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: Diamond's support, Escobar, Slama

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 5, 2012 - 12:07 AM

Here are three thoughts after the Twins' 18-9 socking of the White Sox:

1. Scott Diamond is spoiled: The Twins better watch out, or Scott Diamond is going to expect a lot of run support. I started looking up big Twins wins this season, and Diamond's name was next to the following:

May 18 at Milwaukee 11-3

June 9  vs Cubs        11-3

July 16 vs Orioles     19-7

July 27  vs Indians    11-0

Aug. 6  at Indians    14-3

Tues. at White Sox   18-9

Diamond, the benefactor. I'm sure the long innings made it hard for him to stay in a groove - and stay loose - which led to his five-inning outing. He was asked, jokingly, if he's going to expect such an outburst all the time. “Rookie season ... I’m not trying to expect it, that’s for sure," he said. "I know tonight I was still going to mix pitches and attack the guys with the game plan that we had going in. It was good.”

2. Escobar's debut: Well he certainly looked like he belonged in the field. Offensively, Eduardo Escobar doubled his season RBI total as he went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Will he figure out hitting? He's never hit more than .285 in a minor league season - and that was over 87 games at A-ball in 2010. But White Sox third base coach Joe McEwing thinks he will. "I think he's got a very high ceiling," McEwing said. "The thing we tend to forget that he's 23 years old and is still learning and still growing both offensively and defensively. What many people don't know is that he signed as pitcher and center fielder (in 2006). He's been playing infield for maybe four or five years."

3. Thoughts on Slama: After receiving messages about how the Twins did Anthony Slama wrong by not calling him up for September, here is my take: This has been going on with Slama since he dominated at Class A Fort Myers in 2008. He deserved a promotion then but didn't get one. I can somewhat understand the Twins' thinking this year. His season was cut short by injury and they wanted to promote pitchers who have a full season of stats. They want to see Luis Perdomo up here, and I get that. But if Anthony Slama can't get a call up in a season like this to see if he can get major league hitters out (which is a big concern) then when? And if that's the case, why is he still with the organization? So I'm, leaning toward the Get Slama out of the Slammer movement.
 

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