Minnesota Twins Spring Training Countdown: 13, Mike Pagliarulo
The Minnesota Twins were just 13 days away from spring training on February 1st. As we celebrate the end of the blustery temps and the return of the game we love, let’s look at team history surrounding that number.
The Minnesota Twins are preparing for a 2018 season with expectations after making the playoffs in 2017 as a Wild Card. We will have bring out numbers from team history that represent the number of days until spring training from now until pitchers and catchers report on February 13th.
The Minnesota Twins have a history of excellent third basemen in the team’s history. When excellent third baseman Gary Gaetti left the Twins after 1990 for the Angels, the Twins found their replacement in Mike Pagliarulo, who wore #13 for the team.
Pagliarulo was the 6th round draft of the Minnesota Twins in 1981 out of the University of Miami. Known for his powerful left-handed swing, Pagliarulo made his way to the major leagues in 1984, spending 67 games in the big leagues that season, with a .448 slugging.
He split time at the hot corner in 1985 for the Yankees, hitting .239/.324/.442 with 19 home runs in 435 plate appearances. He improved on that slightly in 1986, with a .238/.316/.464 line, hitting 28 home runs over 149 games.
His 1987 season was a high and low point. He hit 32 home runs, his career high, but he also sold out for his power, hitting .234/.305/.479. He saw his power numbers drop in 1988, but the adjusted swing from 1987 remained, and he couldn’t get himself right.
The Yankees traded him to the Padres in the midst of the 1989 season, as he was hitting .197. The Padres immediately worked with him on his swing and patience at the plate, and this was evidenced in his .254/.322/.374 line in 1990. The Twins signed him as a free agent after that season.
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Pagliarulo split time with Scott Leius at third base for the 1991 Twins, and he was a spark when he was in the lineup, hitting .279/.322/.384, offering plenty defensively at the hot corner as well.
Injuries spoiled his 1992 season, and the Twins traded Pagliarulo in 1993 while hitting .292 to the Orioles, where he’d hit .325/.373/.556 for the rest of the season.
Pagliarulo went to Japan for the 1994 season. He returned to MLB in 1995 with Texas, but he had lost a step defensively and a tick in his bat speed and was done after that season at age 35.
He hit .272/.317/.376 with 9 home runs over 246 games with the Twins. He was a very positive defender, providing 2.1 dWAR with the Twins. However, most of anything he did as a Twin, he’ll be known for his playoffs in 1991, when he hit .308/.333/.577 in 11 games with a pair of home runs and 5 RBI between the ALCS and World Series as the Twins captured their second championship.
Next: Who next goes into the Twins team HOF?
For 13 days to spring training, we remember #13 with the 1991 World Series Champions, Mike “Pags” Pagliarulo.
Come soon, spring!!