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March 2017
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‘MLB’ Articles

2017 World Baseball Classic All-tournament team named: Stroman named MVP

Marcus Stroman Named Tournament MVP; Wladimir Balentien, Eric Hosmer and Yadier Molina Unanimous Selections to All-World Baseball Classic Team

Press Release | 2:18 AM ET

This evening World Baseball Classic, Inc. (WBCI) announced the selections of the 2017 World Baseball Classic Most Valuable Player and the 2017 All-World Baseball Classic Team. The selections were made by a panel of broadcasters and media members.

United States pitcher Marcus Stroman, who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning of tonight’s WBC Championship Game, has been named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 WBC. Stroman’s 15.1 innings pitched, in which he fashioned a 2.35 ERA, were a team high for WBC Champion Team USA. He joins Team Japan pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who earned the honor in both the 2006 and 2009 events, and Dominican Republic second baseman Robinson Canó, who won for the tournament’s 2013 edition.

The following players have been selected to the 2017 All-World Baseball Classic Team (^ indicates a unanimous choice):


Position Player Team 2017 Tournament Statistics
C YADIER MOLINA^ Puerto Rico .333, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 4 R
1B ERIC HOSMER^ USA .385, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 3 2B, 6 R
2B JAVIER BÁEZ Puerto Rico .308, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 4 R, 4 SB
3B CARLOS CORREA Puerto Rico .333, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB, 10 R*
SS FRANCISCO LINDOR Puerto Rico .370, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 2B, 7 R
OF WLADIMIR BALENTIEN^ Kingdom of the Netherlands .615, 4 HR12 RBI, 1.115 SLG, 10 R*29 TB
OF GREGORY POLANCO Dominican Republic .579, 1 HR, 2 RBI, .842 SLG
DH CARLOS BELTRÁN Puerto Rico .435, 5 RBI, 1 2B, 4 R
P KODAI SENGA Japan 0.82 ERA, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 1 BB, 16 SO*
P MARCUS STROMAN (MVP) USA 1-1, 2.35 ERA, 3 GS, 15.1 IP, 9 SO
P JOSH ZEID Israel 0.00 ERA, 2 SV, 10.0 IP, 5 H, 10 SO

The previous all-tournament teams have included:

2006: Catcher Tomoya Satozaki, Japan; first baseman Seung Yeop Lee, Korea; second baseman Yulieski Gourriel of Cuba; third baseman Adrian Beltre, Dominican Republic; shortstop Derek Jeter, USA; outfielders Ken Griffey Jr. of the USA, Jong Beom Lee of Korea and Ichiro Suzuki of Japan; designated hitter Yoandri Garlobo of Cuba; and pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka (MVP) of Japan, Yadel Marti of Cuba and Chan Ho Park of Korea.

2009: Catcher Ivan Rodriguez, Puerto Rico; first baseman Tae Kyun Kim, Korea; second baseman José Lopez, Venezuela; third baseman Bum Ho Lee, Korea; shortstop Jimmy Rollins, USA; outfielders Frederich Cepeda and Yoenis Céspedes of Cuba and Norichika Aoki of Japan; designated hitter Hyun Soo Kim of Korea; and pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka (MVP) and Hisashi Iwakuma of Japan and Jungkeun Bong of Korea.

2013: Catcher Yadier Molina, Puerto Rico; first baseman Edwin Encarnación, Dominican Republic; second baseman Robinson Canó (MVP), Dominican Republic; third baseman David Wright, USA; shortstop José Reyes, Dominican Republic; outfielders Angel Pagán of Puerto Rico, Nelson Cruz of the Dominican Republic and Michael Saunders of Canada; designated hitter Hirokazu Ibata, Japan; and pitchers Kenta Maeda of Japan, Nelson Figueroa of Puerto Rico and Fernando Rodney of the Dominican Republic.


Marcus Stroman ready to fire the ball vs Yankees, 9 12 2015 By Arturo Pardavila III on Flickr, CC BY 2.0, https



Team USA behind Stroman, blanks Puerto Rico 8-0 to win 2017 World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic Championship Game was played at historic Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.

The United States and Puerto Rico were vying for their first title ever in the classic.

The USA team, which had several stars on its roster from Major League Baseball was not going to be denied their first championship.

Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman, who was voted 2017 WBC 2017 MVP, had a dominating performance in helping lead the Americans to an 8-0 whitewashing of the Puerto Ricans on Wednesday night.

Stroman, who is right-handed, threw 6-plus scoreless innings against a tough Puerto Rican team. He did not give up a hit until the 7th inning when former San Francisco Giants outfielder Angel Pagan led off with a double. Stroman was slated to throw 95 pitches in the game but threw only 73.

