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.

Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife gives birth

Zack Wheeler miss starts
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Per The Athletic’s Matt Gelb, Phillies starter Zack Wheeler will miss at least two starts when his wife goes into labor and gives birth to their first child, expected to be later this month. Wheeler, in fact, is not sure if he will return to play at all once their child is born.

Wheeler said, “We just have to see how things are here at the field and at the stadium. I’m happy with what I see so far. But things could change, especially once our baby’s born. I always think about what’s going on around me. Is it safe? Is it OK? Literally every single day. I have to just ask myself that. I’m going to continue to keep asking myself that every day.”

Wheeler, 30, inked a five-year, $118 million contract with the Phillies in December. He is slated for the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind Aaron Nola. Last season, with the Mets, Wheeler posted a 3.96 ERA with 195 strikeouts and 50 walks over 195 1/3 innings.

The No. 5 spot in the Phillies’ rotation is currently up for grabs between Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, Ranger Suárez, and prospect Spencer Howard. One of the remaining three could fill in for Wheeler when he needs time off, temporarily or otherwise.