Staff Directory 10645506

La Velle E. Neal III

Reporter | Minnesota Twins
phone: 612.674.4888
La Velle E. Neal III has covered Major League Baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and Dan Barreiro during the season.
Recent content from La Velle E. Neal III
Perkins becomes free agent after Twins decline 2018 option

Perkins becomes free agent after Twins decline 2018 option

While the former closer has indicated that he is open to returning for a lower salary, the Twins have made no indications that they are interested in that.
Twins looking at Willis, Hickey for pitching coach position

Twins looking at Willis, Hickey for pitching coach position

The former Twins pitcher and ex-Rays coach Jim Hickey are among the top choices to take over Neil Allen's job.
Molitor, Falvey built relationship even if it wasn't 'love at first sight'

Molitor, Falvey built relationship even if it wasn't 'love at first sight'

Twins owner Jim Pohlad said he monitored how manager Paul Molitor and the team's top baseball executives worked together this season and liked what he saw.
Twins' turnaround gets Molitor new three-year contract

Twins' turnaround gets Molitor new three-year contract

Pitching coach Neil Allen has been let go and the Twins have not yet announced the future of the rest of Paul Molitor's coaching staff.
Twins fire pitching coach Allen after announcing Molitor's new deal

Twins fire pitching coach Allen after announcing Molitor's new deal

Allen was at his home in Sarasota, Fla., when he was informed by the club that he would not be brought back.
No movement yet on deal for Twins manager Paul Molitor

No movement yet on deal for Twins manager Paul Molitor

The manager is in contract talks, but no announcement was made.
Molitor and Twins are working on new deal

Molitor and Twins are working on new deal

After the manager lead the team into the AL wild-card game, Twins bosses Derek Falvey and Thad Levine want the 61-year-old to return for 2018.
With Twins season over, how much change ahead?

With Twins season over, how much change ahead?

The future of manager Paul Molitor - and all Twins coaches - are being considered by bosses Derek Falvey and That Levine.
Buxton's injury leads to Granite's opportunity — and big mistake

Buxton's injury leads to Granite's opportunity — and big mistake

Twins centerfielder Byron Buxton made a spectacular catch in the second inning, but left the game in the fourth. Zack Granite replaced him, and made a crucial baserunning error.
'Big-time arms': Twins in for a battle with Yankees' bullpen

'Big-time arms': Twins in for a battle with Yankees' bullpen

The Yankees have at least three relievers who would likely be closers on most other major league teams
Twins lose but Santana shines in five-inning start in Cleveland

Twins lose but Santana shines in five-inning start in Cleveland

Ervin Santana was sharp for the Twins as he prepared for his wild card start on Tuesday.
Twins clinch AL wild card despite 4-2 loss

Twins clinch AL wild card despite 4-2 loss

Jorge Polanco's two-run shot in the top of the ninth was the only offense Minnesota could muster Wednesday, but they secured a playoff spot when the White Sox beat the Angels.
Twins 'hopeful' after still injured Sano takes 60 swings

Twins 'hopeful' after still injured Sano takes 60 swings

Miguel Sano, recovering from a stress reaction in his left shin, took 60 swings at Target Field on Wednesday. It's the first time he's done anything baseball-related in two weeks.
Twins magic number down to 1 after dramatic victory in Cleveland

Twins magic number down to 1 after dramatic victory in Cleveland

Brian Dozier launched a fastball into the seats in the eighth inning for a three-run homer to put the Twins, who used 10 pitchers in the 8-6 victory, on the doorstep of a postseason berth.
Twins, Indians both have postseason goals within reach

Twins, Indians both have postseason goals within reach

The Twins are within reach to clinch the AL's second wild card, while the Indians are after baseball's best record.
Twins in driver's seat for wild-card berth entering season's final week

Twins in driver's seat for wild-card berth entering season's final week

The twins are on the verge of being the first team to lose 100 games and make the playoffs the following season. It could happen tonight.
With Sano out, Escobar surprised by his burst of power

With Sano out, Escobar surprised by his burst of power

The Twins infielder belted a three-run homer during the Twins' five-run sixth inning that helped them put the Tigers away 10-4 on Sunday.
Eight-run eighth inning lifts playoff-minded Twins to victory over Detroit

Eight-run eighth inning lifts playoff-minded Twins to victory over Detroit

The Twins on Saturday couldn't do much vs. Tigers starter Matt Boyd, but feasted on the bullpen to win their third straight in Detroit and inch closer to a wild-card berth.
Twins shift international focus more to Latin America

Twins shift international focus more to Latin America

The Twins have casted their net worldwide to find players from Australia to South Africa. But that looks to be changing.
Gibson pitches Twins to victory over Detroit to pad wild-card lead

