Staff Directory 10645506

La Velle E. Neal III

Reporter | Minnesota Twins
Phone: 612.674.4888
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None
A native of Chicago, La Velle has covered the Minnesota Twins since 1998. He also covered the Kansas City Royals for the Kansas City Star from 1995 through 1997. A graduate of the University of Illinois - Chicago, La Velle is a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Robbie Grossman

Will Grossman be back with Twins? 'Whatever happens, happens'

The Twins roster is expected to look different next year as they restructure following a season of failed expectations. That makes Robbie Grossman's status for 2019 uncertain.
Ehire Adrianza hit a two-run single off Kansas City Royals pitcher Heath Fillmyer earlier this month.

Ehire Adrianza's first lefty-lefty hit is a double

Ehire Adrianza's 19th double of the season Wednesday might have been his most impressive.
Stephen Gonsalves gave up one hit in six scoreless innings Wednesday in Detroit.

Gonsalves gets first victory as Twins blitz Tigers 8-2 for sweep

Stephen Gonsalves entered in the second inning and picked up his first major league victory, throwing six innings of one-hit baseball.
With the help of manager Paul Molitor and head trainer Tony Leo, Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario came off the field in the fourth inning of Monday ni

Eddie Rosario's season might be over for Twins

The left fielder aggravated a calf injury Monday in Detroit and the team won't push him.
Twins manager Paul Molitor took the ball from pitcher Jake Odorizzi during the seventh inning Tuesday. Odorizzi threw six shutout innings before givin

Jake Odorizzi strong again as Twins top Tigers 5-3 for third consecutive victory

The righthander had his second consecutive impressive start, while Miguel Sano went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts in his return.
Monday’s umpires (Jordan Baker, Jerry Layne, Chris Segal and Greg Gibson) posed with Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire and his son, Twins minor league m

Gardenhires are in opposite dugouts with Twins visiting Detroit

It's a family feud of sorts, as Toby Gardenhire gets a chance to face off with his father this week.
Eddie Rosario tried to pick himself off the ground in left field as Jake Cave waited for the training staff to arrive in the fourth inning of the Twin

Kohl Stewart shines, Eddie Rosario injured as Twins beat Detroit 6-1

Eddie Rosario homered in the first inning but had to leave after reinjuring his quadriceps in the fourth.

Concussion diagnosis takes out Mitch Garver

KANSAS CITY, MO – Mitch Garver exercised on an elliptical machine for about 10 minutes on Saturday afternoon, but there wasn't much more planned…
Twins catcher Mitch Garver was hit by a foul ball in the second inning against the Yankees at Target Field on Wednesday

Garver showing no signs of concussion

Twins catcher Mitch Garver took a Luke Voit foul ball of his mask on Wednesday and was not in the lineup Thursday as a precaution.
Miguel Sano grimaced as he was helped onto a cart last week after injuring his left leg sliding into second base. Sano hasn't played since.

Twins face uncertainty over Sano's return from left leg injury

After initially expressing hope Miguel Sano could return to the lineup from a lower left leg injury in a couple of days, the Twins have taken a more cautious approach. He has missed five games.
Byron Buxton was not called up after the Class AAA season, a decision that was met with plenty of skepticism.

Twins try to clear the air with Byron Buxton

Conversations between Twins officials and Byron Buxton were described as positive, and they have been able to explain to Buxton that he remains part of their long-term plans.
Niko Guardado has earned several sitcom roles, including on “The Goldbergs,” and now has a part in “A-X-L,” his first major film.

Former Twins star Guardado has son who's also a star — on silver screen

Eddie Guardado's son, Niko, found his calling in acting, not baseball.
The Astros’ Brian McCann, left, helped Evan Gattis celebrate his two-run homer in the fourth inning Wednesday night. Twins catcher Mitch Garver, bac

Bregman, Astros riddle Twins again for series sweep

Alex Bregman kept up his current hit streak on Wednesday, crushing a two-run home run as part of a 9-1 victory over the Twins.
Twins designated hitter Miguel Sano gets a pat on the back from Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa as he is taken off the field after an injury on

Sano carted off with leg bruise as Twins' 'opener' strategy fails again

Miguel Sano suffered a left leg bruise sliding into second base early in Tuesday night's loss at Houston, in which Trevor May allowed four first-inning runs.
Ryan Pressly, who was traded from the Twins to Houston in late July, has bolstered the Astros' bullpen.

