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.

Twins camp Day 9: Games are almost here; Santana update

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 26, 2014 - 9:22 AM

The Twins have just hit the field for one of their final workouts before they begin playing games. There's an intrasquad game here at 10 a.m. (EST) tomorrow, then the spring training opener on Friday at JetBlue Park against the Red Sox.

So we're in that run of 30-something fake games before 162 real ones. Some players can take their time and prepare for the regular season. They are locks for the roster. They can work on peaking for Opening Day. Others have to make the team, so they need to have a strong month. And there's nothing like getting off to a good start in spring games to make a good first impression.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked what he expects from the first few games of the spring schedule.
 
``I think you have to keep an open mind to everything,'' he said. ``You hope they get better as they go along. I think for the sanity of a couple of players, maybe it would be nice for them to get a few hits early, take the pressure off themselves early. There’s a couple I would like to see get off to a good start.''

You can draw your own conclusions as to which players need to play well early for sanity's sake.

I'm double-checking on the site, but the intrasquad game usually takes place on Field 5, the one across the street from the high school.

In case you missed it, Johan Santana threw for seven teams yesterday, including the Twins, as he continues his comeback from a second shoulder surgery. He topped out at 81 miles an hour, which doesn't surprise me. Shoulder surgeries are tough to come back from. Joe Nathan lost 13 miles an hour off his fastball when he came back from his shoulder surgery with the Giants, and it took awhile for him to regain his velocity.

Santana is in a tougher spot because of age and the fact that he's had two shoulder surgeries. He's going to need time to get back as much of his old form as he can. Frankly, if he gets to 88 mph it will be an achievement.

Surely, some teams were turned off by the outing. It will be interesting to see what Johan does next. He needs to sign with a club so someone can get their hands on his shoulder and help him through his recovery. He's thrown three times - three - during his comeback. His velo is supposed to be down. How much more can he add with more rehab? That's the question.

Sounds like the Twins will continue to monitor Santana's recovery and keep in touch. The one person I checked in with said they weren't surprised by what they saw.                                

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Los Angeles - LP: B. Wilson 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: J. Grimm 8
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Shields 2
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: D. Otero 0
Toronto - WP: M. Stroman 6 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: C. Capuano 3
Arizona - LP: T. Cahill 1 FINAL
Colorado - WP: E. Butler 5
Boston 2 Top 3rd Inning
Baltimore 0
Milwaukee 0 Top 3rd Inning
Pittsburgh 0
Washington 0 Top 3rd Inning
Miami 1
NY Mets 3 Top 3rd Inning
Atlanta 0
Chicago WSox 0 Top 3rd Inning
Tampa Bay 2
Cleveland 0 Delayed
Minnesota 0
Seattle 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
Houston 5
Cincinnati 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
St. Louis 3
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Texas - C. Lewis 8:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
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Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(13) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(11) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
Utah 26 Delayed 7:51
Michigan 10
North Carolina 41 FINAL
East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(21) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 4th Qtr 3:54
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
(18) Missouri 27
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
San Jose St 7 4th Qtr 3:14
Minnesota 24
Texas State 21 3rd Qtr 12:50
Illinois 19
Georgia State 14 3rd Qtr 13:05
Washington 0
Ball State 0 Delayed 9:30
Toledo 6
Appalachian St 0 2nd Qtr 13:28
Southern Miss 14
Miss State 14 2nd Qtr
(8) LSU 0
Northern Ill 0 2nd Qtr 14:45
Arkansas 21
Middle Tennessee 7 2nd Qtr 13:25
Memphis 9
Utah State 7 2nd Qtr 14:50
Arkansas State 0
Miami-Ohio 7 2nd Qtr 15:00
Cincinnati 7
Idaho 0 2nd Qtr 13:55
Ohio U 10
Ga Southern 0 Delayed 10:20
South Alabama 0
(14) So Carolina 0 1st Qtr 8:07
Vanderbilt 7
(4) Oklahoma 0 1st Qtr 9:30
West Virginia 0
UNLV 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
Miami-Florida
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(20) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(23) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
(18) Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(8) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(9) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(17) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Vancouver FC 0 FINAL
Portland 3
Houston 0 1st Half 1:00
Philadelphia 0
New England 0 1st Half 30:00
Columbus 0
San Jose 0 1st Half 35:00
Montreal 0
Seattle 0 1st Half 25:00
Red Bull New York 1
D.C. 7:30 PM
Chicago
FC Dallas 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 1 11:57
Hamilton 3
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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