Gibson pitches Twins to victory over Detroit to pad wild-card lead

Behind seven effective innings from Kyle Gibson, the Twins beat Detroit and built their wild-card lead to 3½ games.
Molitor: Mauer will start every day the rest of the way for Twins

Molitor: Mauer will start every day the rest of the way for Twins

Twins manager Paul Molitor has preserved 34-year-old Joe Mauer to the point where he can be in the lineup every day as the Twins attempt to secure a playoff berth.
Twins open Wild Card lead to 2½ games as bats come alive in Detroit

Twins open Wild Card lead to 2½ games as bats come alive in Detroit

Clutch hits by the Twins were everywhere on Thursday in a 12-1 romp over Detroit. The Angels and Rangers are both 2 1/2 games behind Minnesota, which has nine games to play.
Twins batters drawing more walks than usual

Twins batters drawing more walks than usual

The Twins walked 10 times Thursday — a nine-inning season high — to push their total for the season to 570. They are on pace to be the third Twins team to draw more than 600 walks in a season.

Twins fire international scouting coordinator Howard Norsetter

It's the latest in a series of moves as Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine continue to makeover the organization.
Twins overcome 5-0 deficit with power surge; Yankees up next

Twins overcome 5-0 deficit with power surge; Yankees up next

Eddie Rosario hit two home runs and Joe Mauer clubbed a grand slam Sunday for the Twins, who head to New York after rallying for a 13-7 victory over Toronto.
Horrible first inning almost doomed Gibson's start against Jays

Horrible first inning almost doomed Gibson's start against Jays

Kyle Gibson won his 11th game of the season on Sunday and has a chance to match his career high of 13 wins, but he was close to ruining it all because of two terrible innings.
Twins, Red Sox team up for Hurricane Irma relief

Twins, Red Sox team up for Hurricane Irma relief

The Twins and Red Sox are spring training neighbors. Each club is donating $100,000 to the Southwest Florida Community Organization, which will use the funds to help with hurricane recovery.
Long game, long gone: Rosario's 10th-inning blast gives Twins a win

Long game, long gone: Rosario's 10th-inning blast gives Twins a win

Eddie Rosario launched a two-run home run 430 feet over the right field foul pole Wednesday night, sending the Twins to a 3-1 extra-innings victory over San Diego.
Twins' Adalberto Mejia will return to rotation Saturday

Twins' Adalberto Mejia will return to rotation Saturday

Lefthander Adalberto Mejia, who has missed over a month because of a muscle strain in his upper arm, will return to the starting rotation…
Twins launch seven homers to wallop San Diego 16-0

Twins launch seven homers to wallop San Diego 16-0

The Twins belted a season-high seven home runs — one each in the first seven innings, an MLB first. Two were from Jason Castro, the fourth multi-homer game of his career.
Twins looking for spots to ease Miguel Sano back into lineup

Twins looking for spots to ease Miguel Sano back into lineup

Miguel Sano took early batting practice Tuesday, and manager Paul Molitor heard the familiar sound of baseballs exploding off the slugger's bat."He looked…
8 teams, 2 spots: La Velle E. Neal III breaks down the Wild Card race

8 teams, 2 spots: La Velle E. Neal III breaks down the Wild Card race

The two Wild Card survivors meet in a one-game playoff on October 3 (unless there's a playoff to determine which teams will advance to that playoff).
Known for his glove, Adrianza gaining prowess at the plate

Known for his glove, Adrianza gaining prowess at the plate

Wednesday marked Ehire Adrianza's second home run of the season and fifth of his career. He's batting .262, respectable off the bench, and his 23 RBI already are a career high.
Twins fall behind Angels in Wild Card race after comeback comes up short

Twins fall behind Angels in Wild Card race after comeback comes up short

After a ninth-inning rally came to an abrupt end, the Twins fell a half-game behind Los Angeles for the second Wild Card spot, with three other teams now trailing Minnesota by two games or less.
Twins activate Grossman, call up pitcher Tonkin

Twins activate Grossman, call up pitcher Tonkin

Prior to Tuesday's game, Robbie Grossman was reinstated from the 10-day disabled list and Michael Tonkin's contract was selected from Class AAA Rochester.
Sano's latest step in recovery is hitting off a tee

Sano's latest step in recovery is hitting off a tee

Miguel Sano hit off a tee Monday, his first baseball activity since Aug. 19, when the Twins third baseman went out because of a stress reaction in his left shin.
Rays use four-run sixth inning to swamp Twins

Rays use four-run sixth inning to swamp Twins

The Twins' wild-card lead shrunk to a half-game.
Twins stage 'a good fight' but come up just short

Twins stage 'a good fight' but come up just short

The Twins loaded the bases twice in the ninth against the Royals, but Eddie Rosario struck out the second time the sacks were stacked to end the game and snap Minnesota's four-game winning streak.
Twins bash their way toward the top of AL wild card

Twins bash their way toward the top of AL wild card

The Twins hammered the White Sox 11-1 on Wednesday, and coupled with the Yankees' doubleheader loss to Cleveland are just one game out of the top spot for the American League wild card.
As rosters expand, Twins may be slow with callups

As rosters expand, Twins may be slow with callups

Twins manager Paul Molitor said Wednesday that he would like to add three players in the next few days. One of them is expected to be a catcher, as Jason Castro remains on the seven-day concussion DL.

