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Minnesota Twins Hit a Home Run in Free Agency

The Minnesota Twins don’t spend big money when it comes to the offseason. 

This year, the Twins hit a home run in free agency, and they didn’t sign any big name players, either.

In the pitching staff, Phil Hughes as been the Twins ace, and Ricky Nolasco is starting to find his stride right before the All-Star break. Hughes is 8-3 with a 3.40 ERA in 15 games started. He’s struck out 82 and only walked nine in 95.1 innings pitched. Hughes has won more than 15 games twice (18-8 in 2010, and 16-13 in 2012). Last year, he was 4-14 with a 5.19 ERA. Hughes has had his ups and downs in the Major Leagues; he was a starter, and a reliever in New York. Minnesota may be the perfect home, though. Target Field fits his game, and is a pitchers park.

Nolasco, meanwhile, pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Miami Marlins last season. He was 8-3 with the Dodgers, and 5-8 in Miami in 2013. The righthander is 4-5 with a 5.52 ERA with 63 strikeouts in 89.2 innings pitched with the Twins. Nolasco was 2-2 in the first two months of the season, but saw his ERA climb above six. In May, his record (1-3) didn’t show progress, but he wasn’t allowing as many runs (4.91 ERA). In June so far, Nolasco is has one win, and three no-decisions. So, hopefully he’s starting to be more comfortable out on the mound.

Last week, Jeff Thurn spoke to Sports Illustrated’s Ben Reiter about both Hughes and Nolasco.

In the lineup, Kurt Suzuki was a great replacement behind the plate for Joe Mauer, who moved to first base. Suzuki is hitting .321/.378/.420 with two home runs, 68 hits, 15 doubles, and 32 RBI. He’s never hit over .300 in a season, but with the All-Star break and midseason mark approaching, he’s on pace to do just that.

*For comments, and story ideas, email Sam at, and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.

Kurt Suzuki, Minnesota Twins vs San Diego Padres
Denis Poroy/Getty Images




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