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.

Minor details: Berrios, Pinto, Vargas, Burdi, Murphy, Vielma, May

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects Updated: July 9, 2014 - 9:33 PM

Here are some notes from around the minors:

Berrios promoted: Righthander Jose Berrios, one of the Twins top pitching prospects, made his debut today for Class AA New Britain.

It wasn't pretty, as he gave up five earned runs over five innings on three hits, three walks and two home runs. New Britain had a doubleheader the day before and the Rock Cats needed a starter, but Berrios is up for good. At age 20, he'll be in a league with more players in their mid-to-upper 20's (the Rock Cats have players 27, 28, 29 and 30).

It will be a good challenge for him after going 9-3, 1.96 in 16 starts for Fort Myers. He walked 23 and struck out 109 there. I saw once of his starts there. He hit 95 consistently and threw one pitch at 96 and had a damn good change up to go with it. Jim Souhan saw him a month later, when he touched 98. On Wednesday, a fan posted on twitter that Berrios was 93-96 for the Rock Cats and touched 97.

Pinto activated: Josmil Pinto, currently the future of catching in the organization, was activated on Tuesday after recovering from a strained hip flexor muscle. ``He was playing well before the injury,'' said Brad Steil, the Twins' director of minor league operations.

Vargas in Puerto Rico: Class AA New Britain: Kennys Vargas was allowed to fly home to Puerto Rico this week to be present for the birth of his first child. He should return by Thursday.

Steil wasn't told the name of the baby, but Vargas did send him a photo of a newborn in a pink blanket, so he's pretty sure it's a girl.

Vargas is in a 0-for-17 skid with the Rock Cats. Perhaps approaching fatherhood had a hand in his slump. He's expected to re-join the Rock Cats on Thursday.

Burdi hits 100: Nick Burdi, the Twins' second round pick this year, had a pro debut to forget on June 29. He walked all four batters he faced, and all four scored.

His next two outings were idenitical: One inning, one hit, three strikeouts. That includes Tuesday, when he hit 100 on the radar gun, Steil said. ``He threw the ball pretty good last night,'' Steil added.

Mad Max: Robbinsdale's Max Murphy, the Twins' ninth round pick this year, is off to a massive start to his pro career at rookie league Elizabethton.

While playing all three outfield positions. Murphy is batting .424 with 5 home runs and 17 RBI in 17 games. Of his 25 hits, 12 have gone for extra bases. He's walked 11 times for a .519 on base percentage and a OPS of 1.350.

``You can't swing the bat much better than he has,'' Steil said.

Murphy played college ball at Bradley, where some other Twins outfielder once played.

Etc.

Class A Cedar Rapids infieder Engelb Vielma is on the 7-day DL with a concussion suffered on Sunday. He made a sliding catch in sort left but was kicked in the head by teammate J.D. Williams as he tried to jump out of the way.

Trevor May (right calf strain) was scheduled to face hitters today and could pitch on Sunday. But the Twins might hold him back until after the All-Star break, which runs the same time as the MLB break.

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