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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 65
September 18
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

Podcast: Donaldson's ejection and a looming playoff with the Yankees

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.
EPISODE 64
September 4
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

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

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
August 13
Minnesota Twins' Byron Buxton celebrates after hitting a home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Wednesday,

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

La Velle E. Neal III and Michael Rand discussed the Twins' reliance on early offense and home runs this season.
EPISODE 62
July 30
Face cutouts were placed behind home plate at Target Field for the Minnesota Twins home opener. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com – Mi

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

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
July 24
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli at the end of the intrasquad game at Target Field.

Listen: Twins in the postseason? That's a safe assumption

On Thursday, we learned that 16 teams will make the MLB playoffs. That makes things look even better for the twins as the season begins in Chicago.
EPISODE 58
July 17
Minnesota Twins pitcher Rich Hill (44) touched gloves with catcher Mitch Garver (8) after throwing live batting practice Monday evening.

Podcast: Who's in the Twins' rotation? (And other listener questions)

Michael Rand takes a spin through listener-submitted questions, with everything from the serious (Starting rotation? A .400 hitter?) to the not-so-serious (Tacos. Always tacos)
EPISODE 57
July 16
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano ran to first base after a single in the second inning. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ • cgonzalez@startribune.com – Fort Myers, FL

Podcast: Can Sano and Buxton keep their latest 2020 vows?

A confident Miguel Sano has promised '30 bombas' in the 60-game season and Byron Buxton intends to be in the Opening Day lineup next week in Chicago. What are the odds they really will?
Twins
July 16
Minnesota Twins right fielder Max Kepler (26) fielded a fly ball that bounced off the right field wall.

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

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.'
EPISODE 56
July 14
(From left) Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and coach Tony Diaz watched as assistant athletic trainer Matt Biancuzzo steadied the ankle of center fielder

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

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.
EPISODE 55
July 13
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton (25) worked on a drill at practice at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Podcast: A Twins sprint to the World Series?

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
March 27
Groundskeepers prepare the infield for batting practice at Nationals Park in Washington, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019. The Houston Astros and Washington Na

Podcast: Neutral site World Series? Saturday doubleheaders?

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.
EPISODE 53
March 26
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.

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

Phil Miller and Michael Rand trade stories about their favorite memories of baseball Opening Days in the past.
EPISODE 51
March 23
Infielder Royce Lewis remains the Twins’ top prospect despite a difficult 2019 season.

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

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.
EPISODE 50
March 10
Minnesota Twins Byron Buxton. ] CARLOS GONZALEZ ¥ cgonzalez@startribune.com Ð Fort Myers, FL Ð February 18, 2020, CenturyLink Sports Complex, Hammo

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

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
February 26
Minnesota Twins' Miguel Sano ran to first base after a single in the second inning.

Podcast: Confident Twins are talking about World Series

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
February 19
Minnesota Twins outfielder Max Kepler.

Twins podcast: Avoiding regression from 2019's breakout players

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.
EPISODE 47
February 14
Minnesota Twins pitcher Homer Bailey spoke to a coach after throwing in the bullpen.

Twins podcast: The Twins suddenly have a lot of starting pitching options

Phil Miller and Michael Rand discuss the Twins' sneakily active offseason on the starting pitching front and where it might leave them once all their arms are available.
EPISODE 46
February 12
The Twins’ Marwin Gonzalez expressed remorse for participating in a sign-stealing scandal while with the Astros in 2017.

Podcast: Gonzalez apologizes for cheating, but story far from over

La Velle E. Neal III joins Michael Rand to talk about the opening of Twins spring training, which featured the intrigue of Marwin Gonzalez addressing his role in the Astros sign-stealing scandal.
EPISODE 45
February 10
Minnesota Twins pitcher Brusdar Graterol throws against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning in Game 1 of the American League Division Series

Twins podcast: Exactly what happened in the Graterol trade saga?

La Velle E. Neal and Michael Rand on the deal that will result in Brusdar Graterol being traded and Kenta Maeda joining the Twins. Did it work out well for the Twins in the end? And do they now have enough pitching?
EPISODE 44
October 9, 2019
Twins starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi talks to reporters during a news conference during the ALDS.

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

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
October 6, 2019
Twin reliever Tyler Duffey reacted after New York Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius, rear, knocked a grand slam home run in the third inning.

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

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
October 4, 2019
Yankee Stadium will host Games 1 and 2

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

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
October 2, 2019
Twins manager Rocco Baldelli speaks to the media during a press conference.

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

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
October 1, 2019
Twins third baseman Luis Arraez is taken from the game after an injury during the seventh inning

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

Phil Miller joins Michael Rand after a news-filled, season-ending road trip. They try to sort out the Twins' playoff roster.
EPISODE 39
September 26, 2019
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

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

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.