Twins stay cautious with Miguel Sano's slow injury rehab

Miguel Sano is eligible to come off the 10-day disabled list Wednesday, but that won't happen. His recovery from a stress reaction in his…
Miguel Sano headed to disabled list because of stress reaction in left tibia

Miguel Sano headed to disabled list because of stress reaction in left tibia

The All-Star third baseman is not sure how long it will take him to recover from the injury.
Twins finish off Arizona sweep with nine-run first inning, Rosario grand slam

Twins finish off Arizona sweep with nine-run first inning, Rosario grand slam

The nine-run first was the third time in club history the Twins have scored that many in the first inning and sparked their 11th victory in the last 14 games.
Melville, not Gonsalves, will pitch for Twins in Monday's doubleheader

Melville, not Gonsalves, will pitch for Twins in Monday's doubleheader

Tim Melville, a 2008 fourth-round pick of the Royals, will be called up from Class AAA Rochester in time to pitch one the games, with fellow righthander Dillon Gee starting the other.
Twins call up 6-foot-10 Slegers for debut after rainout prompts shuffle

Twins call up 6-foot-10 Slegers for debut after rainout prompts shuffle

With the Twins also playing a doubleheader against the White Sox on Monday in Chicago, they now have to play seven games over a five-day stretch
Cleveland pounds Twins start to finish with five home runs in 8-1 win

Cleveland pounds Twins start to finish with five home runs in 8-1 win

If the Twins fall just short of a postseason berth, they can look at their lack of success against Cleveland at home as a big reason why.
Perkins ends rehab in minors, but Twins not ready to activate him

Perkins ends rehab in minors, but Twins not ready to activate him

Lefthander Glen Perkins returned from his minor league rehabilitation stint at Class AA Chattanooga on Tuesday, but the Twins aren't quite ready to add the three-time All-Star to the active roster.
'We want to win' and for the fifth game in a row, the Twins do

'We want to win' and for the fifth game in a row, the Twins do

The Twins turned back the Brewers 7-2 at Miller Park to complete a four-game sweep and move within a half-game of the second Wild Card spot in the playoff chase.
Best yet: Colon's gem helps Twins shine in 4-0 victory over Brewers

Best yet: Colon's gem helps Twins shine in 4-0 victory over Brewers

Bartolo Colon pitched seven shutout innings Wednesday night, providing a cushion for the Twins as they glided to their fourth straight victory and back to .500 on the season.
Balk helps Twins come back to beat Brewers

Balk helps Twins come back to beat Brewers

Twins earn rare back-to-back victories after again rallying from early deficit.
Miguel Sano takes BP, raising hopes for return to Twins lineup

Miguel Sano takes BP, raising hopes for return to Twins lineup

Twins third baseman Miguel Sano participated in batting practice before Monday night's game against Milwaukee, raising the possibility that the All-Star slugger could return to the lineup soon.
Twins give Mauer routine day off, while Sano is day-to-day

Twins give Mauer routine day off, while Sano is day-to-day

"We'll re-evaluate tomorrow and see where we are at," Molitor said of his All-Star third baseman.
Depleted Twins lineup becomes easy fodder for Hamels, Rangers

Depleted Twins lineup becomes easy fodder for Hamels, Rangers

Joe Mauer and Miguel Sano probably are the Twins' two best hitters. When neither are in the lineup? Well, you saw what happened on Saturday, in the team's 4-1 loss to Texas and Cole Hamels.
Bartolo Colon throws complete game for first victory with Twins

Bartolo Colon throws complete game for first victory with Twins

Buoyed by the offense, "Big Sexy" stymies Texas for his 37th career complete game at age 44.
New Twins bosses not done tinkering

New Twins bosses not done tinkering

Derek Falvey indicated that a number of departments will be affected by moves in the coming weeks and months.
Twins' Santana does it all on mound and at plate

Twins' Santana does it all on mound and at plate

His two-out, two-run single in the second inning opened the scoring. The Twins scored two more runs in the inning and never looked back.
Berrios no-hits San Diego until sixth; but punchless Twins fall 3-0

