1996 Minnesota Twins season

Prior to the spring training, the 1996 Minnesota Twins were projected to be a contending team. The team's chances significantly worsened on March 28, 1996. Kirby Puckett, the team's franchise player, had been tattooing the Grapefruit League (spring training) for a .360 average, but that morning woke up without vision in his right eye. He was eventually diagnosed with glaucoma. Several surgeries over the next few months could not restore vision in the eye. Puckett announced his retirement from baseball on July 12. After beginning the season under the melancholy cloud of the Puckett situation, Manager Tom Kelly's team finished the year with a 78-84 record, which put it in fourth place in the American League Central Division.

1996 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Location
Other information
Owner(s)Carl Pohlad
General manager(s)Terry Ryan
Manager(s)Tom Kelly
Local televisionWCCO-TV
Midwest Sports Channel
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer, Ryan Lefebvre, Tommy John)
Local radio830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon)
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Offseason

Regular season

  • On April 24, the Twins crushed the Detroit Tigers 24-11. The total of runs—both the Twins' 24 and the game's total of 35—were new highs in Twins history for a nine-inning game.[3]
  • Only second baseman Chuck Knoblauch was selected from the Twins for the All-Star Game at Veteran's Stadium in Philadelphia. Entering in the eighth inning as a reserve, he singled. His was just one of seven American League hits in the National League's 6-0 victory.
  • On July 25 at the Metrodome, seven Twins hit eight doubles to set a new mark. The Twins drubbed the Boston Red Sox 16-6.[4]
  • By season's end, several other offensive records had been set: Chuck Knoblauch scored 140 times, besting Rod Carew's previous club high of 128. Chip Hale had nineteen pinch hits on the year. New season highs were set for most runs scored (877) and most runs allowed (900). In addition, new club season highs were set in most hits (1663), most RBI (812), most doubles (332) and highest team batting average (.288).

Offense

Individual players on the team did excel. Paul Molitor had a standout year in his first year back with his hometown team, playing as the regular designated hitter and winning a Silver Slugger Award at that position. He played in all but one game and hit .341 with 113 RBI and a league-best 225 hits. On September 16 in Kansas City, he collected his 3,000th hit, a triple off of José Rosado. He is the only player to obtain his 3,000th hit via a triple. Along with Molitor, Chuck Knoblauch also hit .341. Among the hits were 35 doubles. He also stole 45 bases. Marty Cordova had a respectable year, driving in 111 runs.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Marty Cordova 16
RBI Paul Molitor 113
BA Paul Molitor and Chuck Knoblauch .341
Runs Chuck Knoblauch 140

Pitching

The pitching did not match the offense. Brad Radke, Frank Rodriguez, and Rich Robertson (the three R's) all spent the whole season in the starting rotation and had losing records. The team's experiment moving Rick Aguilera from the closer's role to the starting rotation was not a successful one, as he started only 19 games. Scott Aldred also started seventeen games for the team. Radke had the lowest ERA among the starters at 4.46. The rest were over five. Dave Stevens got the most saves at 11, but he was not an effective closer. Mike Trombley and Dan Naulty had effective seasons out of the bullpen, but nobody else had an ERA under five. Epitomizing the pitching woes, Mike Milchin had an ERA of 8.31 but the team still let him pitch in 26 games.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
ERA Brad Radke 4.46
Wins Frank Rodriguez 13
Saves Dave Stevens 11
Strikeouts Brad Radke 148

Defense

The only truly regular starters in the field were Knoblauch at second base, Pat Meares at shortstop, and Cordova in left field. In a less-than-encouraging sign for the team's postseason prospects, Scott Stahoviak saw a majority of the time at first base. Dave Hollins played 116 games at third, with Jeff Reboulet and Todd Walker also seeing time. Greg Myers and Matt Walbeck platooned at catcher. Rich Becker had the unenviable task of replacing Puckett in center field and played 121 games there. Right field was a mish-mash, with Matt Lawton playing 60 games at the position, Roberto Kelly 54, Denny Hocking 33, and Ron Coomer 23.

Season standings

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cleveland Indians 99 62 0.615 51–29 48–33
Chicago White Sox 85 77 0.525 14½ 44–37 41–40
Milwaukee Brewers 80 82 0.494 19½ 38–43 42–39
Minnesota Twins 78 84 0.481 21½ 39–43 39–41
Kansas City Royals 75 86 0.466 24 37–43 38–43

