2003 Minnesota Twins season

2003 Minnesota Twins
AL Central Champions
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
General manager(s) Terry Ryan
Manager(s) Ron Gardenhire
Local television KSTC-TV
FSN North
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
Local radio 830 WCCO AM
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden)
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After winning the American League Central Division in 2002, the 2003 Minnesota Twins were looking to repeat division titles for the first time since 1969 and 1970. A spark for the team was the July trade of Bobby Kielty for Shannon Stewart. Stewart provided a veteran presence at the top of the lineup that the team had previously lacked. The team met its goal of reaching the playoffs, but once again fell short in the postseason. The Twins lost in four games to the New York Yankees during the AL Division Series. 2003 would be the last year several key players played with the team.


Regular season

Under second year manager Ron Gardenhire, The Twins did not look so good coming out of the gates going 12-14 in March and April. However, they picked it up by going 19-9 in May, improving their record to 31-23 (.574). After having another tough string of games during the middle of the season, the Twins were looking for a jump start. They got it when on July 16 they traded RF Bobby Kielty to Toronto for LF Shannon Stewart. Going into the final month of the season with a record of 71-65 it looked as though the Twins may not win the division, but they finished with a stellar September going 19-7; including an 11-game winning streak. They ended up with a 90-72 (.556) record which was good enough to win the mediocre AL Central.

On April 21, Rick Reed set a Twins individual pitching record by giving up eleven runs (ten were earned) in a 15-1 loss to the New York Yankees.[7]

On June 7 at Qualcomm Stadium, outfielder Jacque Jones hit his 20th lead-off home run as a Minnesota Twin and the total remains the Twins record. Jones' first two career homers in 1999 were lead-off home runs. Chuck Knoblauch is next in line with 14.

June 17: In a 14-7 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Twins gave up 12 runs in the sixth inning, a club high. Kenny Rogers blew a 3-1 lead allowing four runs. The final six were allowed by Michael Nakamura.[8]

The lone representative of the Twins in the All-Star Game was closer Eddie Guardado; he gave up two hits and a run on eight pitches.

The highest paid Twin in 2003 was Brad Radke at $8,750,000; followed by Rick Reed at $8,000,000.

Bob Allison and Bob Casey were inducted into the Twins Hall of Fame.


Catcher A. J. Pierzynski enjoyed his highest career batting average (.312) in his final year with the Twins. First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz rebounded from a poor 2002 season by hitting .300—although his power numbers (11 home runs) were low for his position. Luis Rivas cemented his reputation as a mediocre hitter, batting .259 with a .308 on-base percentage. Corey Koskie saw his average go up to .292 after a dip in 2002. For the third time in four years, shortstop Cristian Guzmán led the majors in triples, this year with 14. Jacque Jones and Torii Hunter were capable hitters in the outfield, with Jones batting .304 and Hunter driving in a career high 102 runs. Stewart hit .322 in 270 at bats for the team.

Team leaders
HRTorii Hunter26
RBITorii Hunter102
BAA. J. Pierzynski.312
RunsTorii Hunter83


Brad Radke, Kenny Rogers, and Kyle Lohse filled the first three spots in the starting rotation throughout the year. All three had winning records and ERAs in the mid-fours. Joe Mays and Rick Reed each made 21 mediocre starts. The leftover starts were mostly left to Johan Santana, who made 18, establishing a foundation that would enable him to win a Cy Young Award the following year. Eric Milton was injured most of the year, and appeared in only three games.

In the bullpen, Eddie Guardado was once again a reliable closer, with LaTroy Hawkins as his primary set-up man. Juan Rincón was also able to establish himself as a reliable set-up man, but the other bullpen spots were uncertain. J. C. Romero regressed in quality, with a 5.00 ERA. As one might expect, experiments with veterans such as James Baldwin, Carlos Pulido, and the ancient Jesse Orosco did not pan out.

Team leaders
ERABrad Radke4.49
WinsBrad Radke and Kyle Lohse14
SavesEddie Guardado41
StrikeoutsJohan Santana169


The infield of Pierzynski, Mientkiewicz, Rivas, Guzman, and Koskie was reliable. Jacque Jones was solid in left, although Shannon Stewart saw time there when he was acquired for Bobby Kielty. Torii Hunter had a Gold Glove year in center field. Right field was manned by the platoon of Dustan Mohr and Bobby Kielty (the duo was dubbed "Dusty Kielmohr") until the arrival of Stewart.

