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 afternoon update: Suzuki, Hughes, Buxton, Sano, Pinto, Florimon, Escobar

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 26, 2014 - 3:50 PM


Catcher Kurt Suzuki will be right in the middle of it all when the game starts at 9 a.m. at Hammond Stadium.

With Kevin Correia and Phil Hughes scheduled to throw, it will be an opportunity for Suzuki to build relationships with starting pitchers he'll work with during the regular season. He'll likely catch Hughes on Thursday.

``He's catching in that just because of that,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He's gonna get to see them al throughout. With Hughesy going and Correia you'd like him to catch both sides and see them both but that's not going to happen, so he'll catch one and he'll get to see them all as we go along. We want him over there with Hughesy right now for sure.''

The group of players will be split up into two teams - Team Steinbach and Team Molitor. Not sure how they came up with those names.

Yes, Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano are scheduled to play in the game. So will Kennys Vargas, Max Kepler, Danny Santana and other interesting players in camp.

SANTANA UPDATE

It looks like the Twins will continue to monitor Johan Santana's comeback from a second shoulder surgery,

The Twins had three scouts on hand Tuesday to watch Santana's throwing sessions. Seven teams in all witnessed the outing, and one report had Santana topping out at 81 miles an hour and throwing several pitches under 80.

Velocity is always down following shoulder surgery and the Twins knew Santana had a long way to go. The Twins are expected to remain in touch with Santana's agent, Peter Greenberg.

HEALTH REPORT

Catcher Josmil Pinto (sore back) said he went through all the drills on Wednesday and felt good.

Shortstop Pedro Florimon, out for 10 days following surgery to remove an inflamed appendix, rode a bike in the trainer's room on Wednesday and was headed for an afternoon doctor's appointment for a checkup.

RIBBON CUTTING

If you want to see Twins president Dave St. Peter wield a large pair of scissors, get to Hammond Stadium at noon (EST) on Saturday, when the official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place to mark the opening of the new boardwalk. It will also mark the end of Phase I of the Two-phased, $48.5 million renovation project.

ETC.

It was bound to happen. A Twins player crushed a long drive during batting practice that struck a construction worker along the new boardwalk in the remodeled stadium. The ball hit off the scoreboard, dropped and struck the worker in the leg. Miguel Sano was part of the group hitting at the time but wasn't at the plate at the time. Kennys Vargas, who has hit some long home runs during camp, was part of the group but not in the batter's box at the time. No, the culprit was Eduardo Escobar, who is listed at 5-feet-10 inches and 175 pounds.

Bottom 7th123456789RHE
Arizona0000500  5120
Minnesota0010001  260
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Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 4
St. Louis 8 Top 8th Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 5 Bottom 7th Inning
Minnesota 1
LA Angels 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Oakland 2
San Francisco 1 Bottom 2nd Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 2nd Inning
San Diego 1
Chicago 24 3rd Qtr 8:04
NY Jets 13
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 20:00
Philadelphia 0
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 0 3rd Prd :37
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd 14:21
Dallas 3
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd :50
Colorado 2
Colorado 0 1st Prd 4:47
Anaheim 2
Los Angeles 2 1st Prd 5:46
Arizona 1
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) 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
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) 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
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
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
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
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
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) 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
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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