Ex-Twin Pressly admires Astros' approach

Since joining Houston in late July, Ryan Pressly has been part of the bridge to the ninth inning, using his 96-miles-per-hour fastball and his breaking ball to shut down opponents.
Houston Astros' Alex Bregman, right, celebrated his solo home run off Twins starter Kyle Gibson with third base coach Gary Pettis during the first inn

Gibson makes few but costly mistakes in Twins' 4-1 loss to Astros

Gibson allowed two solo homers in the first four innings, which was enough offense for Houston.
Gabriel Moya was the Twins' "opener," as opposed to starter, for Sunday's game against the Rangers. He only pitched one inning, as the Twins joined se

Twins see rules evolving as more relievers start games

Twins see rules evolving as more relievers start.
Nick Anderson, a Twins pitching prospect from Crosby at Class AAA Rochester, had to clean up his act to earn a chance to pitch in the major leagues. H

Minnesotan on cusp of joining Twins after putting troubles behind him

Nick Anderson, a Twins pitching prospect from Crosby at Class AAA Rochester, had to clean up his act.
The underlying aspect of the decision to not bring Byron Buxton up to the Twins is that Buxton is 13 days shy of qualifying for another full season of

Twins ready to hit reset button on Buxton ... but for 2019

The underlying aspect of the decision is that Byron Buxton is 13 days shy of qualifying for another full season of major league service time. Instead of him becoming a free agent after the 2021 season, it will be pushed back to 2022.
Lefthander Gabriel Moya was the "opener," instead of the starter, for the Twins against the Rangers on Sunday. He pitched one inning, giving up two ru

Twins use seven pitchers, including a catcher, in an 18-4 rout by Rangers

Chris Gimenez was the last of a series of ineffective Minnesota players to take the mound.
The Rangers' Rougned Odor (12) congratulated Ronald Guzman (67) after Guzman's three-run home run against the Twins during the second inning.

Berrios suffers another short start in Twins loss to Texas

Jose Berrios posted his fifth consecutive short start on Saturday, leaving in the fourth inning of the Twins 7-4 loss to the Rangers after just four innings during which he gave up three of the Rangers four home runs.
Jake Cave hit a two-run home run against the Rangers as part of a big fifth inning.

Twins dig their way out of hole vs. Rangers with eight-run inning

The first five Twins batters of the fifth inning reached base, and they took control from there in a 10-7 victory to open a weekend series with the Rangers.
Rosario

Twins notes: Jorge Polanco returns to lineup, but Twins keep Eddie Rosario out

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – While Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco returned to the lineup on Friday after missing all three games in Cleveland because of cramping…
Twins starter Jose Berrios felt ill Sunday, but did what he could with what he had before leaving the game down 3-1 to Oakland after five innings.

No relief: Oakland pounds Magill after ill Berrios leaves 6-2 loss

Tyler Austin hit two home runs for the Twins. But reliever Matt Magill gave up three homers in 24 pitches after Jose Berrios struggled through five innings.
Thrust into the lead role when Jason Castro was injured, Mitch Garver admits he had some early season doubts when taking over as the main Twins catche

Garver feels more comfortable as regular Twins catcher

Thrust into the lead role when Jason Castro was injured, Garver admits he had some early season doubts.
Tyler Austin rounded the bases two more times Sunday, giving him six home runs in 12 games since joining the Twins.

Newly acquired Austin continues to flex muscle for Twins

Tyler Austin hit two home runs in a 6-2 loss to Oakland at Target Field on Sunday, including one that landed in the restaurant Catch well beyond center field in the fourth inning.
Taylor Rogers (55) of the Twins could be a closer … or an “opener” … in September.

Will Twins' closers become 'openers' in September?

The organization's minor league teams have experimented with using relievers to start games, with limited success.
Twins starter Stephen Gonsalves, making his major league debut against the White Sox, headed to the dugout after pitching only 1⅓ innings Monday nig

Best thing about rookie Gonsalves' Twins debut: It's over

Left-hander Stephen Gonsalves admitted to a case of nerves before and during Monday's 8-5 loss to the White Sox. He was knocked out in the second inning.
Twins reliever Trevor Hildenberger has finished the past five games he has appeared in, going 1-1 with three saves.

Reliever Hildenberger adjusts following a run of home runs

Trevor Hildenberger is, outing by outing, distancing himself from a rough stretch in which he gave up home runs in four consecutive appearances.
Jorge Polanco, left, congratulated Logan Forsythe, who had five hits in the Twins' 15-8 crushing of the Tigers at Target Field on Thursday night.