Season standings

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Minnesota Twins 9072 0.556 48–33 42–39
Chicago White Sox 8676 0.531 4 51–30 35–46
Kansas City Royals 8379 0.512 7 40–40 43–39
Cleveland Indians 6894 0.420 22 38–43 30–51
Detroit Tigers 43119 0.265 47 23–58 20–61

Record vs. opponents

2003 American League Records

Anaheim 1–83–63–46–36–16–35–43–68–128–116–39–102–711–7
Baltimore 8–19–102–43–33–33–43–46–13–12–74–58–117–28–115–13
Boston 6–310–95–44–28–15–12–49–103–45–212–75–410–911–7
Chicago 4–34–24–511–811–811–89–104–24–52–73–33–46–310–8
Cleveland 3–63–32–48–1112–76–139–102–53–63–65–24–52–46–12
Detroit 1–63–31–88–117–125–144–151–53–61–82–41–62–74–14
Kansas City 3–64–31–58–1113–614–511–82–42–74–54–37–21–59–9
Minnesota 4–54–34–210–910–915–48–110–78–13–66–05–43–310–8
New York 6–313–6–110–92–45–25–14–27–03–65–414–54–510–913–5
Oakland 12–87–24–35–46–36–37–21–86–37–126–315–45–29–9
Seattle 11–85–42–57–26–38–15–46–34–512–74–510–103–410–8
Tampa Bay 3–611–87–123–32–54–23–40–65–143–65–43–611–83–15
Texas 10–92–74–54–35–46–12–74–55–44–1510–106–35–44–14
Toronto 7–211–89–103–64–27–25–13–39–102–54–38–114–510–8

Notable transactions


2003 Minnesota Twins
Pitchers Catchers


Outfielders Manager



In the American League Division Series, the Twins faced a team which fared well against them in the regular season: The New York Yankees. The Yankees won the 5-game series in four games, outscoring the Twins 16-6. Minnesota defeated the Yankees in game 1, earning a 3-1 victory at Yankee Stadium. However, the Yankees would go on to win the series; winning the next three games 4-1, 3-1, and 8-1. The Yankees eventually lost to the Florida Marlins in the World Series.

See also 2003 American League Division Series.

Player stats


Starters by position

Note: Pos = Position; G = Games played; AB = At bats; H = Hits; Avg. = Batting average; HR = Home runs; RBI = Runs batted in

Pos Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI

Other batters

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

Note: G = Games played; GS = Games Started; IP = Innings Pitched; W = Wins; L = Losses; ERA = Earned Run Average; SO = Strikeouts

Kyle Lohse3333201.014114.61130
Brad Radke3333212.114104.49120
Kenny Rogers3331195.01384.57116
Rick Reed2721135.06125.0771
Eric Milton3317.0102.657

Other pitchers

Player G IP W L ERA SO
Johan Santana45158.11233.07169
Joe Mays31130.0886.3050
Carlos Pulido715.2014.026

Relief pitchers

Player G W L SV ERA SO
Eddie Guardado6635412.8960
LaTroy Hawkins749321.8675
J. C. Romero732005.0050
Juan Rincón585603.6863
Tony Fiore211105.5023
Grant Balfour171004.1530
Michael Nakamura120017.8214
James Baldwin100115.407
Jesse Orosco81105.793
Mike Fetters50000.001
Brad Thomas30107.712
Adam Johnson201047.260

Other post-season awards

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
AAA Rochester Red Wings International League Phil Roof
AA New Britain Rock Cats Eastern League Stan Cliburn
A Fort Myers Miracle Florida State League Jose Marzan
A Quad Cities River Bandits Midwest League Jeff Carter
Rookie Elizabethton Twins Appalachian League Ray Smith
Rookie GCL Twins Gulf Coast League Rudy Hernández

LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Elizabethton[12][13]


  1. Casey Blake at Baseball Reference
  2. José Rodríguez at Baseball Reference
  3. Matt Kinney at Baseball Reference
  4. Carlos Pulido at Baseball Reference
  5. David Ortiz at Baseball Reference
  6. Kenny Rogers at Baseball Reference
  7. "Yankees 15, Twins 1". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  8. "Royals 14, Twins 7". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2016-02-09.
  9. 1 2 James Baldwin at Baseball Reference
  10. Bobby Kielty at Baseball Reference
  11. Jesse Orosco at Baseball Reference
  12. Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007
  13. Baseball America 2004 Annual Directory
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