Record vs. opponents

1996 American League Records

Sources: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]
Team BAL BOS CAL CWS CLE DET KC MIL MIN NYY OAK SEA TEX TOR
Baltimore 7–6 6–6 4–8 5–7 11–2 9–3 9–3 7–5 3–10 9–4 7–5 3–10–1 8–5
Boston 6–7 8–4 6–6 1–11 12–1 3–9 7–5 6–6 7–6 8–5 7–6 6–6 8–5
California 6–6 4–8 6–6 4–9 6–6 4–8 7–5 4–8 7–6 6–7 5–8 4–9 7–5
Chicago 8–4 6–6 6–6 5–8 10–3 7–6 6–7 6–7 6–7 5–7 5–7 8–4 7–5
Cleveland 7–5 11–1 9–4 8–5 12–0 7–6 7–6 10–3 3–9 6–6 8–4 4–8 7–5
Detroit 2–11 1–12 6–6 3–10 0–12 6–6 4–8 6–6 5–8 4–8 6–6 4–9 6–7
Kansas City 3–9 9–3 8–4 6–7 6–7 6–6 4–9 6–7 4–8 5–7 7–5 6–6 5–8
Milwaukee 3–9 5–7 5–7 7–6 6–7 8–4 9–4 9–4 6–6 7–5 4–9 6–7 5–7
Minnesota 5–7 6–6 8–4 7–6 3–10 6–6 7–6 4–9 5–7 6–7 6–6 7–5 8–5
New York 10–3 6–7 6–7 7–6 9–3 8–5 8–4 6–6 7–5 9–3 3–9 5–7 8–5
Oakland 4–9 5–8 7–6 7–5 6–6 8–4 7–5 5–7 7–6 3–9 8–5 7–6 4–8
Seattle 5–7 6–7 8–5 7–5 4–8 6–6 5–7 9–4 6–6 9–3 5–8 10–3 5–7
Texas 10–3–1 6–6 9–4 4–8 8–4 9–4 6–6 7–6 5–7 7–5 6–7 3–10 10–2
Toronto 5–8 5–8 5–7 5–7 5–7 7–6 8–5 7–5 5–8 5–8 8–4 7–5 2–10

Game log

1996 Game Log: 78–84 (Home: 39–43; Away: 39–41)
Legend:           = Win           = Loss
Bold = Twins team member

Detailed records

American League
Opponent W L WP RS RA
AL East
Baltimore Orioles 5 7 0.417 55 60
Boston Red Sox 6 6 0.500 76 78
Detroit Tigers 6 6 0.500 92 68
New York Yankees 5 7 0.417 51 48
Toronto Blue Jays 8 5 0.615 59 44
Total 30 31 0.492 333 298
AL Central
Chicago White Sox 7 6 0.538 67 75
Cleveland Indians 3 10 0.231 70 96
Kansas City Royals 7 6 0.538 85 76
Milwaukee Brewers 4 9 0.308 57 74
Minnesota Twins
Total 21 31 0.404 279 321
AL West
California Angels 8 4 0.667 67 38
Oakland Athletics 6 7 0.462 64 91
Seattle Mariners 6 6 0.500 69 76
Texas Rangers 7 5 0.583 65 76
Total 27 22 0.551 265 281
Season Total 78 84 0.481 877 900
Month Games Won Lost Win % RS RA
April 25 13 12 0.520 175 141
May 26 10 16 0.385 97 138
June 28 15 13 0.536 151 134
July 27 13 14 0.481 171 188
August 30 16 14 0.533 169 161
September 26 11 15 0.423 114 138
Total 162 78 84 0.481 877 900
Games Won Lost Win % RS RA
Home 82 39 43 0.476 452 483
Away 80 39 41 0.488 425 417
Total 162 78 84 0.481 877 900

Roster

1996 Minnesota Twins
Roster
Pitchers Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders Manager

Coaches

Notable Transactions

  • May 28: Selected Scott Aldred off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.
  • June 4: In the 1996 amateur draft, the Twins drafted future major leaguers such as Jacque Jones[5] (2nd round), Chad Allen (4th round), and Chad Moeller (7th round). The Twins botched the signing of first baseman Travis Lee, whom they signed in the first round with the second overall pick. Lee exploited a never-before used clause that allows a draft pick to become a free agent if a team doesn't make an offer within 15 days of the draft. After the Twins failed to do this, Lee left for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who gave him a $10 million signing bonus. The Twins had the last laugh, however, as Lee has proven to be a below-average hitter who has bounced from team to team.
  • August 29: Traded Dave Hollins to the Seattle Mariners for a player to be named later. On September 30, the Mariners sent David Ortiz to the Twins to complete the trade.
  • September 13, 1996: David Ortiz was sent by the Seattle Mariners to the Minnesota Twins to complete an earlier deal made on August 29, 1996. The Seattle Mariners sent a player to be named later to the Minnesota Twins for Dave Hollins.[6]

Player stats

Batting

Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

Note: G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Pitching

Starting pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO

Miscellaneous

Other post-season awards

Outfielder Kirby Puckett won the Roberto Clemente Award, given annually to the Major League Baseball (MLB) player who "best exemplifies the game of baseball, sportsmanship, community involvement and the individual's contribution to his team", as voted on by baseball fans and members of the media.

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Salt Lake Buzz Pacific Coast League Phil Roof
AA Hardware City Rock Cats Eastern League Al Newman
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League John Russell
A Fort Wayne Wizards Midwest League Dan Rohn
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Jose Marzan
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Mike Boulanger

[7]

References

  1. ^ Luis Rivas at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Paul Molitor at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ "Twins 24, Tigers 11". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "Twins 16, Red Sox 6". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved February 7, 2016.
  5. ^ Jacque Jones Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  6. ^ David Ortiz Statistics Baseball-Reference.com
  7. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

External links

Mike Milchin

Michael Wayne Milchin (born February 28, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher who played for one season. He played for the Minnesota Twins for 26 games during the 1996 Minnesota Twins season and the Baltimore Orioles for 13 games during the 1996 Baltimore Orioles season.

Mike played at Clemson University and was on the Gold Medal Team USA at the 1988 Summer Olympic Games

Mike is currently Managing Partner of SFX Baseball Group and represents over 20 Major League Baseball players, including Justin Verlander, Gordon Beckham, Tyler Colvin, Cody Ross and Adam LaRoche.

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