Forsythe's 5-for-5, homers by Polanco, Sano lead 15-run assault on Tigers

The Twins knocked out Francisco Liriano with eight runs in the first two innings and then broke open a one-run game with a huge sixth inning.
The Twins, in the coming weeks, plan to keep moving their outfielders such as Max Kepler around so they will be prepared for any situation.

Twins moving their outfielders about — because chance exists

The Twins, in the coming weeks, plan to keep moving their outfielders around so they will be prepared for any situation.
The Twins know Tyler Austin has plenty of power in his 6-2 inch, 220-pound frame — and they hope to get more of it out of him.

Ex-Yankee Austin hopes to add power to Twins lineup

The Twins know there's plenty of power in Tyler Austin's 6-2, 220-pound frame — and they hope to get more of it out of him.
Former No. 1 pick Kohl Stewart was pulled in the fifth inning of his debut. He allowed three runs.

Stewart has mixed results in debut as Twins lose to Tigers

Kohl Stewart's major league debut in Detroit was going fine until the fifth inning, when he lost one long battle and then lost his focus.
Minnesota Twins' Logan Forsythe pine tars his bat during the first inning of a baseball game against the Detroit Tigers, Saturday, Aug. 11, 2018, in D

'Utility hitter' Forsythe adds versatility to Twins lineup

In just 11 games with the Twins, second baseman Logan Forsythe has batted in six different spots ion the Twins' batting order.
Twins relief pitcher Trevor Hildenberger is hugged by catcher Bobby Wilson after his first save of the year

Home run allowed tarnishes Hildenberger's save

Trevor Hildenberger allowed two hits - including a home run, but got the next three outs for his second major league save in the same yard he got his first last season: Comerica Park.
Jose Iglesias connects for a two-run home run during the fifth inning against the Twins.

Santana allows three hits, two home runs as Twins open series with loss at Detroit

Ervin Santana, making his fourth start since returning from finger surgery in February, gave up just three hits and walked two. But two of the three hits were home runs.
Twins relief pitcher Fernando Rodney was traded to Oakland on Thursday night.

Closer Rodney traded to Oakland; Mejia goes on disabled list

The Twins received a hard-throwing minor-league pitcher who pitched only twice this season before suffering a season-ending injury. They also put Adalberto Mejia on the disabled list.
Francisco Lindor drove in three runs Thursday for Cleveland.

Frustration grows after Twins lose 5-4 in another walkoff

The Indians snapped a 4-4 tie in ninth on Michael Brantley's game-winning hit, ending a game in which the Twins were frustrated by more than the final score.
Jose Berrios is 8-2 with a 2.79 ERA during night games and 3-6 with a 4.77 ERA during day games.

Day games have been a bother for Twins' Berrios

Twins starter Jose Berrios is 8-2 with a 2.79 ERA during night games this season and 3-6 with a 4.77 ERA during day games.
Minnesota Twins' Eddie Rosario watches his double off Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco during the fourth inning of a baseball game T

Rosario is the Twins' new Everyday Eddie

Eddie Rosario made his 75th consecutive start of the season Wednesday, batting second and playing left field.
Adalberto Mejia

Mejia dazzles before injury; Twins hang on to beat Cleveland

Adalberto Mejia left Tuesday night's rain-delayed game after five innings with a three-run lead and a strained left wrist. Up until his last pitch, he was aggressive and efficient.
Twins manager Paul Molitor waited for reliever Matt Belisle to replace Matt Magill during a game against the Royals on July 10.

Twins reinstate Magill, put Belisle on the disabled list

To make room for Matt Magill, righthander Matt Belisle was put on the 10-day disabled list because of a sore right knee.
Minnesota Twins' Logan Forsythe (24) and Max Kepler (26) collide as Forsythe catches a ball hit by Cleveland Indians' Jose Ramirez in the first inning

Sweep dreams? Twins illusions shattered in 10-0 loss at Cleveland

If the Twins thought they'd bull their way back into the division race during their four-game series in Cleveland, that idea was quickly laid to rest in an ugly 10-0 loss.
Trevor Bauer

Monday's Twins-Cleveland game recap

The Twins were blown out by the Indians on Monday in Cleveland.
Johnny Field

Grossman goes on disabled list; Twins call up recently acquired outfielder

Johnny Field was claimed off waivers on Friday after batting .213 for Tampa Bay with six home runs.
Ervin Santana pitched against Cleveland on Monday.

Will Santana be the next player traded?

