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 trade Doumit to Braves for pitching prospect Gilmartin

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: December 18, 2013 - 6:05 PM

The Twins continue to add pitching, as they have acquired lefthander Sean Gilmartin from Atlanta in exchange for Ryan Doumit.

Gilmartin, 23, was 4-8 with a 5.06 ERA last season, most of it at Class AAA Gwinnett County, where he was 3-8, 5.74.  But he was slowed some by inflammation in his rotator cuff. The Twins checked out Gilmartin's medical records before agreeing to the trade.

``He had a difficult year this past year,'' Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. ``He had some shoulder  issues and was out for some length of time. So it is tough to look at what he did this summer.

``He has a pretty good feel for what he is doing. He as the ability to locate it, althogh he had a difficult year.''

Gilmartin is a former first round pick out of Florida State but has struggled as he's moved up the minor league ladder. He had a chance to make the Braves last season as the No. 5 starter but struggled. Gilmartin doesn't throw hard but is supposed to have a good slider and change up.

Doumit batted .247 with 14 home runs and 55 RBI for the Twins. He played 43 games behind the plate and 33 in the outfield. He really struggled to come through when the Twins needed a big hit. Since he batted fifth in the lineup last season, those opportunities came up many, many times,

The Twins really need to add a catcher now. John Buck and Kurt Suzuki are at the top of the free agent list. and the Twins have been linked to both. My guess is that they would not have made this move unless they knew they were close to adding another catcher. And Doumit's departure opens up a spot on the 40-man roster for such an addition.

Scratch that. The Twins do have a spot open on their 40-man roster, but it will likely go to righthander Mike Pelfrey, who will have his physical on Thursday before completing the two-year, $11 million deal he agreed to on Saturday.

Ryan said the Twins will examine possible trades as well a free agency in search for catching.

One thing the trade does is free up more space at the designated hitter slot. Josh Willingham, Chris Parmelee, Jason Kubel and Chris Colabello all are DH candidates. The Twins want to see exactly what they have in Colabello, who crushed Internatonal League pitching last season but struggled at the major league level.


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