month while improving his record to 9-5 on the season and lowering his ERA to 3.70. Hughes will have one more start before the All-Star break, as he'll take the bump in Colorado against the Rockies.

It wasn't only about the pitching in Seattle, however, as the Twins also put together some clutch hits as well. On July 9, the Twins put up eight runs in one of the toughest hitting parks in the league (Safeco), with Kendrys Morales, Brian Dozier and Kurt Suzuki leading the way. Along the way, the Twins also got a nice start from Kyle Gibson, who went six shutout innings against the Mariners to earn his eighth win of the season.

With the Twins still fighting their way up the standings in the A.L. Central, fans know that the rest of the season can play out in any numbers of ways, though it will be interesting to watch no matter what happens. After the break, the Twins will also have a nice home stand at Target Field that will take them up against the Rays, the Indians and the White Sox in succession, providing a nice opportunity for the Twins to start building a bit of momentum and get back into the playoff hunt this season. With Hughes and company starting to turn the corner pitching wise and the bats coming to life, the Twins definitely won't be going quietly in the second half.

Twins Update – Week of July 4

To start off the month of July, the Minnesota Twins showed what they can do in the batter's box if everything starts coming together. With Eduardo Nunez getting it all started at the top of the order with three hits, the Twins batted around James Shields and ended up with 10 runs in a romp of the Royals, dishing Shields just his fourth loss of the season. In the game, the Twins did regretfully lose Joe Mauer for a short period of time, but they also showed a nice combination of hitting all throughout the lineup, proving just how difficult they can be when they're aggressive at the plate.

And one of the biggest reasons for optimism in the lineup recently has been the continued consistency of Kurt Suzuki, who has been steadily hitting all year long, with a batting average above.290 every single month and an overall batting average over.300. With Suzuki continuing to hit at a great clip, Brian Dozier has also picked it up from there, belting a team-high 15 homers and showing that he has a very powerful bat when he gets his rhythm. Trevor Plouffe has also had stretches of dominant as well, providing another major spark in the heart of the order.

The Twins will also be looking to pick up a few big wins as they hope to close out the first half on a high note. A four-game set at home against the Yankees surely a challenge, but the Twins will have another chance to scrape against a strong team as they head to Seattle to take on the Mariners. From there, the Twins close out the first half with an exciting series against the Rockies, a team that is among the best offensive teams in all of Major League Baseball. If the Twins can keep it rolling with some big wins, though, they should head into the second half within striking distance of the rest of the top teams in the A.L. Central.

Twins Update – Week of June 27

Despite the ups and downs this season so far, the Minnesota Twins recently showed what they're capable of when the Chicago White Sox came to town. The Twins halted a losing streak by taking all four games from their division rivals, culminating in yet another dominant performance from Phil Hughes. In an excellent series, each game was within two runs, with the Twins holding off the White Sox in each game and showing nerves of steel in hammering down all four ball games. In the process, Glen Perkins racked up his 18th and 19th saves of the season, putting him right near the top of the American League in saves.

And one of the main reasons the Twins remain optimistic despite a couple of down spells this season is because of Hughes' extraordinary season. Though Hughes was originally touted when he came up through the New York Yankees' organization, he was largely forgotten about when he struggled a bit in the Bronx. But Hughes dug back in upon coming to Minnesota and the effort has paid off, as the right-hander now holds an 8-3 record to go along with a very steady 3.40 ERA, making him one of the top starters in the American League and a prime candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.

With Hughes giving the Twins quality starts just about every time that he takes to the bump and some timely hitting to boot, fans know that this is a team that can still shake off the early-season woes to become a factor in the American League Central. Though there are plenty of other big games on the schedule before the All-Star break, one of the prime opportunities for the Twins will be in an upcoming series against the Royals, a team that has had some major hot spells in the regular season and a major challenger for the division title. With the Twins looking to pick up a few big wins before the break, fans know that there is plenty of baseball left to be played.

Twins Update – Week of June 20

In the closest division in baseball, the American League Central, absolutely anything can happen from here, even though the Twins have had a bit of a rough stretch that has had them on the losing end of some very tough ball games. After winning two out of three against the Blue Jays on the road, the Twins had a hard time keeping it going against Detroit and Boston, losing both series despite a few different very good pitching performances. But the best thing about baseball's 162-game schedule is that there are plenty of games to right the ship, and the Twins are still very much alive in the A.L. Central due to the overall parity that fans have been enjoying all season long.

And one of the reasons that fans are optimistic the Twins can turn it around is because of the strong play of Brian Dozier, who is becoming a major factor in the heart of the order. After a very strong May, Dozier has seen pitchers around the league pitch him considerably more careful in June, but he's also shown his patience at the plate while walking much more often and steadily improving his on-base percentage. With Dozier still leading the team in homers and several other statistical categories, the Twins have plenty of power in their lineup when Dozier gets it going.

