A players-only meeting in the aftermath of the trade deadline may have been the turning point in the Twins’ season, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes. A July slump led the club’s front office to deal Brandon Kintzler and Jaime Garcia at the deadline, leaving the clubhouse feeling “angry,” in the words of Byron Buxton. The meeting, led by Joe Mauer and Brian Dozier, lasted only 10-15 minutes and “I think the biggest thing in the meeting was to direct that anger or whatever feeling in a positive way,” Mauer said. The message certainly seemed to sink in, as the Twins turned things around in a big way and are now headed to the AL Wild Card game.
Here’s more from Target Field…
- Miguel Sano is “still having discomfort” in his ailing left shin, manager Paul Molitor told Berardino and other reporters today. The slugger felt some soreness while lightly running out a grounder in the fifth inning today and didn’t return to the game. It is still very much up in the air as to whether or not Sano will be activated for the Wild Card game, as GM Thad Levine said that the club may use every minute until the 9am CT deadline on Tuesday to finalize their roster for the game against the Yankees. Sano has gone 1-for-8 since returning from the DL, and as Berardino notes, “has yet to hit a ball in the air.”
- To honor a promise to his late mother, Bartolo Colon intends to pitch in 2018, the right-hander told reporters, including MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger and Michael Clair. “That’s the goal. That’s what I promised my old lady and that’s what I want to do,” Colon said. Colon earned the 240th victory of his 20-year career today, and he received a standing ovation from Twins fans when he was removed from the game in the seventh inning just in case this is the end of the road for the 44-year-old. After several effective years that belied his age, Colon finally showed signs of declining this season, posting a 6.48 ERA over 143 innings with the Twins and Braves.
- Glen Perkins was emotional after what may have been his final big league game on Saturday, as MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger writes that Perkins has said that he’d consider retiring if he can’t return to the Twins next season. The St. Paul-born Perkins has spent his entire career with his hometown team, and only just returned to the mound in August after missing over 16 months due to shoulder surgery. The Twins will surely buy Perkins out for $700K rather than exercise their $6.5MM club option on his services for 2018, though there’s a chance he could return on a minor league contract.