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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
Twins can't hold lead in 6-4 White Sox victory

Twins can't hold lead in 6-4 White Sox victory

After loss to White Sox, daunting road trip awaits.
Perkins' back issues force Twins to revise closer plan

Perkins' back issues force Twins to revise closer plan

An MRI showed Glen Perkins' back is structurally sound, but he remains in discomfort and will stay in the Twin Cities for treatment as the Twins head out on a road trip to Houston, Kansas City and Chicago.
Twins make the most of sparse offense to shut out White Sox

Twins make the most of sparse offense to shut out White Sox

Tommy Milone made a one-run lead stand up during his seven-inning stint to beat Chicago.
Perkins' back flares up, might miss start of road trip

Perkins' back flares up, might miss start of road trip

The Twins leave on a three-city road trip Thursday that begins with stops at AL West-leading Houston and AL Central-leading Kansas City. Glen Perkins might be absent for the start.
Twins notes: Berrios not among early September call-ups

Twins notes: Berrios not among early September call-ups

The Twins welcomed a handful of September call-ups into the clubhouse Tuesday, but most of the talk centered on one prospect who was not promoted.
Twins lose finale at Tampa Bay, but win road trip

Twins lose finale at Tampa Bay, but win road trip

The Twins head home after a six-game win streak ended with a 5-4 loss to the Rays.
Berrios excels, but will Twins call him up?

Berrios excels, but will Twins call him up?

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan is watching prospects at Class AAA Rochester, evaluating potential September call-ups. And righthander Jose Berrios gave him a lot to think about.
Twins rejoin playoff picture with 6th consecutive win

Twins rejoin playoff picture with 6th consecutive win

The Twins' victory Wednesday over Tampa Bay, their sixth straight on the road, jumps them back into a wild-card spot.
Twins notes: Graham heads to 15-day disabled list

Twins notes: Graham heads to 15-day disabled list

The Twins placed righthander J.R. Graham on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday because of right shoulder inflammation.
Home runs bail out Santana as Twins win fifth straight road game

Home runs bail out Santana as Twins win fifth straight road game

Three home runs, including another blast by Miguel Sano, helped the Twins escape a bad outing from Ervin Santana and win a fifth straight game away from Target Field.
As teams adjust, Twins' Duffey has more than curveball

As teams adjust, Twins' Duffey has more than curveball

Tyler Duffey throws his curveball like he’s been doing it all his life. Not quite.
Twins, Buxton hope second time around is different

Twins, Buxton hope second time around is different

The Twins hope Byron Buxton’s second MLB stint rivals a trend of his career.
Twins riding high after sweep of Orioles

Twins riding high after sweep of Orioles

Contributions came from everywhere as the Twins rallied to beat the Orioles 4-3 in 12 innings Sunday.
Twins notes: Perkins finds himself a key part of game plan

Twins notes: Perkins finds himself a key part of game plan

The Twins wanted to stick to their plan to save closer Glen Perkins for the Rays series that starts Tuesday — despite Perkins’ attempts to make himself available for Sunday’s game with the Orioles.
Twins getting used to winning in Baltimore

Twins getting used to winning in Baltimore

Their road winning streak reached three games.
Twins notes: Newly acquired Cotts joins team

Twins notes: Newly acquired Cotts joins team

Neal Cotts was 1-0 with a 3.26 ERA in 51 appearances with the Brewers.
Twins notes: Deal made to acquire reliever Cotts from Brewers

Twins notes: Deal made to acquire reliever Cotts from Brewers

The Twins made a move to bolster their bullpen following Friday’s 4-3 victory over Baltimore, trading with Milwaukee for veteran lefthander Neal Cotts.
Twins rally late to win close one over Baltimore

Twins rally late to win close one over Baltimore

Sharp baserunning and a big bloop hit help the Twins bounce back in the eighth inning at Baltimore.
Twins break out in a big way to beat Baltimore

Twins break out in a big way to beat Baltimore

The Twins waited out a 2 hour, 31 minute rain delay to score a season high in runs, routing Baltimore 15-2 on Thursday night to open a four-game series.
Twins swept by Yankees, tumble in wild card

