Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
MINNEAPOLIS — In his 16 big-league seasons, Joe Nathan recorded 378 saves and faced 3,823 batters, including six trips to the postseason. If he could have one pitch back from a remarkable run that officially ended Friday with Nathan signing a one-day contract with the Twins, which would it be? "Only one?" Nathan, 42, said as his family looked on from the first two rows. "Oh, man. Shoot, I could pick '04. I could pick '09. It's probably going to be '04. I want to take back when I threw ball four to — who was it?"
MINNEAPOLIS — Twins center fielder Byron Buxton was relieved Thursday morning, Aug. 31, when a magnetic resonance imaging exam showed a bone contusion in his sore left hand. "Hopefully, we dodged any type of major issue there," Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "Things are progressing pretty good. Based on our reads as of today, we're in a good spot."
TORONTO — Now that John Curtiss has reached the majors in his fourth pro season, he can look back at his Arizona Fall League experience for what it was: a turbo-booster for a late-blooming Twins pitching prospect. "Last year the fall league was probably the biggest thing that happened to me," Curtiss said. "I think that jump from high-A to fall league, except for the jump from the minors here, was the biggest jump I made."
TORONTO — Residual flooding from Hurricane Harvey has devastated parts of Houston, but the Twins' three residents of the fourth-largest city in the United States have come through the storm OK so far. "My family fortunately is good," said Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey, who grew up in the Westbury section of southwest Houston. "I've been checking social media, and so far everybody among my friends and family is still in their places and not having to go anywhere. There are a lot of low-lying areas that are long gone now."
TORONTO — Conversations have picked up regarding possible September call-ups, with Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey traveling to watch Triple-A Rochester in person this weekend. In his former role as Cleveland Indians' assistant general manager, Falvey saw a World Series-bound club limit their September roster to 32. A few years earlier, the Indians took it all the way out to 39. "I don't think more is always better," Molitor said. "We'll be as thorough as we can, but you're walking that fine line."
CHICAGO — A little over two years ago, John Curtiss was in agony. Having already come back from a freak concussion suffered while fielding a bunt, he feared he was headed for his second Tommy John surgery. "By Memorial Day my elbow was just killing me," the hard-throwing reliever said Wednesday, Aug. 23, after his first big-league promotion.
CHICAGO — Right fielder Max Kepler was out of the lineup for a second straight game after falling ill during the first game of Monday's doubleheader. Kepler, who had homered six times in his past 55 at-bats, was removed for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning of the opener. He then was scratched from the nightcap lineup due to a stomach virus. Twins trainers advised Kepler to stay at the team hotel until later in the day Tuesday, Aug. 22 in hopes of warding off the effects of his illness.
CHICAGO — After placing Miguel Sano on the disabled list with a stress reaction in his left tibia, Twins manager Paul Molitor said an upcoming trip to play on Toronto's artificial turf wasn't a factor in the decision. "We're just hoping Miguel has a good week while we're on the road getting that thing in shape," Molitor said Monday, Aug. 21, "and hopefully we get some news about potentially getting him back sooner than later."
MINNEAPOLIS — Plate umpire Angel Hernandez wore a white wristband on his left arm for the Saturday, Aug. 20, game as part of a league-wide movement among umpires to "protest escalating verbal attacks" against their membership. While Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler recently ripped Hernandez in the media, saying he "just needs to go away," Twins special assistant Michael Cuddyer said he never had any problems with the 25-year big-league veteran.
MINNEAPOLIS — Mitch Garver called two of his earliest backers shortly after receiving news of his first big-league promotion late Thursday night, Aug. 17. Ray Birmingham, his coach at the University of New Mexico, and Ryan Brewer, his club-level coach in Albuquerque, were among the first to know. His wife, a week in a veterinary internship at a Twin Cities clinic, had to cancel an upcoming flight to see Garver play for Triple-A Rochester.