1998 Minnesota Twins season

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1998 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
Manager(s) Tom Kelly
Local television KMSP-TV
Midwest Sports Channel
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer, Ryan Lefebvre)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Ryan Lefebvre)
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Like many Twins teams of its half-decade, the 1998 Minnesota Twins neither impressed nor contended. The team finished with a 70-92 record, with subpar batting and pitching. The season was not without its bright spots, as individual players had solid seasons and Hall of Fame designated hitter Paul Molitor announced his retirement at the end of the season. Unfortunately, Tom Kelly's team suffered plenty of lowlights, most notably David Wells' perfect game against the team on May 17 at Yankee Stadium.

Regular season[edit]


In 1998, Twins fans witnessed the emergence of Matt Lawton and Todd Walker as major league hitters. The team believed Walker would be able to fill the void left after the trade of Chuck Knoblauch, who had been traded to the New York Yankees on February 16. Fans also saw the merciful end to Twins' Scott Stahoviak era. Otis Nixon had a surprising year for a 39-year-old, hitting .297 and stealing 37 bases (leading the team). Molitor's hitting continued its gradual decline from his stellar 1996 campaign, with his average down to .281 and RBIs down to 69. These numbers were still competent and he was able to retire while playing solid baseball.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Matt Lawton 21
RBI Matt Lawton 77
BA Todd Walker .316
Runs Matt Lawton 91


Bob Tewksbury was the opening day starter for the Twins, the last opening day starter not named Brad Radke until 2006. Tewksbury, Radke, LaTroy Hawkins, and rookie Eric Milton (acquired in the Knoblauch trade) were in the rotation for most of the year. Mike Morgan and Frank Rodriguez also started 17 and 11 games, respectively. While Morgan had an impressive year for a forty-year-old journeyman before being traded in August, Rodriguez's season was a major disappointment. In his last year for the Twins, Rodriguez went 4-6 with an ERA of 6.56. This could not have been what the team had in mind when it acquired him for Rick Aguilera in 1995.

Subsequent to that trade, the Twins reacquired Aguilera, and he served as the teams' closer in 1998, earning a respectable 38 saves. Also in the bullpen, Eddie Guardado, Mike Trombley, Héctor Carrasco, and Greg Swindell had competent seasons.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
ERA Brad Radke 4.30
Wins Brad Radke 12
Saves Rick Aguilera 38
Strikeouts Brad Radke 146


In his penultimate year as a major league catcher, Minnesota native Terry Steinbach, then 36, had a mediocre season, with Javier Valentín as his backup. David Ortiz was projected as the starting first baseman, but was hampered by injuries. Orlando Merced, Molitor, and Stahoviak saw time at the position in Ortiz's absence. Walker played second, while Ron Coomer saw a majority of the time at third. Pat Meares was the starting shortstop, but was unceremoniously dumped by the team following the season. The outfield consisted of a declining Marty Cordova, Nixon, and Lawton.

Season standings[edit]

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Cleveland Indians 89 73 0.549 46–35 43–38
Chicago White Sox 80 82 0.494 9 44–37 36–45
Kansas City Royals 72 89 0.447 16½ 29–51 43–38
Minnesota Twins 70 92 0.432 19 35–46 35–46
Detroit Tigers 65 97 0.401 24 32–49 33–48


1998 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager


Notable transactions[edit]


  • The lone representative of the Twins in the All-Star Game was pitcher Brad Radke.

Player stats[edit]


Starters by position[edit]

Note: G = Games played; AB = At Bats; H = Hits; R = Runs; HR = Home Runs; RBI = Runs Batted In; Avg. = Batting Average; Slg. = Slugging Average; SB = Stolen Bases

Pos. Player G AB R H HR RBI Avg. Slg. SB
C Terry Steinbach 124 422 45 102 14 54 .242 .410 0
1B David Ortiz 86 278 47 77 9 46 .277 .446 1
2B Todd Walker 143 528 85 167 12 62 .316 .473 19
3B Ron Coomer 137 529 54 146 15 72 .276 .406 2
SS Pat Meares 149 543 56 141 9 70 .260 .368 7
LF Marty Cordova 119 438 52 111 10 69 .253 .377 3
CF Otis Nixon 110 448 71 133 1 20 .297 .344 37
RF Matt Lawton 152 557 91 155 21 77 .278 .478 16
DH Paul Molitor 126 502 75 141 4 69 .281 .382 9


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]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Other pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; IP = Innings pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G IP W L ERA SO

Relief pitchers[edit]

Note: G = Games pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; SV = Saves; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Player G W L SV ERA SO

Farm system[edit]

Level Team League Manager
AAA Salt Lake Buzz Pacific Coast League Phil Roof
AA New Britain Rock Cats Eastern League John Russell
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League Mike Boulanger
A Fort Wayne Wizards Midwest League Jose Marzan
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Jon Mathews
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Steve Liddle



  1. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/l/lintodo01.shtml
  2. ^ Greg Swindell Statistics - Baseball-Reference.com
  3. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/SEA/1998.shtml
  4. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links[edit]