Twins swept by Yankees, tumble in wild card

The Twins had a lead in all three games in New York and came away without a victory to start crucial road trip
Buxton gets called up to Twins; Hicks goes on DL

Buxton gets called up to Twins; Hicks goes on DL

It’s not under preferred circumstances, but top prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano will finally be in the same Twins lineup.
A-Rod's slam dooms Twins again at Yankee Stadium

A-Rod's slam dooms Twins again at Yankee Stadium

Alex Rodriguez clobbered a fastball to straightaway center field for a seventh-inning grand slam and the Twins were stunned once again in an 8-4 loss.
Twins closer Perkins to have MRI, cortisone shot for neck problems

Twins closer Perkins to have MRI, cortisone shot for neck problems

Glen Perkins, the Twins’ All-Star closer, headed back to the Twin Cities on Tuesday to have his neck examined.
Yankees end 10-inning drama with walk-off

Yankees end 10-inning drama with walk-off

Eduardo Nunez's booted ground ball in the 10th inning allowed Greg Bird to score the winning run for the Yankees to beat the Twins in New York.
Yankee Stadium dazzles Twins youngsters

Yankee Stadium dazzles Twins youngsters

Miguel was one of a handful of Twins playing in Yankee Stadium for the first time.
Duffey makes amends, helps Twins top Cleveland 4-1

Duffey makes amends, helps Twins top Cleveland 4-1

His second start went much better than his first, as he gave up one hit.
Twins' Rosario throwing out runners regularly

Twins' Rosario throwing out runners regularly

The outfielder has 10 assists in only 80 games this season.
Twins could call up pitcher Berrios next

Twins could call up pitcher Berrios next

Is it time for Jose Berrios to be the next top prospect to debut for the Twins? He's one of the options to pitch on Saturday night against Cleveland.
Pregame players meeting leads to walk-off greeting

Pregame players meeting leads to walk-off greeting

After a rare players-only meeting, the Twins rallied for two runs in the eighth and won in a walk-off over the Rangers on Eduardo Escobar's double.
Twins notes: Improving Hicks leads off

Twins notes: Improving Hicks leads off

Aaron Hicks was the leadoff hitter for the third time this season Tuesday as manager Paul Molitor continues to search for ways to generate runs.
Oliva lays out AL pennant challenge to this year's Twins

Oliva lays out AL pennant challenge to this year's Twins

The Twins honored their 1965 AL championship team, which lost the World Series in seven games.
Twins notes: Pitchers get ahead in count but struggle to close deal

Twins notes: Pitchers get ahead in count but struggle to close deal

It happened during both games of the series with the Pirates. A Twins pitcher would get two strikes on a hitter but fail to put him away.
No relief: Another homer off Perkins sinks Twins

No relief: Another homer off Perkins sinks Twins

A ninth-inning blast by the Pirates' Jung Ho Kang defeated Glen Perkins and the Twins after they had rallied from a 7-3 deficit.
Foes' trades don't faze Terry Ryan

Foes' trades don't faze Terry Ryan

The Twins’ challenge to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2010 is getting tougher as the transactions roll in.
Santana's arm, Plouffe's bat end Twins losing streak

Santana's arm, Plouffe's bat end Twins losing streak

Trevor Plouffe hit his 13th home run of the season, a three-run blast in the fourth inning, and Ervin Santana pitched eight scoreless innings as the Twins avoided a sweep against the Angels.
Twins notes: Dozier-less lineup is a drastic change

Twins notes: Dozier-less lineup is a drastic change

Twins manager Paul Molitor is not afraid to shuffle his lineup, but the one he put out on Thursday was an eye-opener.
Losing streak reaches four as Twins struggle again

Losing streak reaches four as Twins struggle again

The Twins' post-All-Star woes got worse vs. L.A. on Wednesday, losing 5-2 to the Angels despite a brief early-game lead.
Twins notes: Scouting for missing pieces in the bullpen

Twins notes: Scouting for missing pieces in the bullpen

Indications are that finding bullpen help remains the Twins’ top priority as the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline approaches.
Shabby play continues for Twins in 7-0 loss to Angels

