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 spring training: Post workout notes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 18, 2013 - 5:10 PM


I know Phil dropped a blog on you earlier this afternoon. But I roamed the fields as well and wanted to share some nuggets with you.

*I watched all of Mike Pelfrey's session. The first pitch he threw was up in the zone. The other thirty-something pitches he threw were at the knees, many on the corners. He also showed a nice change up. A pitch that toyed with the hitters he faced.

*Josh Roenicke followed Pelfrey. Drew Butera, I think, got hold of one and hit it deep to the outfield. But Roenicke is a ground ball pitcher, and every other batted ball off him dove into the dirt. Interesting pitcher. Could be a legitimate contender for a bullpen spot.

*I then moved to the back fields, because I wanted to watch Aaron Hicks take batting practice. Hicks can spray line drives all over the field, and he'll need a  couple  to fall in for him this spring if he wants to make the team.

*Lefthander Caleb Thielbar took the mound. He's from Northfield, Mn. He's a former Jackrabbit. He wasn't bad. He was up in the zone early but settled down and threw well. Showed off a nice curveball. There was an interesting moment when Thielbar spun one up to the plate that appeared to be headed for Clete Thomas' jaw but then broke back and almost caught the inside corner. Thomas never flinched, but Hicks, the other batters and two reporters behind the cage exhaled. We thought Clete was about to get nailed.

*I also took at peek at Miguel Sano fielding grounders on another field. He's not part of camp but is working out at the facility. Tom Kelly was on the field, giving him some pointers.

 

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