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-Pirates: Worley's turn, plus other notes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 25, 2013 - 1:04 PM


Vance Worley makes his Twins debut today when he faces the Pittsburgh Pirates at Hammond Stadium. Worley is in the running to be the Twins' Opening Day starter. In fact, the Twins' Apr. 1 opener against the Tigers falls on Worley's every-fifth-day schedule.

That's kind of a tease, though. The Twins are on a four-man rotation for now and will juggle things as camp continues. Mike Pelfrey will start on Tuesday in Dunedin and Kevin Correia will start on Wednesday against Philadelphia. Liam Hendriks will start Thursday against Baltimore.

But Worley is a candidate to start that first game, that's not a tease.

Some more pre-game notes:

  • Checked on the possibility of Kyle Gibson opening the season in the bullpen. Negative, I was told. Gibson has no experience as a reliever, so the Twins don't want to take him out of his routine. I was wondering if the Twins would follow the Kris Medlin plan and have him pitch out of the bullpen his first season back from Tommy John surgery. Medlin has experience as a reliever. Gibson doesn't.
  • Justin Morneau played six innings on Sunday in the Twins home opener, while Joe Mauer caught five. Both will play more innings early in camp as they prepare for the World Baseball Classic. I don't see them taking long bus rides, though. So look for them to stay at home while the Twins go on three-hour bus rides to Dunedin and Jupiter this week. UPDATE: Hearing they both will be on the trip to Dunedin tomorrow, so scratch that.
  • Former Twin Garrett Jones is on the trip for the Pirates.


1. Alex Pressly, CF
2. Jordy Mercer, SS
3. Travis Snider, RF
4. Jerry Sands, DH
5. Garrett Jones, 1B
6. Matt Hague, 3B
7. Tony Sanchez, C
8. Felix Pie, LF
9. Anderson Hernandez, 2B

RHP Kyle McPherson, RHP, with Jeanmar Gomez, Phil Irwin, Chris Leroux, Kris Johnson and KYLE WALDROP


1. Joe Benson, CF
2. Jamey Carroll, 3B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Josh Willingham, LF
5. Justin Morneau, 1B
6. Ryan Doumit, C
7. Wilkin Ramirez, RF
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Ray Olmedo, SS

RHP Vance Worley, with Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Cole DeVries, Samuel Deduno, Esmerling Vasquez, Pedro Hernandez, Michael Tonkin and Bryan Augenstein also on the list to pitch.


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
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