CHICAGO — A year ago, the Vikings took a cornerback in the first round of the NFL draft. On Friday night, they added one in the second round. The Vikings selected Clemson’s Mackensie Alexander with the No. 54 overall pick. That follows Trae Waynes going No. 11 in 2015.
MINNEAPOLIS — Struggling Twins left-hander Tommy Milone will move to the bullpen, making room for prized rookie right-hander Alex Meyer to make his first big-league start on May 3 at Houston. With Thursday’s off day, the Twins are able to bring back surging Ricky Nolasco on normal rest to start Sunday’s series finale against the Detroit Tigers.
CHICAGO — The Vikings on Thursday night selected Mississippi wide receiver Laquon Treadwell with the No. 23 pick in the first round of the NFL draft. Many observers believed Minnesota would pick either Treadwell or wide receiver Josh Doctson of Texas Christian. Washington selected Doctson at No. 22, leaving Treadwell for the Vikings.
MINNEAPOLIS — The results suggest something is wrong with Kevin Jepsen. No reliever should have five decisions through 22 games, but entering Friday night’s game against the Tigers at Target Field, Jepsen has a 2-3 record and a 4.66 earned-run average in 9 2/3 innings pitched.
ST. PAUL — During a sometimes defiant end-of-season news conference Thursday, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher was vague as to how he will select the team’s next full-time head coach, the timeline for that decision, even who he will consider for the job. But as the Wild enter the offseason needing a replacement for Mike Yeo, who was fired in February, Fletcher’s comments did little to dispel the notion that the team will be seeking an experienced, hard-nosed coach.
ST. PAUL — On Day 1 of the Minnesota Wild’s offseason, decisions that will affect the 2016-17 squad remained on hold. The first order of business this week are exit interviews, and general manager Chuck Fletcher will discuss the team in an annual end-of-season address, which could come as early as Wednesday, when players clean out their lockers at Xcel Energy Center.
MINNEAPOLIS — Once Tom Thibodeau concluded his introductory news conference Tuesday, the Timberwolves’ new president of basketball operations and head coach briefly met with Andrew Wiggins, Tyus Jones and Shabazz Muhammad on the side of the stage set up at Target Center.
WASHINGTON — The Twins wore purple wristbands Friday against the Nationals to honor Minnesota native Prince, the award-winning musician who died Thursday in Chanhassen at the age of 57. “A lot of people are hurting today because of the loss,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “Being from Minnesota and representing our team … we are going to honor that with a little bit of purple tonight.”
MILWAUKEE — After watching his outfielders kick the ball around in two consecutive losses, Twins manager Paul Molitor cracked the door open just a bit for Miguel Sano to see his first action of the year at third base. Asked before Thursday’s game against the Brewers what the biggest drawback would be in asking Sano to bounce between right field and third during Trevor Plouffe’s injury absence, Molitor paused for several seconds.
DALLAS — The Minnesota Wild seem to begin each season with the declaration that this time it will dispense with all the late-season drama and must-win games needed to squeak into the playoffs. And that would be followed by a long and fruitful postseason run. And yet, after squeaking into the playoffs this season, the Wild find themselves on the brink of elimination, trailing the Dallas Stars 3-1 in the best-of-seven first-round series, facing another must-win game.