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
Nine-run first inning propels Twins to sweep of Diamondbacks

Nine-run first inning propels Twins to sweep of Diamondbacks

Sparked by an Eddie Rosario grand slam, the Twins offense broke out early, even without its biggest bat.
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.
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
Astros hitters pick up where they left off, dominating Twins

Astros hitters pick up where they left off, dominating Twins

Houston's eight-run second inning on Friday at Minute Maid Park had the Twins reliving bad memories of May routs by the Astros at Target Field.
Day for Colon's Twins debut uncertain

Day for Colon's Twins debut uncertain

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he hopes to know where Bartolo Colon's next outing will take place in the next couple of days.
Despite flaws, Twins think better baseball's ahead in second half

Despite flaws, Twins think better baseball's ahead in second half

As they return from the break, the Twins are 2½ games behind Cleveland in the American League Central. They'll start off with tough tests at Houston and against the Yankees.
Sano has a simple goal at Home Run Derby: win

Sano has a simple goal at Home Run Derby: win

Sano said he received advice from Brian Dozier, who participated in the derby in 2014 at Target Field, to take his time and not waste energy.
Gibson rocked as Twins mark All-Star break with another lopsided loss

Gibson rocked as Twins mark All-Star break with another lopsided loss

Kyle Gibson fell apart — twice in one game — and the offense stopped being a threat after the second inning. The Twins gave up 10 or more runs for the 12th time this season.
Rookie Granite makes fans, Twins take notice of him right away

Rookie Granite makes fans, Twins take notice of him right away

On Sunday, Zach Granite pulled off a Byron Buxton imitation when he raced back to the fence to make a leaping grab of Manny Machado's dangerous-looking drive.
Granite debuts for Twins with extended battle at-bat

Granite debuts for Twins with extended battle at-bat

Zack Granite battled Baltimore righthander Michael Givens in an 11-pitch encounter that ended with Granite flying out to left in his Major League at-bat.
Sano blasts 21st HR, but Twins miss chances in 5-1 loss to Orioles

Sano blasts 21st HR, but Twins miss chances in 5-1 loss to Orioles

The Twins left 11 runners on base Saturday, and were 0 for 4 with runners in scoring position. Jonathan Schoop and Mark Trumbo hit home runs for Baltimore.
Twins, Berrios ride one big inning to victory over Orioles

Twins, Berrios ride one big inning to victory over Orioles

After Thursday night's 6-4 victory over Baltimore, in which the Twins scored all of their runs in the third inning, Minnesota has won three of four since returning from a disappointing road trip.
Twins shift draft money allotment to help sign more players

Twins shift draft money allotment to help sign more players

By saving money at the top and bottom of the bonus pool recommended by the league, the Twins were able to sign some players who had the leverage of possibly going to college.
Mejia gets homestand started right as Twins top Angels

Mejia gets homestand started right as Twins top Angels

Mejia wins third consecutive start with seven strong innings vs. Angels
Carew receives warm welcome upon his return to Twin Cities

Carew receives warm welcome upon his return to Twin Cities

Carew, 71, took to the field under a standing ovation, making his first Minnesota appearance since undergoing a heart transplant on Dec. 16.
Twins back in first after shutting out Cleveland for second time in series

Twins back in first after shutting out Cleveland for second time in series

The Twins won in Cleveland again on Sunday afternoon, the first time they'd swept a three-game series in that city in more than a quarter-century.
Twins' Rosario gets well quickly, leads sweep into first place

Twins' Rosario gets well quickly, leads sweep into first place

A sinus infection and sore throat forced Eddie Rosario out of the starting lineup on Saturday. But on Sunday he felt much better. And it showed.
Twins are at their pesky best in 4-2 win over Cleveland

Twins are at their pesky best in 4-2 win over Cleveland

Two of meager five hits are clutch late-inning homers.
Twins' Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario are late lineup scratches

Twins' Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario are late lineup scratches

That left the team with a corner outfield tandem of Robbie Grossman and Chris Gimenez.
Mejia labors through Twins' 5-0 shutout of Indians

Mejia labors through Twins' 5-0 shutout of Indians

When lefthander Adalberto Mejia wasn't nibbling at the corners of the plate on Friday, he was missing by feet. The game was set up for the Indians to end Mejia's night with one big blow. But Mejia never let that hit happen.
Hildenberger, Gee added to Twins' long list of pitchers

Hildenberger, Gee added to Twins' long list of pitchers

They could use their 26th and 27th different pitchers of the season by the end of the weekend after calling up righthanders Trevor Hildenberger and Dillon Gee.
Berrios a well-oiled 'La Máquina' as Twins win second in a row

Berrios a well-oiled 'La Máquina' as Twins win second in a row

Jose Berrios' nickname is "La Máquina" — The Machine. And the machine was working perfectly Wednesday as Berrios devoured Chicago's lineup to raise his record to 7-1.
Glen Perkins comeback shut down for a week by tendinitis

Glen Perkins comeback shut down for a week by tendinitis

Glen Perkins, still on the comeback trail following surgery last year for a torn labrum, will be shut down one week because of biceps tendinitis.
Latest call-up Busenitz gave Twins some hope in MLB debut

