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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
Dozier's homer in 10th gives Twins 4-2 win

Dozier's homer in 10th gives Twins 4-2 win

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

Twins pitcher Nolasco will have ankle surgery

It is not yet known if the righthander can return this season.
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.
Twins sign first-round draft pick Jay, will begin at Class A

Twins sign first-round draft pick Jay, will begin at Class A

The Twins will have Tyler Jay work out of the bullpen in his first season of professional baseball.
Twins notes: Torii Hunter's outburst has precedent from 2010

Twins notes: Torii Hunter's outburst has precedent from 2010

Torii Hunter's outburst Wednesday was not his first. Major League Baseball usually takes two to three business days to rule on punishments.
Polanco continues to work on defense; Stauffer gone

Polanco continues to work on defense; Stauffer gone

Is Jorge Polanco the Twins’ shortstop of the future?
Frustration boils over as Twins swept by Kansas City

Frustration boils over as Twins swept by Kansas City

Torii Hunter got ejected, and three Twins errors contributed to the Royals’ three-game sweep.
Twins focus on position players in draft's second day

Twins focus on position players in draft's second day

Six of their eight draft picks on Tuesday went away from the mound.
Twins draft Illinois lefty in first round, then right-hander from Wisconsin

Twins draft Illinois lefty in first round, then right-hander from Wisconsin

Some feel that University of Illinois pitcher Tyler Jay, taken No. 6 overall, could rise to the majors quickly as a reliever.
Will Twins roll dice with No. 6 pick in draft?

Will Twins roll dice with No. 6 pick in draft?

Pitcher Kolby Allard is tempting but has had back trouble. He's among the players being considered by the Twins with the No. 6 pick in baseball's amateur draft, which starts tonight.
Gomez leads Brewers' attack over Twins

Gomez leads Brewers' attack over Twins

Carlos Gomez had his ups and downs, but his ups lifted the Brewers to a series victory over the Twins.
Twins notes: DH remains a revolving door

Twins notes: DH remains a revolving door

The Twins are a National League team disguised as an American League one. Why? They don’t have a designated hitter.
Twins are overgenerous to neighbors in loss to Brewers

Twins are overgenerous to neighbors in loss to Brewers

The Twins’ late-inning mistakes handed Friday's game to the Brewers despite a five-run comeback.
Twins notes: Santana bummed by struggles

Twins notes: Santana bummed by struggles

Shortstop Danny Santana was on the bench for a second consecutive game Friday as the Twins try to figure out ways to keep his spirits up.
Smoking hot May ends with Twins in first after win

Smoking hot May ends with Twins in first after win

They dance, they horse around, they laugh — all while distancing themselves from four years of losing. That's the story right now for the first-place Twins.

Twins notes: Nolasco leaves early because of sore ankle

The righthander is day-to-day, but results of an MRI exam are pending:
Dozier's triple clinches win for Twins over Toronto

Dozier's triple clinches win for Twins over Toronto

Kyle Gibson lacked his best stuff Saturday, but Brian Dozier's RBI triple in the seventh inning put the Twins ahead.
Twins find ways to pile up runs en route to top

Twins find ways to pile up runs en route to top

Productive at-bats with runners in scoring position fuel Twins’ surge to first place in the AL Central.
Twins notes: Fien might return to a different role

Twins notes: Fien might return to a different role

The bullpen hasn’t skipped a beat while Casey Fien has recovered from a right shoulder strain. Now set to return, Fien will assume a different role for at least a little while.
Sweeping Boston moves Twins into tie for first place

Sweeping Boston moves Twins into tie for first place

The tie for the top of the AL Central is a result of how the Twins have been on a run of total baseball after looking overmatched during the first week of the season.
Twins complete 4-1 road trip by thumping White Sox

Twins complete 4-1 road trip by thumping White Sox

Kyle Gibson pitched eight strong innings and Brian Dozier homered twice as the Twins thumped the White Sox 8-1 to complete a 4-1 road trip.
Twins' Gibson remains on a roll

