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.

Twins spring training: Day 8 camp wrap up; Correia to start Saturday

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 20, 2013 - 1:00 PM

Kevin Correia is your Opening Day starting pitcher.

Spring training opener, that is.

Correia has been named the starter for Saturday's game at Sarasota against the Orioles, the spring training lid-lifter for both teams. Shairon Martis, Ryan Pressly, Josh Roenicke, Anthony Slama and Luis Perdomo are also scheduled to pitch that day.

Corriea's next appearance is up in the air. His wife is expecting, so he will leave camp soon to fly to the San Diego area to be present for the family expansion.

Pressly, by the way, faced Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Josh Willingham and Trevor Plouffe on Wednesday and did fairly well. He hung a couple pitches but kept the ball down. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire usually hangs out on other fields but was present at t he Hammond Stadium to watch Pressly and Tim Wood throw.

Helmet safety

Morneau is pleased that the league is requiring all players to wear the s100 helmet this year,  ``It makes me look better because it won't make me look abnormal with a helmet bigger than everyone else's,'' he joked. Morneau, who has had concussions in 2005 and 2010, was one of about 200 players who wore the helmet last year,.It's designed to withstand fastballs up to 100 miles an hour. ``It's big, but it's for safely  and it's good,'' Morneau said., ``Guys might complain at first. Ninety nine percent of players in the big leagues won't have to worry about it but for people who have been hit or if there's a chance it can save them, they will be thankful for it. All the tests they've done say there is a huge difference.''

More props

Baseball America has released its Top 100 Prospects list, and the Twins have six players in the top 100 - six of the top 72, actually.

One surprise is that the Twins landed two prospects in the top 10 - Miguel Sano at nine and Byron Buxton at 10.



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