Shabby play continues for Twins in 7-0 loss to Angels

The Twins looked to pick themselves up off the ground after a blowout loss to Oakland on Sunday. Instead, they did a lot of things to reinforce their current state during a shutout loss to Los Angeles.
Twins notes: Sano's nearly ready to go after ankle injury

Twins notes: Sano's nearly ready to go after ankle injury

The Twins are convinced Miguel Sano will not be out for long and will not need a trip to the disabled list.
Sano sidelined by sprained ankle

Sano sidelined by sprained ankle

The Twins don’t believe the injury is severe. Sano was given crutches as he left the park Saturday night to keep his 260 pounds off his right ankle.
Sloppy play, feeble offense doom Twins in Oakland

Sloppy play, feeble offense doom Twins in Oakland

The Athletics slugged five homers in a 14-1 victory, including three off Twins starter Tommy Milone.
Ninth-inning rally wasted as Twins fall to Oakland

Ninth-inning rally wasted as Twins fall to Oakland

Glen Perkins had two outs and nobody on but blew his first save of the season.
Twins notes: Milone to face A's, his former team

Twins notes: Milone to face A's, his former team

Tommy Milone gets a chance to show his former team what it’s missing.
Torii Hunter feeling and hitting well as he turns 40

Torii Hunter feeling and hitting well as he turns 40

The second-oldest position player in baseball says he can play another season.
Kyle Cody, Twins' second-round pick, returns to Kentucky

Kyle Cody, Twins' second-round pick, returns to Kentucky

The 6-7, 240-pound pitcher will return for his senior season, frustrating Twins officials. They thought they were close to a deal, but they couldn’t wrap it up.
Catching Kansas City? Real work begins now for the Twins

Catching Kansas City? Real work begins now for the Twins

A team that entered the season trying to prove it wouldn’t lose 90 games for a fifth consecutive season is now taking aim at the defending American League champions
Twins' Dozier, Perkins make their mark in AL's All-Star victory

Twins' Dozier, Perkins make their mark in AL's All-Star victory

Brian Dozier's home run and Glen Perkins' pitching helped nail down an American League victory Tuesday.
MLB commissioner willing to meet, talk with Pete Rose

MLB commissioner willing to meet, talk with Pete Rose

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said he will need time to review Pete Rose’s voluminous case before meeting with him. Nothing has been scheduled for the near future.
Twins' Perkins might get AL's call for save again

Twins' Perkins might get AL's call for save again

The Twins' closer believes he'll pitch Tuesday in the All-Star Game. What’s not known if he’s going get the ball in the ninth inning in a save situation.
Twins top pitching prospect Jose Berrios grows hungrier

Twins top pitching prospect Jose Berrios grows hungrier

Jose Berrios appeared in his second straight Futures Game on Sunday and if he adjusts to hitters at Class AAA like he did at Class AA, he could be a candidate for a late season call-up with the Twins.
Dozier's walk-off homer caps stunning ninth-inning comeback

Dozier's walk-off homer caps stunning ninth-inning comeback

Brian Dozier drove fans wild with a three-run walk-off home run to cap an 8-6 victory that will go down as one of the games of the year.
Twins' Dozier finishes second to Moustakas in All-Star Final Vote

Twins' Dozier finishes second to Moustakas in All-Star Final Vote

Brian Dozier became the sixth Twins player in the Final Vote to not get the nod, as he finished second to the Royals' Mike Moustakas, who received an AL-record 19.3 million votes.
Sano, Twins roll to 8-3 win over Baltimore

Sano, Twins roll to 8-3 win over Baltimore

Miguel Sano’s first home run, Kyle Gibson’s solid start are keys to the win.
More Twins bullpen moves possible

More Twins bullpen moves possible

The team will try in-house solutions, but GM Terry Ryan isn't afraid to make a trade.
Dozier walk-off homer boosts Twins, All-Star bid

Dozier walk-off homer boosts Twins, All-Star bid

Brian Dozier began his Final Vote All-Star push with a walk-off home run to beat Baltimore in the 10th inning.
Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco will have ankle surgery

Twins pitcher Ricky Nolasco will have ankle surgery

The bone fragment is causing pain when Nolasco tries to pitch. Rest, a cortisone injection and orthotics failed to alleviate the problem.
Twins set to sign shortstop prospect Javier for $4 million