August might be a busy month of deals, even though players will have to go through waivers. Ervin Santana isn't the only Twins player who could find a new home.
(From left) LUIS RIJO, 19, pitcher traded from N.Y. Yankees. Assigned to rookie league Elizabethton; JORGE ALCALA, 23, pitcher traded from Houston. As

Trades provide Twins farm system players packed with potential

Their attention turned to the future, the Twins loaded up by landing 11 minor leaguers in return for Eduardo Escobar, Brian Dozier and three other veterans.
Byron Buxton has returned to the disabled list at Class AAA Rochester because of wrist problems.

Buxton shut down by wrist again. Is he done for the season?

Center fielder Byron Buxton was placed on the disabled list at Class AAA Rochester on Wednesday because of a continuing issue with his left wrist.
Former Twins second baseman Brian Dozier arrived in Los Angeles in time to suit up for the Dodgers against the Brewers on Tuesday night. Dozier spent

Dozier: Drafted by the Twins, developed by the Twins, traded by the Twins

With an expiring contract on a team with a losing record, Brian Dozier knew his time in Minnesota was coming to an end.
Trevor May pitched for the Twins against the Indians during the ninth inning Tuesday, after going 683 days between major league appearances.

May finds a personal victory in Twins' 6-2 loss to Cleveland

He thought about his rehab and what it took to come back from Tommy John surgery on March 22, 2017 -- and 683 days in between major league appearances.
(Clockwise, from top) The Twins' Brian Dozier, Zach Duke and Lance Lynn could be on the block as the trading deadline nears.

Twins' Dozier, Lynn and Duke on trading block as deadline nears

After trading Eduardo Escobar and Ryan Pressly on Friday — receiving a total of five prospects in return — the Twins would like to make the best of a disappointing season, continue to add to their inventory of prospects and look ahead to the offseason.
National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Jack Morris speaks during an induction ceremony at the Clark Sports Center on Sunday, July 29, 2018, in Cooper

'Hello, Cooperstown!' Morris joins baseball's elite as St. Paul's third Hall of Famer

Jack Morris looked out at one of the largest crowds to ever watch the Hall of Fame induction ceremony, and blurted out a two-word opening that was corny but intended to keep him calm.
Jim Thome teared up as his daughter, Lila, sang the national anthem during the National Baseball Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y.,

Thome took plenty from his Twins years

The slugger fondly recalled his short stint in Minnesota, during which he hit his 600th career home run.
Jack Morris signs the spot where his Hall of Fame plaque will hang, at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.

Hall of Fame induction day arrives for Jack Morris

"It's a special group of guys, it really is," Jack Morris said of going into the Hall of Fame on Sunday with Alan Trammell, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero, Trevor Hoffman and Chipper Jones.
Jack Morris checked out an exhibit during his tour of the Hall of Fame in February.

MLB insider: Carew, Brett helped Morris make Hall of Fame

George Brett and Rob Carew were persuasive when Jack Morris' candidacy came before the Modern Era Committee.
The power pitcher: Morris makes his way into baseball's Hall of Fame

The power pitcher: Morris makes his way into baseball's Hall of Fame

Jack Morris has found a way to summarize a career that included 254 wins, 175 complete games, 28 shutouts — and perhaps the greatest Game 7 performance in sports history. He'll deliver Sunday in Cooperstown..
The Royals' Drew Butera slid into home ahead of the tag of Twins catcher Mitch Garver after hitting a three-run, inside-the-park home run during the s

Twins' second half starts miserably with sweep by Royals

A three-run, inside-the-park homer by former Twin Drew Butera seals team's fate in 5-3 loss.
Twins righthander Ervin Santana has finally recovered from finger surgery and will make his 2018 debut on Wednesday at Toronto.

Santana makes long-awaited 2018 Twins debut Wednesday at Toronto

Santana went through a longer-than-expected recovery following surgery in early February to remove a calcium deposit from his right middle finger.
Twins starting pitcher Ervin Santana

Twins expect to activate Santana soon

Ervin Santana will throw in the bullpen Sunday while the Twins decide when they will activate the veteran starter from the 60-day disabled list.
Kansas City Royals' Hunter Dozier, right, congratulates teammates Jorge Bonifacio (38) and Whit Merrifield (15) during the first inning Friday night.

Twins make it close but look like sellers in loss to Royals

The Twins on Friday night returned from the All-Star break and put up a late rally but ultimately lost again to the last-place Royals.
Miguel Sano

Sano expected to rejoin Twins' minor-league team in a few days

The Twins understand Miguel Sano's situation, and also considered that it is All-Star week and he has not had a break yet.
Alex Bregman of the Astros hit a solo home run during the All-Star game on Tuesday night. It was one of 10 hit in the game, a record.

