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.

Twins-Red Sox: Morneau scratched from lineup

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 28, 2013 - 5:38 PM

UPDATE: Justin Morneau has been scratched from tonight's starting lineup because of mild back tightness. Chris Parmelee moves to first. Wilkin Ramirez starts in right.

Lefthander Scott Diamond threw four innings in a minor league game this afternoon. When asked how it went, he smiled and said, ``I got my work in.''

Diamond said he gave up a solo home run but the OTHER runs were unearned. He remembers no walks and throwing 65 pitches. I expect to get official line on Diamond soon.

Diamond feels his arm strength is where it needs to be. Now he's working on endurance. It sounds like typical spring stuff for a pitcher trying to put everything together. Diamond said his change up was good today, but couldn't throw his curveball over. The previous outing it was the other way around.

His next scheduled start is April 2. On April 7, he'll likely make a start for the Class A Fort Myers Miracle. On Apr. 12, he hopes to be back with the Twins.

I spoke with Diamond in the Twins clubhouse, but then headed over to the minor league fields to find out what's up with Joe Benson.

Benson has been out of action for a few days because he's having problems with his wrist  - the same wrist he had surgery on last season. Not good, but at least Benson admitted to having problems with the wrist. Last year, he tried to play through it which prolonged the problem.

Brad Steil, the Twins' director of minor league operations, said Benson took some dry swings yesterday and is making progress.

While talking to Steil, Byron Buxton came to the plate and smoked the first pitch he saw for a triple. The kid has bags of skill and a frame that is going to fill out nicely. Yes, I plan on making a trip to Cedar Rapids this year to see Buxton and Max Kepler in the outfield.

Liam Hendriks told me he's going to throw in the bullpen today to see how his hand responds after taking a liner off of it on Tuesday.

The Twins have announced their rotation for the Tigers series, and it's no surprise: Monday: Vance Worley. Wednesday: Kevin Correia. Thursday: Mike Pelfrey.

Also, the Twins have released former major leaguer Scott Elarton, who was in minor league camp.

Finally, here's the starting lineups. Can't wait for the reaction

Twins

1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Chris Parmelee, 1B
5. Ryan Doumit, DH
6. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
7, Wilkin Ramirez, RF
8. Eduardo Escobar, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Kevin Correia, RHP

Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Daniel Nava, DH
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
6. Shane Victorino, RF
7. Jonny Gomes, LF
8. David Ross, C
9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Pitching: Clay Buchholz, RHP
 

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