Eventhough the game was played in an American stadium, Team USA batted first.

The Americans got the scoring underway in the 3rd inning when Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler belted a two-run homer that just barely cleared the left-center-field wall over the head of Enrique Hernandez.

Team USA kept on rolling.

In the 5th, they made it 4-0 on RBI singles from the Marlins’ Christian Yelich and the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen.

The clinching inning was the 7th which saw Team USA batting around to score three runs on three hits, garner two walks and a hit batter. The big hit came from the Giants’ Brandon Crawford, who had a clutch, 2-out, 2-run single. Marlins’ RF Giancarlo Stanton closed the scoring with an RBI singal as well.

The Americans concluded the scoring in the 8th inning with a single run.

Let’s recap the tournament and see how the Americans made their title run.

The Americans won their first game over Colombia, 3-2, in 10 innings on a walk-off single by Adam Jones. After losing to the Dominican Republic after having a 5-run lead, the U.S. defeated Canada to reach the Second Round.

In the Second Round the Americans won the first game of the round defeating Venezuela 4-2. In the second game the U.S. was defeated by Puerto Rico 6-5 after giving up 4 runs in the 1st inning. The U.S. would then defeat the Dominican Republic to advance to the Championship Round.

In the Championship Round Semifinals on March 21, the Americans defeated Japan 2-1 to advance to their first ever appearance in the Final.



The man who called the shots for Team USA was manager Jim Leyland in 2013 By Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

The pitching star was Marcus Stroman throwing plateward in 2015 By Keith Allison, CC BY-SA 2.0, https



Players Provisional roster Coaches







Dodger Stadium with Los Angeles skyline in the background By Mother's Cookies - "1987 Mother's Cookies Los Angeles Dodgers Trading Cards,, Public Domain, https


Twins announce minor league managerial and coaching assignments

The Minnesota Twins have announced their minor league managerial and coaching positions have been filled for the 2017 season.

Mike Quade will manage the Twins Triple-A affiliate Rochester Red Wings for the third straight season. Quade spent 2013-14 as a roving outfield and baserunning instructor for the New York Yankees. Prior to that, he served as Chicago Cubs Manager from 2010-11, Cubs coach from 2007-10, Triple-A Iowa (Cubs) manager from 2003-07, Oakland Athletics coach from 2000-02 and a minor league manager at various levels from 1985-99.  Stu Cliburnreturns as Rochester’s pitching coach, a position he held from 2006-08. 2017 will mark Cliburn’s 26th season in the Twins organization.  Chad Allen returns for his second consecutive season as Rochester’s hitting coach after spending 2013-15 as hitting coach with Twins Double-A affiliates.  Larry Bennese will begin his fifth season as the Red Wings trainer and 22nd in the Twins organization. Tyler Burks will join the Red Wings as strength and conditioning coach, which will mark his second in the Twins organization. Burks spent most of 2016 with GCL Twins and finished the season with Double-A Chattanooga.

Jake Mauer will begin his 10th year as a manager in the Twins system and first with Double-A Chattanooga. He spent four seasons as manager of the Twins Single-A affiliate Cedar Rapids Kernels from 2013-16. Mauer was manager at Ft. Myers from 2010-12, managed the GCL Twins from 2008-09 and also coached three seasons in the GCL.  Ivan Arteaga begins his second season as pitching coach of the Lookouts, and his 17th season as a pitching coach in the Twins organization.  Javier Valentin will begin his first season as hitting coach for the Lookouts and his fourth season as coach in the Twins system; he played in the Twins organization from 1993-2002.  Chris Johnson returns for his fifth season as trainer for the Twins Double-A affiliate and his 12th overall as a trainer in the Twins system.

Doug Mientkiewicz will enter his fifth season as a manager in the Twins organization. He returns to Single-A Ft. Myers after spending the previous two seasons as manager for Double-A Chattanooga. He managed at Ft. Myers from 2013-14. Mientkiewicz managed the Lookouts to the Southern League championship in 2015 and managed Single-A Ft. Myers to the Florida State League championship in 2014.  Steve Singleton will begin his first season as hitting coach at Ft. Myers, after spending 2016 as hitting coach for GCL Twins.  Henry Bonilla will spend his second season as pitching coach for the Miracle after spending 2015 with Single-A Cedar Rapids, 2013-14 with Rookie Level Elizabethton and 2012 with the GCL Twins. Alan Rail will begin his fifth season as the Miracle trainer after eight seasons with Beloit (2005-12) and one with Elizabethton (2004).

