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 need an infielder, reach down to Class A for Polanco

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 26, 2014 - 1:41 PM

Danny Santana's left knee is no better than it was last night, so he's going to have an MRI exam on it this afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Twins need another infielder. They scanned their 40-man roster and found - Jorge Polanco at Class A Fort Myers.

Polanco will be 21 on July 5. He was 1-for-3 on Wednesday in the Miracle's 8-6 win over St. Lucie. He's batting .289 with 5 home runs and 35 RBI for Fort Myers. He has committed 21 errors but has improved in the field of late.

He's getting a chance to prove he can be an everyday shortstop, but manager Ron Gardenhire believes that Polanco will eventually end up at second.

If he gets into a game, he will be the youngest Twin to debut since Joe Mauer in 2004. And the Twins are researching to see if they have ever called up a player from Class A before.

Yohan Pino was optioned to Class AAA Rochester to make room for Polanco. ``I'm going to go down there and pitch well and come back soon,'' Pino said. ``They needed a spot.''

Samuel Deduno will likely move back in the rotation spot vacated by Pino.

Stay tuned for more updates

Two games. A total of five innings pitched by Twins starters. If there was ever time for Ricky Nolasco to pitch like a stopper, today is the day.

A strong start will help the Twins avoid a sweep here. It will help the bullpen a little, as the Twins have used long men Samuel Deduno and Anthony Swarzak in each of the first two games. But they do have an eight-man bullpen, so it is not critical.

Have not seen the lineup yet, but expect Brian Dozier to move into the leadoff spot with Danny Santana injured. A leadoff homer wouldn't hurt either.

And the update on Santana might be the biggest news of the day. He was running between first and second when he felt his left knee shift. We'll find out how he feels later.

The Twins said all the right things about Aaron Hicks staying at Class AA yesterday. But make no mistake, they are sending the kid message to get serious about his game. It's up to Hicks now to respond. But the Twins deserve part of the blame of this fails for being overconfident that he was ready to step into the lineup in 2013.

Twins (36-40)


Fuld, CF
Dozier, 2B
Mauer, DH
Morales, 1B
Arcia, RF
Suzuki, C
Parmelee LF
Escobar, 3B
Florimon, SS

Nolasco, RHP

Angels (43-33)

Calhoun, RF
Trout, CF
Pujols, DH
Hamilton, LF
Aybar, SS
Kendrick, 2B
Conger, C
Freese, 3B
Navarro, 1B

Weaver, RHP

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