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.

Butera optioned to Rochester, today's lineups

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 25, 2013 - 10:41 AM

 The Twins have optioned catcher Drew Butera to Class AAA Rochester and will start the season with two catchers on the major league roster.

The club also has reassigned Jeff Clement, Ray Olmedo, Brandon Boggs and. Dan Rohlfing to minor league camp. Rohlfing will remain in camp as an extra catcher.  That reduces the camp roster to 31. More on that later.

Butera has been a backup on the major league level since 2010. He is a splendid catcher. He calls good games and the pitchers loved working with him. He has an arm to shut down the running game - remember when he hit 94 mph last year when asked to pitch an inning in the blowout loss in Milwaukee?

But, despite his efforts and willingness to play winter ball, the man's offense just does not exist. Butera has a career .183. average. And the Twins wanted a bat on the bench.

The moves could be good news for outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, who now looks in line to make the team as an extra bat off the bench.

I did write in today's dead tree edition that teams have expressed interest in Butera. Some clubs are in awful catching situations (Baltimore) and are looking for help. It will be interesting to see if the Twins keep Butera or not. What they must prepare for now is when Joe Mauer or Ryan Doumit foul a ball off a foot or take a foul tip off a shoulder. With three catchers they could ride out those minor injuries. Now they must be ready to either pull the trigger on a DL move quicker or call up a catcher for an extra backup. I guess that would be the time to send a Ramirez down and call up a Butera.

Also, the Twins will risk having to give up the DH when Doumit or Mauer are DH-ing and whomever the catcher is that day breaks down during a game.

The Twins now have 31 players in camp -  but it's really 27 because Rafael Perez, Rich Harden, Tim Wood and Samuel Deduno are injured. Two more players have to be trimmed from the camp roster, and they will likely come from the group of P.J. Walters, Tyler Robertson and Liam Hendriks.

No DH for the Cardinals today.....


1. Daniel Descalso, SS
2. Shane Robinson, CF
3. Matt Carpenter, 2B
4. Matt Adams, 1B
5. Oscar Tavares, RF
6. Ty Wigginton, 3B
7. Adron Chambers, LF
8. Tony Cruz, C
9. Shelby Miller, RHP


1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, DH
7. Chris Parmelee, RF
8. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS

Pitching: Mike Pelfrey, RHP


Team Irvin 19 3rd Qtr
Team Carter 20
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 83 4th Qtr 9:39
Golden State 95
Washington 89 4th Qtr 8:55
Denver 87
Houston 21 1st Qtr 3:39
LA Lakers 10
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 39 2nd Half 10:45
Utah 60
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 67 2nd Half 1:35
USC 56


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