Power of 10: Teams combine for record HRs in AL's All-Star Game win

Back-to-back home runs by Houston's George Springer and Alex Bregman in the 10th inning capped a wild All-Star game in Washington, won 8-6 by the visiting American League.
Tony Clark, executive director of the Major League Players Association

MLBPA's Clark, Manfred differ on upcoming issues

Free agency and the use of the designated hitter in the National League were hot topics during All-Star festivities in Washington.
Jose Berrios ran during a workout in Florida at spring training. “It’s my job,” he said. “I take pride in coming in here every day, work hard

Punishing workouts, preparation and more make Berrios an All-Star

Those who know Jose Berrios say he carries himself as if he knows he's good — but he backs it up with work he does behind the scenes. That intersection of talent and sweat that has his career ascending.
Chaska High School product Brad Hand is again the subject of trade rumors after another strong season in the Padres bullpen.

Chaska's Brad Hand doesn't mind missing sleep to be All-Star

The Padres lefthander is getting to appear at his second consecutive All-Star Game, and has a group of friends and family along for the trip.
Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, right, embraced Cubs catcher Willson Contreras during Monday’s batting practice before the All-Star Home Run Der

Indians have comfortable lead over Twins but taking nothing for granted

Cleveland struggled a bit going into the break but still enjoys a comfortable lead in the AL Central.
United States manager Torii Hunter celebrated with his team after the All-Star Futures baseball game against the World on Sunday.

Torii's Team USA wins Minnesota-themed Futures Game

Top minor-league prospect Alex Kiriloff had two hits while former Twins Torii Hunter and David Ortiz managed the USA and World teams.
Jorge Polanco slides into third base with a triple against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday

Twins victory over Rays builds on good home vibe

Joe Mauer had four RBI and the Twins on Friday night jumped to an 8-1 advantage, but Tampa Bay wasn't going away quietly.
Buxton

Extent of Byron Buxton's wrist injury being evaluated

X-rays of Byron Buxton's left wrist Friday were negative, but the center fielder was not considered in the clear yet after being injured Thursday…
Minnesota Twins outfielder Jake Cave, left, and Jorge Polanco celebrate after the Twins beat the Kansas City Royals 8-5 in a baseball game Wednesday,

Current question: Can Twins keep winning when competition gets better?

The Twins beat Kansas City 8-5 for their sixth victory in seven games against baseball's two worst teams, which have a combined record of 52-133 so far this season.
Twins relief pitcher Addison Reed

Twins reliever Reed headed for 10-day DL with tendinitis

Twins officials said the timing is right, with the upcoming All-Star break, for Addison Reed to get healthy.
The Twins’ Jose Berrios, 24, was named to his first All-Star team Sunday. He is 8-7 with a 3.54 ERA this season heading into Monday’s start agains

Berrios named to All-Star Game; Rosario among 5 in vote for final spot

Jose Berrios was just starting to plan for the four days off that come during the All-Star break when he found out that he wouldn't be getting the time off.
The Twins' Mitch Garver rounded the bases and slapped hands with third base coach Gene Glynn on a two-run home run off Orioles pitcher Alex Cobb in th

Eight-run inning boosts Twins to sweep of awful Orioles

As much as the Twins have struggled this season, their woes are no match for Baltimore, which dropped all four games at Target Field and fell to 41 games below .500.
Robbed of a hit in his first at-bat, Twins catcher Mitch Garver hit a two-run homer in his second Sunday.

Twins' Garver swinging a hot bat

Mitch Garver, who is splitting time with Bobby Wilson behind the plate, is batting .542 (13-for-24) since June 21, raising his average 50 points to .268.
Brian Dozier is in the final season of his contract with the Twins, and could be trade bait.

With Twins selling, will trade speculation disrupt clubhouse in July?

With the Twins struggling to stay in contention, there might be some moves made before the July 31 trade deadline.
Read our comment standards

StarTribune.com welcomes and encourages readers to comment and engage in substantive, mutually respectful exchanges over news topics. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

  1. Keep it civil and stay on topic.
  2. No profanity, vulgarity, racial slurs or personal attacks.
  3. Comments with web links are not permitted.
  4. Comments that violate the above will be removed. Repeat violators may lose their commenting privileges on StarTribune.com.

Comments will be reviewed before being published.

More from Star Tribune