Twins' Gibson remains on a roll

Kyle Gibson could not get out of the fourth inning during his first start of the season, April 9 at Detroit. Since then, he has posted a 1.88 ERA.
Twins notes: Morneau hears from Mauer after concussion

Twins notes: Morneau hears from Mauer after concussion

The Twins first baseman has been hot, but Paul Molitor opted to give him a day off nonetheless.
Misplay ruins Hughes' day in loss to White Sox

Misplay ruins Hughes' day in loss to White Sox

The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead Friday night but allowed a run late as the White Sox took the first game of the weekend series 3-2.
Twins notes: Meyer sent to bullpen at Class AAA Rochester

Twins notes: Meyer sent to bullpen at Class AAA Rochester

Alex Meyer has been dropped to the bullpen at Class AAA Rochester, where the Twins hope he will make the adjustments necessary to get back in the rotation.
Twins notes: Stauffer activated

Twins notes: Stauffer activated

The Twins on Thursday activated righthander Tim Stauffer from the 15-day disabled list after he recovered from a strained right intercostal muscle.
Mauer's first home run gives Twins 13-inning win

Mauer's first home run gives Twins 13-inning win

For Joe Mauer, the career-longest power drought is over. He homered for the first time since Aug. 17 — 76 games and 322 plate appearances ago.
Molitor, Puckett, Harmon and more: Twins, Letterman go way back

Molitor, Puckett, Harmon and more: Twins, Letterman go way back

Twins manager Paul Molitor was twice a guest on the show, which ended its 33-year run Wednesday night.

Twins notes: Molitor talks shift strategy

Shifting defenses are now part of daily strategy.
Twins notes: Suspended Santana ramps up work

Twins notes: Suspended Santana ramps up work

Ervin Santana, serving an 80-game suspension after testing positive for a steroid, has been throwing in the bullpen and building toward facing live hitters next week.
Twins stay strong at home with win over Tampa Bay

Twins stay strong at home with win over Tampa Bay

Eduardo Escobar’s perfect day at the plate backed up Trevor May’s solid outing on the mound as the Twins secured another series victory at Target Field on Saturday.
Twins notes: Schafer on DL, Robinson back

Twins notes: Schafer on DL, Robinson back

The Twins placed outfielder Jordan Schafer on the 15-day disabled list because of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee Saturday.
Rays credit Twins pitching coach Allen's influence

Rays credit Twins pitching coach Allen's influence

Before joining the Twins, pitching coach Neil Allen spent four seasons coaching the Rays’ top farm team, Class AAA Durham.
Twins notes: Mauer takes break for first time this season

Twins notes: Mauer takes break for first time this season

Twins manager Paul Molitor filled out his first lineup card without Joe Mauer’s name on it, the first time in 29 games that has occurred.
Rosario begins career with a blast; Twins win 13-0

Rosario begins career with a blast; Twins win 13-0

Twins rookie Eddie Rosario became the 118th player to hit a home run on his first major league at-bat, an opposite-field shot on the first pitch he saw in the third inning.
Doug Bernier and his web-savvy ways join Twins

Doug Bernier and his web-savvy ways join Twins

His website, probaseballinsider.com, offers free tips and advice to younger players.
Twins notes: Hunter tweets, takes heat, then deletes

Twins notes: Hunter tweets, takes heat, then deletes

Twins outfielder Torii Hunter apologized Sunday after a statement he made on social media landed him in hot water.
Twins sweep to keep purging first-week demons

Twins sweep to keep purging first-week demons

Trevor Plouffe hit a grand slam in Sunday’s rout and the Twins moved to 13-12 on the season with a four-game sweep over the White Sox at Target Field.
Nolasco returns to Twins, but Hughes' availability a question

Nolasco returns to Twins, but Hughes' availability a question

Ricky Nolasco will start Saturday against the White Sox while Phil Hughes’ next start is up in the air.
Twins rough up Chris Sale, blow out White Sox 12-2

Twins rough up Chris Sale, blow out White Sox 12-2

The Chicago ace lost to the Twins for only the second time in his career.
Solid again: Pelfrey shuts down Tigers, offense rallies for win