Tommy Watkins will manage Single-A Cedar Rapids, marking his first professional managing job. He spent 2016 as hitting coach for Chattanooga. 2017 will mark his eighth overall season as a manager or coach in the Twins system. J.P. Martinez will begin his third season as pitching coach in the Twins system and second with the Kernels after serving as GCL pitching coach in 2015. Brian Dinkelman will begin his second season as hitting coach for Cedar Rapids and third season as a coach in the Twins organization. Steve Taylorbegins his second season as the Kernels trainer after spending 2015 as the trainer in Elizabethton and 2013-14 with the GCL Twins.

Ray Smith returns as manager for the Rookie Level Elizabethton Twins. Smith, who will be in his 31st season on staff for Elizabethton (24th as manager), has a career managerial record of 936-621 (.601) with 12 first place finishes in 22 seasons. Luis Ramirez returns as Elizabethton’s pitching coach for the third consecutive season after spending 2013-14 with the GCL Twins and 2006-13 with the Twins Venezuelan Baseball Academy. Jeff Reedreturns to Elizabethton for his 16th season as hitting coach. Davey La Croix will serve as trainer, marking his first season in the Twins organization after spending 2015-16 with the DSL Reds.

Ramon Borrego will begin his eighth season with the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League Twins, and seventh season as manager. Virgil Vasquez returns for his third consecutive season as GCL pitching coach.  Cibney Bello will return for his second season with GCL as pitching coach/rehab. He spent four seasons as a coach in the Mariners system, including 2014-15 as pitching coach for Single-A Clinton.  Toby Gardenhire will serve as hitting coach for the GCL Twins, his first season as a professional coach. Gardenhire played seven seasons in the Twins minor league system from 2005-11.  Jose Marzan will serve as coach for GCL as well as Latin American Operations Coordinator. Axel Lopez returns to GCL as trainer for the third consecutive season. Phil Hartt will serve as GCL’s strength and conditioning coach.

Asdrubal Estrada will manage the DSL Twins, as 2017 will mark his 15th season in the Twins organization.  Manuel Santana returns as the DSL Twins pitching coach.  Jimmy Alvarez, Leury Bonilla and Jairo Rodriguez will all serve as coaches for DSL Twins.Carlos Frias will begin his fourth year as the DSL trainer and Wladimir Morales will begin his first as trainer for DSL after spending 2016 at the Venezuelan Academy.

In addition, Joel Lepel returns for his 12th year as the Twins minor league field coordinator,Eric Rasmussen returns for his ninth season as pitching coordinator, and Sam Perlozzo will return as the minor league infield and baserunning coordinator for the fourth year. Rick Eckstein will begin his second season with the club as the hitting coordinator. He spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach with the University of Kentucky. Chad Jacksonenters his 16th season with the Twins and fifth as the club’s head minor league trainer and rehab coordinator. Erik Beiser will begin his fifth season as minor league strength and conditioning coordinator. Corey Dietze will begin his fourth year as the club’s minor league rehab assistant. David Jeffrey will begin his third season as the minor league video coordinator. Brian Maloney enters his 12th season and second as Senior Manager of Florida Operations. Dave Ringler returns for his 21st season as equipment manager.  Rafael Yanez returns for his third season as Florida and Latin American Operations Assistant.Victor Gonzalez will serve as Florida Operations Assistant, marking his first season.

Former Twins great Tony Oliva will continue in his role as hitting coach, in addition to his community relations activities with the club.



Twins to enshrine Cuddyer, MacPhail into team’s Hall of Fame August 19-20 at Target Field

Michael Cuddyer with Twins in 2007 By Wknight94 - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https

Andy MacPhail in 2011 By Keith Allison from Owings Mills, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, https

The Minnesota Twins recently announced that former Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer and former General Manager Andy MacPhail have been elected to the club’s Hall of Fame. Cuddyer and MacPhail will become the 29th and 30th members of the Twins Hall of Fame when they are inducted during separate on-field pre-game ceremonies scheduled for Hall of Fame Weekend, August 19-20 when the Twins host the Arizona Diamondbacks at Target Field.

The Twins Hall of Fame membership is permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame Gallery on the Target Field Suite Level as well as on Target Plaza and in the Minor League Clubhouse at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Ft. Myers, FL.

The Twins Hall of Fame, which honors players, managers, coaches and off-field personnel who have contributed to the organization’s growth and success since Minnesota broke into the major leagues in 1961, was created as part of the club’s 40th Season Celebration in 2000. The inaugural class of Twins Hall of Famers-Harmon Killebrew, Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Kent Hrbek, Kirby Puckett andCalvin Griffith- inducted on August 12, 2000. Other inductees include: pitcher Jim Kaat (2001), broadcaster Herb Carneal (2001),pitcher Bert Blyleven (2002), manager Tom Kelly (2002), long-time public address announcer Bob Casey (2003), outfielder Bob Allison (2003), catcher Earl Battey (2004), pitcher Frank Viola (2005), owner Carl Pohlad (2005), shortstop Zoilo Versalles (2006), third baseman Gary Gaetti (2007), farm director Jim Rantz (2007), pitcher Rick Aguilera (2008), pitcher Brad Radke (2009), farm and scouting director George Brophy (2009), shortstop Greg Gagne (2010), pitcher Jim Perry (2011), pitcher Camilo Pascual (2012), pitcher Eddie Guardado (2013) and director of media relations Tom Mee (2013), second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was elected in 2014 but not inducted, outfielder Torii Hunter (2016) and radio broadcaster John Gordon (2016).

