2008 Minnesota Twins season
The 2008 Minnesota Twins season was the 48th season for the franchise in Minnesota, and the 108th overall in the American League. After tying the Chicago White Sox for first in the AL Central Division with an 88–74 record, the team lost a one game playoff to finish second and miss the league playoffs.
|2008 Minnesota Twins|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Bill Smith|
|Local television||FSN North|
WFTC (My 29)
(Dick Bremer, Bert Blyleven)
|Local radio||AM 1500 KSTP|
(John Gordon, Dan Gladden, Jack Morris, Kris Atteberry)
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Offseason and spring trainingEdit
Player and personnel movesEdit
General Manager for the previous 13 years, Terry Ryan stepped down into the role of Senior Advisor in September 2007 and was replaced by Bill Smith, formerly the assistant general manager. Scouting director Mike Radcliff was named vice president of player personnel and director of baseball operations Rob Antony was named assistant GM.
The offseason between the 2007 and 2008 seasons saw many rumors surrounding pitcher Johan Santana, but little action until shortly before the start of spring training. Typically standing still in the off-season, the Twins made some waves late November when they traded Matt Garza, Jason Bartlett and Eduardo Morlan to the Tampa Bay Rays for power-hitting outfielder Delmon Young, scrappy infielder Brendan Harris and former Twin Jason Pridie.
Prior to the Rays trade, the Twins traded for outfielder Craig Monroe of the Chicago Cubs. Monroe would later sign with the Twins and would be placed on the major league roster soon after. Monroe joined several others including Adam Everett and Mike Lamb as those new to the team who made the 2008 Opening Day roster.
On January 18, 2008, the Twins avoided arbitration with three current players: Jason Kubel, Justin Morneau and Juan Rincón. Rincón and Kubel were signed through 2008, while Morneau and Michael Cuddyer were signed to extended contracts.
Minnesota lost Carlos Silva via free agency, Silva signing with the Seattle Mariners for a four-year contract. Silva was a starting pitcher for the Twins in recent years after coming over in the Eric Milton trade.
The Twins, as per long-standing tradition, were the last team to begin spring training on February 17, 2008.
On March 27, the Twins announced they had finished signing their entire 40-man roster.
Pitcher Francisco Liriano was unable to report to camp on time due to visa problems. Shortly before the start of the season, Liriano was sent down to the minor leagues to continue his development.
On May 7, 2008, Carlos Gómez hit for the cycle against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago. He became the fourth major leaguer in history to hit for the reverse natural cycle. He also became the third-youngest player to hit for the cycle in MLB history. It had been a spell of 22 years since the last Twin hit for the cycle, Kirby Puckett in 1986.
On May 19, Bobby Korecky—with a single in the tenth inning—became the only Twins pitcher to get a hit in the Metrodome (1982–2009).
In the third inning of the June 15 game against the Milwaukee Brewers, Scott Baker became the first Minnesota Twin to strike out four men in a single inning. After Ryan Braun struck out, Prince Fielder struck out swinging at a wild pitch and made it to first base. Baker then struck out Russell Branyan and Mike Cameron to end the inning. Baker is the eighth American League pitcher to strike out the four consecutively. In 2012, Francisco Liriano will become the second Twin to accomplish the feat.
During the 2008 campaign, the Twins sent three representatives to the 2008 MLB All Star game: Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan. Morneau went on to win the home run derby and score the winning run in the 15th inning of the All-Star game.
Joe Mauer won his second American League Batting Title with a .328 average. Justin Morneau set a new club record with 47 doubles, and led the major leagues playing in 163 games. Carlos Gómez topped Rod Carew's 1974 team record with 30 bunt singles (Carew had 29), a total which led the majors.
|Chicago White Sox||89||74||0.546||—||54–28||35–46|
|Kansas City Royals||75||87||0.463||13½||38–43||37–44|
Record vs. opponentsEdit
|2008 game log|
|2008 Minnesota Twins|
Regular season transactionsEdit
April 11, 2008: Placed pitcher Kevin Slowey on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to April 4.
April 12, 2008: Recalled pitcher Francisco Liriano from Rochester.
April 24, 2008: Optioned outfielder Denard Span to Rochester of the International League (AAA).
April 25, 2008: Activated outfielder Michael Cuddyer from the 15-day disabled list.
April 30, 2008: Optioned third baseman Brian Buscher to Rochester of the International League (AAA).
May 2, 2008: Activated infielder Adam Everett from the 15-day disabled list.
June 5, 2008: Optioned infielder Matt Macri to Rochester of the International League (AAA).
June 18, 2008: Released pitcher Juan Rincón.
August 1, 2008: Designated pitcher Liván Hernández and outfielder Craig Monroe for assignment; recalled pitcher Francisco Liriano from Rochester; purchased the contract of infielder Randy Ruiz from Rochester.
August 11, 2008: Signed former Twin Bobby Kielty to a minor league contract.
Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; R = Runs scored; H = Hits; 2B = Doubles; 3B = Triples; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in; AVG = Batting average; SB = Stolen bases
Note: W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned run average; G = Games pitched; GS = Games started; SV = Saves; IP = Innings pitched; R = Runs allowed; ER = Earned runs allowed; BB = Walks allowed; K = Strikeouts
Other post-season awardsEdit
- Calvin R. Griffith Award (Most Valuable Twin) – Justin Morneau
- Joseph W. Haynes Award (Twins Pitcher of the Year) – Joe Nathan
- Bill Boni Award (Twins Outstanding Rookie) – Denard Span
- Charles O. Johnson Award (Most Improved Twin) – Alexi Casilla
- Dick Siebert Award (Upper Midwest Player of the Year) – Joe Mauer
- Bob Allison Award (Leadership Award) – Justin Morneau
- Mike Augustin Award ("Media Good Guy" Award) – Joe Nathan
- The above awards are voted on by the Twin Cities chapter of the BBWAA
- Carl R. Pohlad Award (Outstanding Community Service) – Joe Mauer
- Sherry Robertson Award (Twins Outstanding Farm System Position Player) – Ben Revere
- Jim Rantz Award (Twins Outstanding Farm System Pitcher) – Anthony Slama
- Kirby Puckett Award (Alumni Community Service) – Kent Hrbek
- Herb Carneal Award (Lifetime Achievement Award) – Carl Pohlad
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Elizabethton
- Twins: Ryan steps down, Smith will take over Archived February 2, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- La Velle E. Neal III (January 26, 2007). "Morneau, Cuddyer sign up". Minneapolist Star Tribune. Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2008.
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: New faces mark start of Twins camp
- "The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: Official Info: Twins sign 16 players to 2008 contracts". Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 11, 2014.
- The Official Site of Major League Baseball: News: Notes: Liriano to be late to camp
- "The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: News: Liriano won't break camp with Twins". Archived from the original on March 31, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
- "The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: News: Gómez wins center-field job". Archived from the original on May 18, 2011. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
- "The Official Site of The Minnesota Twins: News: Nathan staying put in Twin Cities". Archived from the original on March 27, 2008. Retrieved March 30, 2008.
- Willis, Ken. Hey Willie! Best Style is Winning. news-journalonline.com. April 20, 2008. Archived May 17, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
- "Four Strikeouts in One Inning". Baseball-Almanac.com. Retrieved February 13, 2016.
- "Morneau overcomes Hamilton's stellar show". MLB.com. Retrieved August 14, 2013.
- Morneau scores AL game winner[dead link]