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 lunchtime update: Florimon surgery. Hepatitis in the clubhouse. It's not as bad as you think

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 17, 2014 - 4:22 PM

A couple interesting updates on the first day of Twins camp.

Shortstop Pedro Florimon will have surgery this afternoon to remove his appendix after experiencing discomfort overnight. Florimon called director of team travel Mike Herman at 2 a.m. last night, who then called assistant GM Rob Antony.

The arthroscopic surgery will knock Florimon out of action for two weeks. So he will miss the first several games of the spring training schedule while recovering and getting back into game shape.

Also, lefthander Edgar Ibarra, whose hand I shook in the clubhouse this morning, has been sidelined with Hepatitis B. :( Ibarra is in recovery mode, however, but will be restricted from many activities until he's fully recovered.

Some other tidbits:

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire acknowledged that he might have to go with a 13-man pitching staff at the start of the season. With three starters out of options, they might have to consider keeping one in the bullpen, which raises the stakes for the other relievers in camp.

Matt Guerrier has been restricted to fastballs only as he takes the mound for the first time since surgery to repair the flexor mass in his right arm. He's not expected to pitch in games for the first week to 10 days of games, He will mix in breaking balls later this week.

The Twins are looking into scheduling "B" games to make sure all the pitchers in camp get work.

Jason Bartlett was impressed with young first baseman Kennys Vargas. ``He looks just like David Ortiz,'' Bartlett said. ``He's got the swing, the leg kick and everything.''

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