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.

Blackburn, De Vries among 19 released from Twins minor-league rosters

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins prospects Updated: November 5, 2013 - 5:15 PM

We reported yesterday about the players the Twins signed to minor league contracts. Here's the list the Twins sent us Monday afternoon:

Outfielder Wilkin Ramirez, catcher Dan Rohlfing, lefthander Aaron Thompson, outfielder Jermaine Mitchell, righthander Lester Oliveros, infielder Doug Bernier and second baseman James Beresford to Class AAA contracts with invites to spring training.

Righthander Virgil Vazquez signed a Triple-A contract but will not be invited to spring training.

Catcher Jairo Rodriguez and outfielder Reynaldo Rodriguez were signed to minor league contracts.

Thanks to Baseball America, here's the list of minor league players the Twins did not sign and now can sign with any organization:

 RHP: Nick Blackburn (AAA), Kyle Davies (AA), Cole DeVries (AAA), Deolis Guerra (AAA), Miguel Munoz (Hi A), Dan Sattler (AA), Manuel Soliman (Hi A), Tom Stuifbergen (AA), Dan Turpen (AA)
 LHP: Nelvin Fuentes (Hi A), Pedro Hernandez (AAA)
 1B: Jeff Clement (AAA)
 2B: Eric Farris (AAA)
 SS: Ray Olmedo (AAA)
 OF: Brian Dinkelman (AAA), Jhonathan Goncalves (Hi A), Angel Morales (AA), Jordan Parraz (AA), Antoan Richardson (AAA)

It's the end of the road, with the Twins, for several.

Blackburn: Showed promise as a ground ball pitcher, but injuries set him back. Thought he had things figured out with his arm this season but his knee flared up during his comeback attempt.

De Vries: Local product couldn't get over the hump, battled injuries and probably fell into a numbers situation with the Twins having so many back-end rotation guys.

Guerra: This closes the book on the Johan Santana trade with the Mets. Guerra hit 95 miles an hour on the radar gun as an 18-year old but the Twins rarely saw that after they got him. Battled injuries and missed all of last season because of a circulation problem in his shoulder.

Hernandez: Had a few stints with the Twins after coming over in the Francisco Liriano trade but failed to prove he belongs in the majors.

Dinkelman: Well-liked. Hard worker. Couldn't crack the next level.

Morales: Third round pick in 2007. Showed a lot of promise as a teenager - some believing he had five-tool talent. Injuries hampered him in 2011. Did OK at Fort Myers this season but batted .197 in 55 games at New Britain when promoted.

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