Also providing a spark has been Kurt Suzuki, who is hitting well over.300 in June and is currently leading the team in batting average. Though the Twins would love to see some more overall consistency out of their lineup, the potential is definitely there, with key contributors like Suzuki showing that they have a balanced roster that should help keep the losing streaks at bay. After a four-game home set against the White Sox, the Twins will be looking to keep it rolling with a road trip that will take them to both Los Angeles to play the Angels and Arlington to play the Rangers, providing some major opportunities for the Twins to get back into the thick of things in the A.L. Central.

Twins Update – Week of June 13

Though June has been a bit up and down for the Twins, fans got a chance to see what the Twins are capable of when they play Minnesota baseball during a recent road series against the Blue Jays, a team that has cruised to the top of the A.L. East with a hot few weeks of baseball. But even though Jays were riding high, particularly after squeezing out a 5-4 win to start the series against the Twins, Minnesota instead rallied and took the next two games, which included an exclamation point at the end of the series with a 7-2 romp. After beating one of the top teams in the league on the road, the Twins head deeper into June with a little momentum and some confidence, which fans hope will translate into some consistency as they look to put it all together.

And one of the reasons that Twins continue to make it tough even on the best teams in Major League Baseball is because of their patience at the plate, as the Twins continue to get on-base at an extremely good clip – step number one in winning in baseball on any level. Brian Dozier has obviously been a major spark, leading the team in homers and overall hits midway through June, but other hitters like Kurt Suzuki, Trevor Plouffe and more have helped give the Twins one of the most balanced lineups in the A.L.

It's also not going to get any easier on the Twins either, as now they'll head to Detroit and then to Boston to complete the rest of their road trip, which will be a nice test as they have to go up against some of the most talented teams in the league. But with a few nice wins under their belt in recent weeks, the Twins will be looking to stay within striking distance of the rest of the A.L. Central, leaving the season completely wide open.

Twins Update – Week of June 6

The Twins continue to hang in there in the wide open American League Central, and fans are hoping the wins will keep coming both home and away as this talented team looks to reach their potential this season. Winning two out of three from the Yankees in New York was obviously a good sign, as the Twins showed that they're not intimidated outside of their own ballpark by taking a series from the powerhouse Pinstripes. In the series, a big moment came from Phil Hughes, who came up through the Yankees' organization but has since found a home in Minnesota with the Twins. In the decisive game of the series, Hughes went eight strong innings and let up just two runs, which was enough for the Twins to bring him his sixth win of the season in front of his former team.

With the win, Hughes moved his record to 6-1 and holds a record hovering just above 3.00 making him one of the most productive pitchers in the American League in the process. Another signature win for the Twins also happened on the road, as the Twinkies smacked around Brewers' ace Yovani Gallardo and gave him his fourth loss of the season.

Since the Twins have shown that they've been more than capable of winning big games on the road, they'll be looking to continue that momentum as they head out on a major road stretch that will show quite a bit about the team as a whole. After playing the Astros at home, it's on to Toronto to take on the A.L. East leaders before heading to Detroit to take on the Tigers, who currently are sitting comfortably at the top of the A.L. Central. It won't get any easier as then the Twins will head to Boston to take on the Red Sox before finally returning to Target Field for a four-game set against the White Sox.

Twins Update – Week of May 16

Though it's been a bit up and down to start the season for the Twins, this is a team that looks like it's headed in the right direction after a win that could end up as a signature one for the season. Against the defending champion Red Sox, Chris Parmelee belted a two-run walk-off homer to deliver a riveting 8-6 win. With that, the Twins moved closer to.500 and are looking more and more like a serious threat in the A.L. Central, though it will take a good run to keep up with the Tigers the way they're playing.

But the Twins have a very strong team loaded with up-and-coming stars, making them one of the teams to watch in the division. With Joe Mauer heating up and Chris Colabello continuing to smack the ball all over the years, and sometimes over the fence, the Twins have a potent lineup that can bat around any team in the league if they get going. They did that recently by taking down Bruce Chen of the Orioles, which is something that only one other team has been able to do this season as Chen and the Orioles have moved all the way to the top of the A.L. East.

Of course, one of the major reasons that the Twins are right in the thick of the A.L. Central race is because of the strong season from Phil Hughes, who is coming on strong after a so-so start to the season. Recently, in a game in Detroit against the Tigers, Hughes pitched seven shutout innings and ended up winning his fourth straight start, moving him to 4-0 in the process and pushing his ERA down below 4.00. With Hughes pulling it together and the dangerous Twins' lineup showing some major consistency, the Twins are looking to remain a big-time factor in the division the rest of the season.

