1996 Minnesota Twins season

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1996 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
Manager(s) Tom Kelly
Local television WCCO-TV
Midwest Sports Channel
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer, Ryan Lefebvre, Tommy John)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon)
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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.


Regular season[edit]


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. 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. Like 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


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


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[edit]

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


1996 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Notable Transactions[edit]

  • 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[3] (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.[4]

Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

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[edit]

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


Starting pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Player G W L SV ERA SO


  • The lone representative of the Twins in the All-Star Game was second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.

Awards and honors[edit]

Farm system[edit]

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



  1. ^ Luis Rivas page at Baseball Reference
  2. ^ Paul Molitor page at Baseball Reference
  3. ^ Jacque Jones Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  4. ^ David Ortiz Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  5. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 2nd and 3rd editions. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 1997 and 2007

External links[edit]