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Twins’ Luis Arraez, Carlos Correa named Silver Slugger Award finalists

The 25-year-old Arraez edged out Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for the American League batting title, hitting .316 in 144 games for the Twins.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Cleveland Guardians
Minnesota Twins first baseman Luis Arraez knocks in two runs with his single in a win over the Cleveland Guardians at Progressive Field.
USA Today Sports file photo
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Last week, Minnesota Twins players Luis Arraez and Carlos Correa were announced as Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists, cited among the league’s best for their defense. This week, the two of them were acknowledged for their offense.

Arraez, who led the American League in hitting, and Correa were named Silver Slugger Award finalists, as voted on by managers and coaches. Arraez, along with Angels Shohei Ohtani and Luis Rengifo, and DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), is a finalist in the utility category, while Correa is a finalist at shortstop alongside Bo Bichette (Blue Jays), Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox) and Corey Seager (Rangers).

The 25-year-old Arraez edged out Yankees slugger Aaron Judge for the American League batting title, hitting .316 in 144 games for the Twins. He finished the year with a .795 OPS and 130 OPS+ (100 is league average).

Correa finished the year hitting .291 with 22 home runs and a .834 OPS and 140 OPS+. His 5.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement per Baseball Reference) led the Twins. In the coming days, Correa is expected to opt out of the final two seasons of his contract with the Twins to become a free agent.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Kansas City Royals
Minnesota Twins shortstop Carlos Correa bats against the Kansas City Royals on Sept. 20, 2022. Correa and teammate Luis Arraez were named Silver Slugger Award finalists for 2022.
USA Today Sports file photo

The winners will be revealed on Nov. 10 during a one-hour show on MLB Network starting at 5 p.m.

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Twins hire Paparesta from A’s to lead training staff

The Minnesota Twins have made their first addition of the offseason, bringing in Nick Paparesta to head their training staff after parting ways with Michael Salazar, their head athletic trainer for the past three seasons, earlier this month.

Paparesta spent the past 12 years serving as the head athletic trainer for the Oakland Athletics. Before that, he worked in the Tampa Bay Rays organization for five years, overlapping with Twins manager Rocco Baldelli, who was then a player in Tampa Bay. He also spent 11 seasons in the Cleveland Guardians organization.

Earlier this month, president of baseball operations Derek Falvey said “from a leadership standpoint in that space, management of day to day and what that looked like,” the Twins wanted a change in direction after a season that was derailed by injuries. The Twins placed 32 different players on the injured list during the 2022 season, losing 2,363 days to injury, per Spotrac. The number of days lost placed them second in the majors behind the Cincinnati Reds.

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During a pivotal final month of the season, the Twins were without Byron Buxton, Jorge Polanco, Trevor Larnach and a whole list of others, while Tyler Mahle, Max Kepler and Sonny Gray were among the others who landed on the injured list in September. The depleted roster sputtered to the end of the season, finishing 14 games behind the Cleveland Guardians, a team they were tied with atop the American League Central division in early September.

Falvey said he planned to spend time this offseason talking with people in other sports and industries to think through how they can better handle soft-tissue injuries, among other things. He also talked about sitting down with their new trainer and evaluating their offseason programming and planning to get players in the right physical condition heading into spring.

“We’ll go through a period of time really assessing with that person, ‘Here are our current protocols. Here’s how we go through our days. Here’s how our workout plans look like. Here’s where guys came in in spring training,’ ” Falvey said before they hired Paparesta.

In Paparesta, the Twins have hired a trainer who was twice a member of a staff that was recognized as the “Major League Athletic Training Staff of the Year.” The North Fort Myers, Fla., native is certified by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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