Paul Molitor to implement limit on electronics use in Twins’ clubhouse

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Addressing all 61 players in big league camp, new Twins manager Paul Molitor said that electronics usage among players in the Twins’ clubhouse would be limited, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Players will not be allowed to use electronic devices 30 minutes before first pitch and the restriction lasts until the final out of the game.

The ban was inspired by an observation by bullpen manager Eddie Guardado during spring training last year, when he noticed that the pitchers had their heads buried in their cell phones, not talking to their teammates.

“I said, ‘Hot Rod [McCormick, equipment manager], look at this,’ “Guardado recalled. ” ‘Nobody’s talking to anybody.’ “

Pitcher Tommy Milone, acquired by the Twins from the Athletics at the trade deadline last season, is in favor of the electronics ban. “Now if there’s a rule in place where you can’t do that anymore, it forces you to focus on other things,” Milone said. “Maybe not just talking with your teammates, but it probably forces you to get out there and get some work done, maybe a little bit of extra work to do something other than be on your phone.”

Though the Twins have gotten younger at many positions, the additions of veterans Torii Hunter and Ervin Santana along with the continued presence of Joe Mauer should prove helpful to Molitor in enforcing his rules.

Cubs acquire Martín Maldonado from the Royals

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Last night Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was placed on the injured list with a strained muscle in his right foot. That injury inspired the Cubs to go out and get another catcher. They acquired Martín Maldonado in a trade with Kansas City in exchange for lefty Mike Montgomery, in a deal that was announced after the Cubs loss to the Reds.

Maldonado, 32, was a Gold Glove winner in 2017 with the Angels. At the moment he’s hitting .227 with six homers and 17 RBIs in 74 games. Obviously, though, defense is his calling card, as he’s a .220 career hitter with 57 homers and 210 RBIs in 686 games.

Montgomery, 30, is 1-2 with a 5.67 ERA in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year. He’s heading back to where his pro career began. He was drafted by Kanas City in 2008, though he was traded away in the James Shields/Wade David/Wil Myers deal in 2012. He made his big league debut for Seattle in 2015. Dayton Moore said last night that the Royals plan to use Montgomery in the rotation as a replacement for Homer Bailey, who was dealt to Oakland on Sunday.