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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Mauer, Plouffe, Deduno

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 29, 2012 - 11:34 PM

Here are three things on my mind after the Twins' 10-0 win over Seattle:

1. The Mauer Madness: All day, people wondered if Joe Mauer was getting traded. I swung by the State Fair, and dozens of people stopped me to ask what's going on with No. 7. A fan was convinced he was being traded to Boston and didn't believe me when I told him the report was about Boston NOT claiming him on waivers. My friend Bob, the St. Paul police officer, sent me a text at 5:30 p.m. that read: "Did the Twins waive Mauer?" Wow. This waiver process happens every year, and most players in baseball are placed on waivers for various reasons. Some are on to gauge trade interest, but most are just a matter of procedure. And the latter was the case with Mauer.

But...

The Twins should know by now that some exec for another team is going to blab to someone when big names are placed on waivers. And that placing Mauer on the waiver wire is going to create the type of response that occurred on Wednesday. Most players are placed on waivers, but some players aren't. Unless they are looking to move Mauer (and test that no-trade clause in the contract) they would be better off not even trying to put him through waivers. I think the story took away from what was supposed to be a celebration over getting the All-Star Game.

2. Plouffe power. We hadn't seen that swing in awhile. But Trevor Plouffe homered for the first time since July 3. Plouffe said missing about three weeks with the thumb bruise really affected his timing and it took awhile to get it back. I will point out that he was starting to sting the ball a little better in recent games, so maybe he's about to heat up again.

3. Samuel Deduno. He was nasty again. There's something worth working with there. If he can control his fastball a little more, he could be a tough pitcher to beat. "His breaking balls were filthy," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "His fastball was all over the place. A great performance by him."

3a. Parmelee is back. Chris Parmelee has been called up and Jeff Gray has been outrighted to Class AAA Rochester. Parmelee played first base exclusively during his recent stint at Rochester but took fly balls in right field. With Denard Span out, Parmelee should get playing time in right field in addition to occasional work at first base. He was batting .338 at Rochester, so we'll see if he can add a little punch to the lineup. We think he got hosed on the ground ball to Justin Smoak in the fourth that was called an error. He should have been given a double.

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