Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Series Preview - Phillies at Twins: June 21st through June 23rd

Tuesday and Wednesday 8:10, Thursday 1:10
Target Field - Minneapolis, MN

Phillies 30-41, 4th place in the N.L. East, 13 games behind the Nationals
Twins 21-48, 5th place in the A.L. Central, 18 games behind the Indians

Phillies Probables:  Aaron Nola (5-6, 3.51), Adam Morgan (1-6, 6.49), Jared Eickhoff (4-9, 3.49)
Twins Probables:  Tyler Duffey (2-6, 5.56), Kyle Gibson (0-5, 6.06), Tommy Milone (0-1, 5.79)

At the Ballpark:  Tonight, the first 10,000 fans will receive a Twins travel bag.  On Thursday afternoon, all fans will receive a giant 2016 Topps card of Glen Perkins.  Topps has created an oversized card set featuring one card per team and the cards are only available at select games this season.  The complete calendar and a checklist of available cards can be found here.  (I've already added the Nola card to my 2016 Phillies binder.)

Phillies Leaders
Average:  Odubel Herrera - .302
Runs:  Odubel Herrera - 36
Home Runs:  Maikel Franco - 11
RBIs:  Maikel Franco - 33
Stolen Bases:  Odubel Herrera - 9

Wins:  Aaron Nola and Vince Velasquez - 5
ERA:  Jared Eickhoff - 3.49
Strikeouts:  Aaron Nola - 93
Saves:  Jeanmar Gomez - 19

Twins Leaders
Average:  Eduardo Nunez - .321
Runs:  Brian Dozier and Eduardo Nunez - 33
Home Runs:  Byung-ho Park - 12
RBIs:  Miguel Sano - 27
Stolen Bases:  Eduardo Nunez - 16

Wins:  Ricky Nolasco - 3
ERA:  Ervin Santana - 4.83
Strikeouts:  Ricky Nolasco - 73
Saves:  Kevin Jepsen - 7

1970 Topps #288
1970 Topps #25
1970 Topps #75
1970 Topps #194
1970 Topps Appreciation:  We've got a quartet of former Phillies and Twins players for this edition of 1970 Topps Appreciation, and I'm cheating a little here since the first three players above were already featured together in a series preview post back in 2013.  That season, I took a look at the 1973 Topps set, and here's what I wrote then:
It's a trio of former Phillies and Twins for today's flashback.  Of the three, utility player Cesar Tovar spent the least amount of time with the Phillies.  Tovar began his career with eight respectable years with the Twins, finishing in the top 25 of the A.L. MVP voting in five consecutive seasons.  He was the A.L. leader in doubles (36) and triples (13) in 1970, and he led the league in hits (204) in 1971. The Phils acquired him prior to the 1973 season for Joe LisKen Reynolds and Ken Sanders
Tovar had an unforgettable single season in the N.L. with the Phils, hitting .268 in 97 games while seeing time at third base, second base and all three outfield positions . . . 
[Jim] Kaat was an original member of the first Minnesota Twins team in 1961, after the franchise relocated from Washington.  The bulk of his 25 year career was spent in Minnesota, and he's second on the franchise's all-time wins list (190) behind Walter Johnson's 417.  Kaat played until 1983, earning the distinction of being the last active former member of the Washington Senators. 
Kaat and [Larry] Hisle were teammates on the Twins for only part of the 1973 season, as Kaat was waived and picked up by the White Sox in August.
The newcomer for this post is Charlie "Chuck" Manuel who is much more famous for guiding the Phillies to a 2008 World Champtionship than he is for his time playing for the Twins.  Here's what I wrote when I originally featured his 1970 Topps card in a post from 2010:
Chuck (now known as Charlie) Manuel was signed by the Twins as an amateur free agent in 1963. He worked his way up through the Twins' minor league system from 1963 through 1968, eventually making his big league debut on Opening Day 1969. (He pinch-hit for pitcher Ron Perranoski in the 12th inning of a game the Twins would eventually lose, grounding to second off Royals' pitcher Moe Drabowsky.) Billy Martin led the Twins to the AL West pennant in 1969, but the team was swept in the ALCS by the Orioles. 
Manuel stuck with the Twins for the entire '69 season and he's featured here on his 1970 Topps rookie card. The back of the card mentions that Manuel "hits with power" despite his low home run totals throughout his professional career. The cartoon is interesting in that it features a blindfolded Manuel happily displaying his bunting prowess. I never would have pegged Manuel as an expert bunter, but there you have it. 
He'd play in parts of the next 3 seasons with the Twins, appearing in 223 games and compiling a .199 batting average with 4 home runs. In October 1973, which was a very good month, Manuel was traded to the Dodgers with Glenn Ezell for Mike Floyd and Jim Fairey, ending his Twins career.

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