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 afternoon update: Florimon, Suzuki, Kubel

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 20, 2014 - 3:23 PM


Shortstop Pedro Flormion on Thursday returned to the Twins clubhouse for the first time since having his appendix removed on Monday. He said he went to bed at around 10:40 p.m. Sunday but woke up around a little before 2 a.m. in serious discomfort. He went down to the lobby of the hotel he's staying at for medication. That didn't work.
``I had to call somebody,'' Florimon said. ``The first number I saw was Mike.''
That was Mike Herman, the Twins director of team travel, who picked up Florimon and took him to a local hospital, where he was diagnosed with an inflamed appendix. The laparoscopic procedure requires about two weeks of rest before he can start any activities. He cannot lift any weights right now.
``They will see what will happen over the next couple of days.'' Florimon said of the Twins medical staff. Florimon is scheduled to be checked out again on Saturday.
Florimon will miss several spring training games but expects to be ready for the start of the regular season.
``I will be ready for Opening Day,'' Florimon said.


Gardenhire has been pleased with what he has seen from new catcher Kurt Suzuki as he learns how to work with a new pitching staff,
``Well, that is what he does,'' Gardenhire said. ``He's been around a long time but he is still a young man. He's been around a long time and he knows what he needs to do. You don't have to talk to him about what he needs to do to get ready here. He's doing it on his own. He's telling us the drills that he likes to do. He's telling us what he's done in the past. Believe me he wants to see all the pitchers. That's the greatest thing about it,he's come in here and he knows what he needs to do to get ready.
`` The more we go in spring training we'll fall back on who he hasn't seen.  How much he's caught this guy and all those things. But he moves around there pretty good back there and he moves around with all the pitchers. He's getting to know them, so he has a pretty good plan. Fun to talk to.''


You would think that Jason Kubel would have to win a spot on the roster this spring, especially after batting just .216 between Arizona and Cleveland last season.
But Gardy is convinced that Kubel will get his mojo back with the Twins this season and boost the offense.
``We brought him here for a reason,'' Gardy said. ``We need a bat. We need some experience, whether it's on the bench or in the field. We need guys who know how to win, how to play. And this guy can do all those things. We watched him do it. At one point he was one of our best hitters in the organization. He's still got a lot left in him, he's healthy. His legs are healthy. He's in great shape. We are excited to have him in camp, now we will see what he does on the field. I'm hoping that he's a big part of this ballclub.''
Kubel's role has yet to be determined, but a platoon in either right field or designated hitter is possible.


Brian Dozier has  been bothered by a sore back, so he has been shut down until Saturday's first full-squad workout. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Dozier has been doing much better in recent days.

Chris Parmelee continues to ice his right wrist and forearm but should be O.K.


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 FINAL
LA Clippers 102
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78
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