Twins Update – Week of May 9

Near the top of the league in runs scored, the Twins continue to be a menace in the batter's box as they look to pull it all together and make a move up the A.L. Central standings. After a tough series loss to the Dodgers, the Twins showed their resiliency by bouncing back immediately and taking two of three from the Orioles, who currently sit atop the standings in the competitive A.L. East. The Twins also have shown recently that they can be a force to be reckoned with on the road, taking two out of three from the Rays in Tampa near the end of April.

And one of the best things about the Twins is their extremely balanced offensive attack, which makes them not have to rely solely on one player on a nightly basis. Though Chris Colabello has had an unbelievable start to the season, ranking among the top hitters in the league in a variety of categories, Joe Mauer has also come on strong while leading the team in hits and opposing pitchers have also had a very difficult time keeping Brian Dozier in the yard. Not only was Dozier leading the team with homers in the early part of May but he's also been a terror on the base paths, stealing a team-high 11 bases in his first 32 games of the season.

Now the Twins will be looking to keep that balanced approach firing on all cylinders as they head into a difficult part of their schedule. After three road games against the Tigers, the Twins will come home for a series against the Red Sox and another one against the Mariners before a West Coast trip against the Giants and the Padres. With plenty of opportunities to keep the wins coming, the Twins have the type of team that doesn't seem to have any intention of going quietly in the A.L. Central this season.

Twins Update – Week of April 25th

With recent series wins against the Royals, the Blue Jays and the Rays in the last couple of weeks, the Twins are back on the right track and are already making some serious noise in the A.L. Central. And that's exactly how a good ball club responds after starting the season a little bit slow, as the Twins lost early series to the White Sox and the A's, with Oakland actually sweeping them in a three-game set. From there, though, the Twins responded in a big way, racking up some big wins and making a move right up the divisional standings as teams jockey for position in the early going.

Much of the success, of course, has been at the plate, where hitters like Chris Colabello, Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe have thrived in the early going as they give the lineup some much needed pop. With 26 RBIs in his first 21 games of the season, Colabello in particular has been one of the major spark plugs for the team, and he's even been one of the very best run producers in the entire league in the process. Also contributing in a big way has been Casey Fien, who has been dynamic in the bullpen and has racked up three wins in his first nine appearances. Start Kyle Gibson has also shown some dominance, winning three of his first four decisions and completely dominating the prolific Blue Jays on April 17th.

But there is no time for the Twins to rest up and congratulate themselves on a decent start to the season, as now they'll host the Detroit Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in back-to-back series to wrap up the first month of the season and move on to May. To open May, the Twins will stay at home as they'll take on the Orioles before hitting the road and starting an away trip that will take them to both Cleveland and Detroit.

Twins Update – Week of April 18th

With early-season series wins against the Indians and the Royals, the Twins are off and running in the early going of 2014, giving their fans a taste of their talent as the Twinkies look to pull it all together and take aim at the rest of the A.L. Central. Fans are already pointing to the Twins' resiliency, which they showed by bouncing back from losing a series sweep against the A's at home by sweeping the Royals immediately afterwards. Clearly the Twins are not afraid of a few losses, making them the type of team that the rest of the division is definitely going to be keeping their eye on as they Twins swing their way up the standings this season.

And swing-away they certainly have done, Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello and Brian Dozier have all gotten off to hot starts at the plate. Batting over.350 in his first 12 games of the season, Kubel in particular has been a major spark to the heart of the lineup, leading the team with an OPS over 1.000 in the early going of 2014. Dozier has also shown that he's a dual threat, leading the team with four homers by mid-April and also tying for the team lead with three stolen bases, which he shared with Pedro Florimon.

On the bump, the Twins have also shown that one of their biggest strengths is their bullpen. In his first five appearances of the season, Brian Duensing let up just two hits and didn't let up a single run – all without even relinquishing a walk. Kyle Gibson has also been very impressive out of the bullpen as well, notching two late-innings wins and allowing just two earned runs in his first 11 innings pitched of the season. The Twins will also need all the help they can get as they continue to take on some of the most talented teams in the league, with upcoming series against the Tigers, the Dodgers and Rays as the Twins hope to finish the first month with some wins against powerhouses.

Twins Update – Week of April 11th

The Twins are back at it in the A.L. Central in another season that has already had plenty of nail-biting moments – just a precursor of things to come as the talented Twinkies look to round into form and swing their way up the divisional standings this season. After losing a close one to the White Sox to start the season, the Twins got right on track when they took down the Indians, winning the last two games of the series to get them headed in the right direction. Leading the way has been a slew of different sluggers, with new addition Jason Kubel off to a blistering start at the plate and hitting well over.400 in the first couple weeks of the season. Also making it difficult on opposing pitchers has been Brian Dozier bashing the ball out of the park and Chris Colabello knocking in runs all over the place, showing that this is a team that can light up the scoreboard in bunches if they get going.