Twins set to sign shortstop prospect Javier for $4 million

If Javier does sign for $4 million, it would be a club record bonus for an international player, surpassing the $3.1 million the club signed Miguel Sano for in 2009.
After delay, Twins trudge to messy win over Reds

After delay, Twins trudge to messy win over Reds

After waiting two hours to play, the Twins made three errors against the Reds but came away with an 8-5 victory.
Twins notes: Pitching prospect Berrios moving up to Class AAA

Twins notes: Pitching prospect Berrios moving up to Class AAA

Jose Berrios might have let the cat out of the bag a little early Tuesday, posting on twitter that he’s being promoted to Class AAA Rochester.
With Santana's return near, Molitor holds off on rotation decision

With Santana's return near, Molitor holds off on rotation decision

Twins manager Paul Molitor knows he’s running out of time on making an important decision regarding his rotation.
Twins can't outhit Pelfrey's poor pitching in loss

Twins can't outhit Pelfrey's poor pitching in loss

Cincinnati scored nine runs in the first three innings, eight of them off Mike Pelfrey. The Twins rallied and then stopped hitting.
Bullpen blunders late as Twins fall to Brewers 5-3

Bullpen blunders late as Twins fall to Brewers 5-3

Blaine Boyer gave up the tying run in the seventh inning before Casey Fien surrendered a pair of two-run homers in the eighth.
Quality start helps Milone's job security with Twins

Quality start helps Milone's job security with Twins

It once was hard for Tommy Milone to crack the rotation. Now it’s going to be difficult to take him out of it.
Twins ponder rotation with Santana

Twins ponder rotation with Santana

The suspended pitcher is in line to start July 5 at ­Kansas City. So the Twins have one week to figure out how to weave him into the rotation
Hunter, and Escobar, supply the home-run power as Twins beat Brewers 5-2

Hunter, and Escobar, supply the home-run power as Twins beat Brewers 5-2

Torii Hunter hit two home runs and appeared to play a role in a third.
Twins lose Buxton up to six weeks to sprained left thumb

Twins lose Buxton up to six weeks to sprained left thumb

It's the latest injury setback for the 21-year-old in his young career.
Ricky Nolasco's right ankle not improving

Ricky Nolasco's right ankle not improving

MILWAUKEE — The saga of Ricky Nolasco’s ankle injury took another turn Friday when the righthander had to abort a bullpen session when the discomfort…
Twins run into trouble on the bases vs. Cubs

Twins run into trouble on the bases vs. Cubs

The Twins’ outs on the basepaths piled up, especially late in a 4-1 extra-innings loss to the Cubs.
Twins expect to contend for Latin shortstop prospect Javier

Twins expect to contend for Latin shortstop prospect Javier

The first-year player draft has come and gone, but there’s another big date coming up on the calendar — and the Twins hope to land another potential impact player.
Twins notes: Rosario rewards team's faith

Twins notes: Rosario rewards team's faith

Torii Hunter did not play Friday against the Cubs, and the resulting batting order upheaval led to Eddie Rosario being placed in the No. 2 hole.
Twins return to form in victory over Cubs

Twins return to form in victory over Cubs

Trevor Plouffe doubled twice and drove in four runs in the Twins’ 7-2 victory over the bumbling Chicago Cubs in the opener of a three game interleague series at Target Field.
Walk-off wonder: Kennys Vargas homer gives Twins the win

Walk-off wonder: Kennys Vargas homer gives Twins the win

Joe Mauer hit a game-tying homer in the eighth to put a charge into the crowd. Then, slumping Kennys Vargas drove Twins fans wild with a walk-off home run in the ninth for a 2-1 win over St. Louis.
Twins notes: Pelfrey rebounds after Texas mess

Twins notes: Pelfrey rebounds after Texas mess

Mike Pelfrey said his start Saturday in Texas — when he was knocked out in the fourth inning and gave up eight earned runs — was one of his worst outings he could remember.
Twins pitching puts it together to top Cardinals

Twins pitching puts it together to top Cardinals

Tommy Milone’s strong start and Glen Perkins’ tense finish were key in Minnesota's victory over St. Louis on Wednesday.
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