Berrios no-hits San Diego until sixth; but punchless Twins fall 3-0

San Diego scored once off Jose Berrios on two hits, then added a two-run home run by Austin Hedges to add to the Twins' miserable West Coast swing.
Twins will go to closer by committee for now

Twins will go to closer by committee for now

The Twins won't have one pitcher attempt to do a number of things, they will have a number of pitchers attempt to do one thing.
Kintzler will miss Twins, but thrilled for postseason shot with Nationals

Kintzler will miss Twins, but thrilled for postseason shot with Nationals

Brandon Kintzler said he's happy to be going to the team with the second-best record in the National League, and added he could 'always come back [as a free agent] if it works out.'
Dozier upset by Garcia trade to Yankees: 'We should be adding'

Dozier upset by Garcia trade to Yankees: 'We should be adding'

Brian Dozier, whose name has been mention in deadline trade talks, doesn't like the deal that sent Jaime Garcia to New York. But there could be more moves by the 3 p.m. trade deadline.
Another blown lead, another walk-off homer sinks Twins in Oakland

Another blown lead, another walk-off homer sinks Twins in Oakland

The Twins have led at some point in each game of this trip, which began with a sweep by the Los Angeles Dodgers, but have lost all but one of the six games.
Bullpen collapse costs Colon his first victory as a Twin

Bullpen collapse costs Colon his first victory as a Twin

Bartolo Colon was four outs away from recording his first victory with the Twins, his 10th major league team.
Sano homers but Davis' walk-off stuns Twins in Oakland

Sano homers but Davis' walk-off stuns Twins in Oakland

Miguel Sano blasted an opposite-field home run Saturday night for the Twins but Taylor Rogers could not close out the victory, giving up a walk-off two-run homer to Rajai Davis.
Garcia wins Twins debut, but his next start is in question

Garcia wins Twins debut, but his next start is in question

The lefthander showed the Twins how he can help them, or someone else, in going 6⅔ innings vs. Oakland. The Twins held on for a 6-3 win, ending a four-game losing streak that has dropped them below .500 for the first time since April.
Garver comes out a winner in the Twins' trade of catcher Murphy

Garver comes out a winner in the Twins' trade of catcher Murphy

One bit of fallout from the John Ryan Murphy trade to Arizona affects Mitch Garver, the top catching prospect in the Twins organization.
Twins use six relievers, find little relief in record-long loss to Tigers

Twins use six relievers, find little relief in record-long loss to Tigers

Manager Paul Molitor was forced to go to his bullpen early Sunday. And once that door opened, it wouldn't close.
Reliever Breslow let go as trade deadline nears, pitching search continues

Reliever Breslow let go as trade deadline nears, pitching search continues

Players know that with the deadline approaching, there could be jobs on the line.
Six-run cushion helps Twins hold off Tigers' surge

Six-run cushion helps Twins hold off Tigers' surge

Despite some late drama, the Twins crafted a 6-5 victory over Detroit to top off a night of celebration in front of an announced crowd of 33,700 at Target Field.
Twins, Braves still discussing Jaime Garcia trade

Twins, Braves still discussing Jaime Garcia trade

Don't rule out the Twins trading for Jaime Garcia just yet.
Support group helps Berrios settle in, beat Yankees for series win

Support group helps Berrios settle in, beat Yankees for series win

Pitching coach Neil Allen delivered a forceful lecture to Jose Berrios on the mound in the top of the second inning. Then the Twins offense broke open the game with six runs that also helped him settle in.
The end? Next start may decide whether 44-year-old Colon retires

The end? Next start may decide whether 44-year-old Colon retires

The 44-year-old pitcher had another rough outing on Tuesday, and is considering retirement, according to an ESPN report.
Twins' Polanco having a 'tough time' in the field, at the plate

Twins' Polanco having a 'tough time' in the field, at the plate

He's not taking quality at-bats, and it looks like he's trying to lift everything. He's struck out 17 times in his past 18 games after striking out 26 times over his previous 54.
Astros take advantage of wobbly Twins defense to win

Astros take advantage of wobbly Twins defense to win

Four of Houston's five runs in Sunday's victory over the Twins scored because Minnesota's defense came up short in an variety of ways.
Twins finally get the breaks, defeat Astros 4-2

Twins finally get the breaks, defeat Astros 4-2

The Twins' victory, thanks to a quirky double by Eddie Rosario, snapped a seven-game losing streak to Houston going back to last season.
Bartolo Colon will pitch for Twins on Tuesday vs. Yankees

Bartolo Colon will pitch for Twins on Tuesday vs. Yankees

HOUSTON – Next up: Bartolo Colon.The Twins announced on Saturday that Colon will make his Twins debut Tuesday when they play host to
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