“The Pohlad family and entire Minnesota Twins organization would like to congratulate Andy MacPhail and Michael Cuddyer on their well-deserved election to the Twins Hall of Fame,” Twins President and CEO Dave St. Peter said. “Andy and Michael both made significant contributions to our franchise over an extended period of time. In addition, both men have earned widespread respect across our organization, within our industry and most importantly – with our fans.”

Cuddyer played 15 years in the major leagues, including 11 seasons with the Twins from 2001-11. He finished his Twins career playing in 1,139 games with 1,106 hits, 239 doubles, 35 triples, 141 home runs, 580 RBI, 606 runs scored and 411 walks. Cuddyer was named to the 2011 American League All-Star team and was part of six Twins AL Central Division Championship teams. The Norfolk, VA, native was drafted by the Twins in the first round (9th overall) of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft and ranks ninth on the Twins all-time list in doubles, 10th in home runs and 11th in RBI. The 37-year-old is one of 23 Twins to play 10-plus seasons with the club. Cuddyer rejoined the Twins organization as a Special Assistant on November 28, 2016.

MacPhail was named third General Manager in Twins history following the 1985 season. He spent 10 seasons in the Twins Front Office, including nine seasons as the club’s General Manager from 1986-94. During his tenure, he led the Twins to two World Championships, including the club’s first in 1987. He was named The Sporting News Executive of the Year in 1991 with the Twins clinching their second World Series title after a regular season record of 95-67, following a last-place finish the previous season and just 74 wins. During his leadership, the Twins compiled a record of 710-699. MacPhail has since gone on to hold such positions as Chief Executive Officer for the Chicago Cubs from 1994-2006, President of Baseball Operations for the Baltimore Orioles from 2007-11, and President of the Philadelphia Phillies since June of 2015.

Cuddyer was elected by a 67-member committee consisting of local and national media, club officials, fans and past elected members, using rules similar to those necessary for election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. The 67-member committee annually considers “player” personnel for induction into the Twins Hall of Fame.

MacPhail was elected through the “Non-Player” Committee ballot, which consists of 24 voters; voting participants include all living Twins Hall of Famers, current Twins President, Chief Baseball Officer, Twins Hall of Fame Committee members and Minnesota Baseball historians.




Twins to honor former manager Tom Kelly with a statue at Target Field in 2017

Tom Kelly (courtesy Minnesota Twins)

Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Twins announced at TwinsFest that former Twins Manager Tom Kelly will have a statue unveiled in his honor outside of Target Field during the upcoming 2017 major league season. The specific installation date and location will be announced shortly.

Kelly’s will become the eighth Twins legends statue at Target Field, joining Rod Carew (April of 2010), Harmon Killebrew (April of 2010), Kirby Puckett (April of 2010), Calvin Griffith (September of 2010), Carl and Eloise Pohlad (October of 2010), Tony Oliva (April of 2011) and Kent Hrbek (April of 2012). All Twins legend statues at Target Field are the work of Minnesota-based artist Bill Mack.

“The Minnesota Twins are excited to have this opportunity to further celebrate and recognize the incredible career of the one-and-only Tom Kelly,” Twins President & CEO Dave St. Peter said. “Tom’s contributions to the Twins organization and Upper Midwest baseball community are quite significant. This statue will help memorialize Tom’s greatness and ensure future generations are aware of the T.K. story.”

Kelly had a managerial record of 1140-1244, which places him first on the Twins all-time list in wins and games managed. “TK” took over the managerial duties for the Twins on September 12, 1986. In his first full season (1987) as the skipper, he led the Twins to their first World Series Championship. He led the club to their second ever World Series victory in 1991, which marked the first time in major league history that a team went from last place one season to World Champions the next.

At the time of his retirement after the 2001 season, Kelly was the longest tenured manager/coach in all of major sports. His number 10 was formally retired by the Twins September 8, 2012, becoming the first Twins Manager to have his number retired. Kelly was inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame in 2002. He was also selected Manager on the Twins 40th Season Anniversary All-Time Team in 2000 and one of the “50 Greatest Twins” in 2010.




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