Solid again: Pelfrey shuts down Tigers, offense rallies for win

Making big pitches, keeping hitters off balance, shaking off a bad fourth inning, Mike Pelfrey went seven innings and struck out seven Tigers.
Twins notes: May will start as scheduled

Twins notes: May will start as scheduled

After throwing in the bullpen Tuesday with no problems, the Twins announced Trevor May will take his normal turn in the rotation.
Gibson works through a challenging rough patch

Gibson works through a challenging rough patch

Kyle Gibson recovered after the fifth inning, pitched well in the sixth and seventh and was allowed to start the eighth. A leadoff double to Seth Smith ended his day.
May injury dampens offensive outburst in Twins' win

May injury dampens offensive outburst in Twins' win

Trevor May left Saturday's game early and missed out on the Twins stringing hits around Safeco against erratic lefthander James Paxton and the Mariners bullpen in an 8-5 victory.
Twins' May excited for homecoming start

Twins' May excited for homecoming start

Washington native Trevor May expects some friends, coaches and about 15 family members to be in the stands Saturday when the Twins face Seattle.
King Felix, homers too much as Twins fall to Mariners

King Felix, homers too much as Twins fall to Mariners

Phil Hughes went the distance for the Twins but fell to 0-4 as Seattle's Felix Hernandez kept Minnesota off the board.
A new chance for Twins late-bloomer Thompson

A new chance for Twins late-bloomer Thompson

Twins reliever Aaron Thompson has put drug suspensions behind him as he tries to take advantage of a second chance with the Twins organization.
Pelfrey picks up big win in a big way with shutout over Royals

Pelfrey picks up big win in a big way with shutout over Royals

The righthander pitched seven innings and got his first win since 2013.
Twins notes: Hunter fails at steal of home

Twins notes: Hunter fails at steal of home

Torii Hunter almost landed in the Twins record book Wednesday — but ended up running the Twins out of a potentially big inning.
Twins relievers can't hold lead late in Kansas City

Twins relievers can't hold lead late in Kansas City

Kansas City won Tuesday's game over the Twins with a pair of runs in the eighth inning, the second coming off closer Glen Perkins.
Twins leave themselves defenseless in loss to Royals

Twins leave themselves defenseless in loss to Royals

The Royals outclassed the Twins 7-1. Or was it the Twins making the Royals look like the classy team? It was reminiscent of the Twins home opener a week earlier.
Molitor expects no retaliation from Royals over Rios injury

Molitor expects no retaliation from Royals over Rios injury

Twins manager Paul Molitor said he didn’t see the need to reach out to the Royals to smooth things over after reliever J.R. Graham hit Alex Rios with a pitch on April 13 because “there was no intent.”
Twins games among fastest, but team getting slow play letters

Twins games among fastest, but team getting slow play letters

Through the first week of games, the average time of major league games dropped eight minutes, from 3 hours, 2 minutes to 2:54.
Twins unleash offense, survive shaky finish to take series

Twins unleash offense, survive shaky finish to take series

Tommy Milone won his second start and the Twins had their best offensive game of the season in beating the defending American League champion.
Rios angry about Graham's pitch that broke his hand

Rios angry about Graham's pitch that broke his hand

Royals outfielder Alex Rios will miss up to six weeks because of a broken left hand, suffered when he was struck by a J.R. Graham pitch.
Strong pitching, tweaked lineup help Twins give Royals first loss

Strong pitching, tweaked lineup help Twins give Royals first loss

The lineup changed, and so did the starting pitching, provided by Kyle Gibson's solid outing that handed Kansas City its first loss of the season.
'Disappointed' Molitor taking long view of Twins poor start

'Disappointed' Molitor taking long view of Twins poor start

The Twins have not been the team that manager Paul Molitor felt so good about when they left Fort Myers, Fla., less than two weeks ago to begin the regular season.
Hunter gives home opener fans a reason to cheer

Hunter gives home opener fans a reason to cheer

The pregame ceremonies became Toriifest on Monday.
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