La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. 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 other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins set to face another talented Rays lefty

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 5, 2013 - 8:35 AM

MLB Player's Association chief Michael Wiener and his staff are in town today for their annual meeting with players, It's great to see Wiener, who is battling brain cancer, still making the rounds. He looked energized as he chatted with players and officials before the meeting, as if nothing is wrong with him. Best of luck to Michael as he continues his battle,

After the union meeting, the Twins will hit the field and prepare for their game against the Rays.

The Twins are coming off of a 7-0 win over the Cardinals in Jupiter on Thursday. Aaron Hicks and Brandon Boggs each homered in the game, and Mike Pelfrey and friends locked down a Cardinals team with several good hitters in it.

After facing Rays ace lefty David Price on Sunday, the Twins will face talented lefty Matt Moore today.

Righthander Liam Hendriks is on the mound for the Twins today. Hendriks has given up one earned run in five innings this spring and really looked good in his last outing. There could be a nice little battle brewing between Hendriks and Cole DeVries for either the last spot in the rotation or to be first in the pecking order if the Twins need to call someone up early,

Darin Mastroianni hopes to return to action by the weekend. His sore left hamstring is much better, he said, and he hopes to take batting practice on Wednesday.

Anthony Swarzak continues to play catch and build up arm strength as he completes his recovery from cracked ribs. But there are no plans to have him throw in the bullpen any time soon,

Rays

1. Desmond Jennings, CF
2. Kelly Johnson, 2B
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. Matt Joyce, LF
5. Yunel Escobar, SS
6. James Loney, 1B
7. Leslie Anderson, DH
8. Wil Myers, RF
9. Jose Lobaton, C

Pitching: Matt Moore, LHP

Twins

1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Ryan Doumit, C
5. Trevor Plouffe, DH
6. Brandon Boggs, RF
7. Dan Rohlfing, 1B
8. Ray Olmedo, 3B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Liam Hendriks, RHP

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