Latest call-up Busenitz gave Twins some hope in MLB debut

At no point in his major league debut Saturday did Alan Busenitz calm down. "I couldn't tell if I was breathing," the Twins reliever said about coming in to face Cleveland.
'Learn from it.' Molitor looks ahead after Cleveland finishes off sweep

'Learn from it.' Molitor looks ahead after Cleveland finishes off sweep

Cleveland spent the weekend offering multiple reasons why it is superior to the Twins, finishing off a four-game sweep during the weekend takover of first place.
Sano comes up short all weekend against Cleveland

Sano comes up short all weekend against Cleveland

Migeul Sano was 2-for-15 with a walk in the four-game series with the Indians, hitting a handful of balls to the warning track.
Brent Rooker made good on second chance as Twins draft choice

Brent Rooker made good on second chance as Twins draft choice

The Mississippi State slugger is headed to Elizabethton to begin his pro career.
Cleveland opens four-game series with 8-1 romp of Twins

Cleveland opens four-game series with 8-1 romp of Twins

Nik Turley failed to supply a lift for a troubled Twins rotation.
Twins pumped for Central showdown with Indians: 'time to punch them in the mouth'

Twins pumped for Central showdown with Indians: 'time to punch them in the mouth'

The win allowed the Twins to salvage a split of the four-game series and set them up for an important four-game weekend series at home — including a Saturday doubleheader — against the Indians.
Twins top draft pick Royce Lewis could be close to signing

Twins top draft pick Royce Lewis could be close to signing

Shortstop Royce Lewis, the first overall pick by the Twins in Monday's MLB draft, was expected to arrive Thursday night in the Twin Cities for a physical exam Friday.
Twins don't expect 'any hiccups' in signing second-day draft picks

Twins don't expect 'any hiccups' in signing second-day draft picks

The money the Twins saved in Day 1 of the MLB draft will help land two LSU-committed players they selected on Day 2.
Twins pull surprise, spark debate by choosing Royce Lewis with top draft pick

Twins pull surprise, spark debate by choosing Royce Lewis with top draft pick

As expected, the Twins selected a prep star from California with the first overall pick of the Major League Baseball draft Monday. But it wasn't Hunter Greene.
Twins' Santiago wonders if WBC injury bug hit him, too

Twins' Santiago wonders if WBC injury bug hit him, too

Twins lefthander Hector Santiago wonders if pitching in the World Baseball Classic is the reason why he has landed on the disabled list for the first time in his seven-year big-league career.
Who's No. 1? Twins absorbing the data to help decide on top pick

Who's No. 1? Twins absorbing the data to help decide on top pick

When potential No. 1 pick Hunter Greene worked out for the Twins at Target Field last week, they collected all kinds of data that wouldn't have been nearly as easy to obtain otherwise.
The one? Greene is most intriguing option for Twins No. 1 pick

The one? Greene is most intriguing option for Twins No. 1 pick

The Twins are looking long and hard at Hunter Greene, the talented high school senior from California, as the No. 1 overall pick in Monday's MLB draft.
Confident Randy Rosario wants to show Twins he's ready for the majors

Confident Randy Rosario wants to show Twins he's ready for the majors

Although he began the season touring the Class AA Southern League, Randy Rosario already believed he was major league material.
'We have stabilized,' Molitor says after Twins rally to beat Angels

'We have stabilized,' Molitor says after Twins rally to beat Angels

The Twins left Target Field on Wednesday saddled with a four-game losing streak and a scarred bullpen. They had no idea how long it would take for them to recover.
Twins shuffle rotation, move up Santana to start in Seattle on Thursday

Twins shuffle rotation, move up Santana to start in Seattle on Thursday

If the rotation stays on schedule after that, the move also sets up Santana to pitch the finale of a four-game series against Cleveland during the next homestand.
Pujols reaches 600 career home runs with grand slam off Twins

Pujols reaches 600 career home runs with grand slam off Twins

Albert Pujols on Saturday night launched a fourth-inning grand slam off Ervin Santana to reach the milestone.
Grossman shows he can be aggressive at the plate, too

Grossman shows he can be aggressive at the plate, too

Robbie Grossman was 6-for-34 (.176) last season when he put the first pitch in play. This season, he's already 10-for-23 (.435)
Gibson settles in with big lead as Twins rout Angels

Gibson settles in with big lead as Twins rout Angels

A trio of two-run homers from Twins hitters Friday night gave Kyle Gibson a comfort zone on the mound.
Rosario feels 'I'm home' in making leap to Twins from Class AA

Rosario feels 'I'm home' in making leap to Twins from Class AA

Randy Rosario, with a 1.90 ERA in 10 games at Chattanooga, was happy but not surprised to get the call to the big leagues.
Triple play and ninth-inning rally help Twins end losing streak

Triple play and ninth-inning rally help Twins end losing streak

The Twins on Thursday night got a home run from Miguel Sano, turned a triple play and used an Angels' error in the ninth inning to come back for a 4-2 victory in Anaheim.
Mauer on success in Anaheim: 'Something you can't explain'

Mauer on success in Anaheim: 'Something you can't explain'

In 78 career games in Anaheim, Joe Mauer is batting .343 with nine home runs, 49 RBI, a .416 on base percentage and .911 on base-plus-slugging percentage.
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