On the bump, one of the highlights of the early portion of the season has been Glen Perkins, who slammed the door twice early on and is showing some signs of being a dominant part of the bullpen. Phil Hughes is another pitcher who has been proving that he still has plenty left in the tank, striking out a batter per inning in his first couple of outings. After some big home games, the Twins will head out on the road to take on division rival Kansas City followed by the Tampa Bay Rays, giving them some big-time A.L. competition and giving them some early chances to prove their talent level. The Twins will then close out the month with home matchups against the current division champion Detroit Tigers and their first interleague games of the season when they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers.

2014 Minnesota Twins Schedule

The Minnesota Twins are looking to do some serious damage in the American League this season in an effort to bounce back from a down year in 2013. The Twins will be hosting the top teams in baseball all season long at Target Field in Minneapolis, and fans are sure to be clamoring to get inside the ball park to watch their favorite club hit the field in person. But the good part about the schedule is that it is also absolutely packed to the brim with great road matchups as well, providing plenty of opportunities for you to hit the road to see the Twinkies from a whole new perspective. Though it's tempting to just sit at home and watch the game on your flatscreen, this is a team and a game that really springs to life when you get a chance to watch the drama unfold before your very eyes.

Of course, they will have plenty of competition in the always competitive A.L. Central, which guarantees a steady string of great matchups throughout the year. The Tigers won the American League Central crown in 2013, and the road to the division title in 2014 likely goes through them thanks to a star-studded roster. But the Twins also have a balanced roster of their own and have some up-and-coming stars to balance with the savvy vets, giving fans plenty of reasons for optimism as they look to put together another memorable season. If the Twins can take down the Tigers with regularity this season, the rest of the A.L. will surely take notice and view the Twins as a team to watch out for.

The Cleveland Indians are certainly another club that the Twins will have to take very seriously when they visit Target Field. The Indians fell just one game short of finishing neck-and-neck with the Tigers last season, and they're a legitimate threat to take home the division crown in 2014. The Twins will look to get some big wins at home when the Tribe visits their home field, and they have a good chance of doing so with a crowd of dedicated Twins fans behind them. Games against the White Sox and the Royals also bring in plenty of fans, as these division rivals also have a long history of nail-biting matchups with the Twins.

Minnesota Twins Team Info

The Minnesota Twins play in the American League Central division of Major League Baseball, a division that also features the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. The Twins didn't put it all together in 2013, falling short of the expectations they had going into the season. However, the talent level is still there on the roster, so 2014 could easily be a round campaign for this franchise. The Twins have their sights set on the top spot in the division, and they're prepared to do whatever it takes to climb that division ladder and finish atop the standings come season's end. It should be a great season to head out to the ball park to see the Twins take the field and battle it out with some top opponents. The Twins are hoping to make some real noise in the American League this season, and they could certainly use the support of their home fans at each and every home games at Target Field. With Joe Mauer in the lineup and Ricky Nolasco heading the pitching staff, this is a team that definitely won't go quietly this season.

The MLB Experience

Major League Baseball is the top baseball league on the planet, and boasts some of the top players from all over the globe, and that's just one reason that people from all over the country flock to stadiums across the nation to see these talented athletes hit the field in person. Baseball is a great game that resonates with people from all walks of life, and many friendships are made in the stands of baseball stadiums. There's certainly a camaraderie that comes with rooting for the same team, and before you know it the stranger seated next to you seems like an old friend. The Twins have some great games to check out in person this season, and the fans will be there to support their team.

Minnesota Twins History

The Minnesota Twins franchise was founded in 1894 as the Kansas City Blues. In 1901, the team moved the nation's capital in Washington D.C. and played there for six decades as the Washington Nationals and the Washington Senators. The organization moved to Minnesota in 1961 and were named the Twins. The Twins have won three World Series title, the most recent coming in 1991, with Kirby Puckett leading the way in the most exciting part of franchise history to date. Since then, the team has moved to a beautiful new ballpark, Target Field, and the tradition of baseball in Minneapolis is alive and well.

Minnesota Twins Trivia

Who holds the Minnesota Twins franchise record for the most hits in a single season?

The answer is Rod Carew, who compiled 239 hits in 1977. Carew also holds the franchise record for the highest batting average in a single season at.377, which he accomplished that same year. Though baseball gurus certainly know Carew's place in baseball history, he remains one of the most underrated players, though Twins fans remember with clarity that Carew was nothing shy of one of the greatest players to ever play the game.

The Fans

Fans of the Minnesota Twins are constantly showing up to Target Field in droves to support their favorite team, as many fans do for their squads across the country. Major League Baseball has a way of bringing out a passion in people as they cheer for their team with everything they've got. Be there this season at Target Field to join the biggest Twins fans in their support for Minnesota as they take on some tough teams all season long in another year sure to be loaded with twists, turns and jaw-dropping moments as the Twins take aim at the top of the standings.

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