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 take on Rays in Port Charlotte

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 2, 2014 - 12:07 PM

Ricky Nolasco makes his first appearance as a Twin today as he takes the mound against the Rays at Charlotte Sports Park.  thought Jason Bartlett would make the trip to see his old pals, but he's. Jorge Polanco is. So are Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, a couple of the interesting young players in camp.

If you haven't read it yet, check out Jim Souhan's tremendous piece on Buxton and he makes his way to the majors. Great work by Jim, Jerry Holt and Mckenna Ewen.

UPDATES

Miguel Sano, whose season is likely over due to Tommy John surgery, has flown home to the Dominican Republic to visit family and friends for a few days. He's expected to return around Friday.

Meanwhile, the Twins are checking with Dr. David Altchek, the specialist expected to peform the surgery, to see when they can schedule the procedure. Twins assistant GM Rob Antony didn't rule out the possibility of Sano playing in the Arizona Fall League or winter ball once he recovers. Antony added that Sano could DH late in the season if doctors and trainers were comfortable with it.

Shortop prospect Daniel Santana is very talented but has had trouble being a consistent player. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire  said he's noticed a different player that two years ago, calling the difference, ``like night and day.'' Santana finished last season at Class AA New Britain and could be line for a callup during the regular season if needed.


Twins

Alex Pressly, OF
Danny Santana, SS
Jason Kubel, LF
Chris Colabello, 1B
Chris Parmelee, DH
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Deibinson Romero, 3B
Eric Fryer, C
James Beresford, 2B

Pitching: Ricky Nolasco. followed by Alex Meyer, Logan Darnell (L), Anthony Swarzak, Brooks Raley (L) and Lester Oliveros.

Rays

Desmond, Jennings, CF
David DeJesus, LF
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jeremy Moore, DH
Jose Molina, C
Brandon Guyer, RF
Cole Figueroa, 2B

Pitching: Alex Cobb

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