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-Orioles: Pinto, Bartlett in lineup. Worley on the mound

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 3, 2014 - 10:13 AM


Hello from sunny Sarasota, where the split Twins will play the Orioles. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is on the trip, continuing a routine established by Tom Kelly. Kelly never stayed back home on a split-squad day.

Josmil Pinto, who has recovered from a sore back, makes his first start behind the plate.

Jason Bartlett, trying to make the club as a utility player, will start at second base. I'm not worried about him playing around, I'm more interested in what he can do at the plate. But I must keep in mind that sometimes you have to ignore the first 10 -12 spring training games and wait for players to get their timing down, find a groove, etc.

Vance Worley makes his first spring start and second appearance, if you count the intrasquad game on Thursday.

Twins

1. Darin Mastroianni, CF
2. Danny Santana, SS
3. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
4. Chris Parmelee, RF
5. Chris Colabello, 1B
6. Jason Kubel, DH
7. Wilkin Ramirez, LF
8. Josmil Pinto, C
9. Jason Bartlett, 2B

Pitching: Vance Worley, followed by Trevor May, Sean Gilmartin, Lester Oliveros, Aaron Thompson, Logan Darnell and perhaps others.

Orioles

1.  J.J. Hardy, SS
2. Nick Markakis, DH
3. Adam Jones, CF
4. Chris Davis, 1B
5. Nelson Cruz, RF
6. Matt Wieters, C
7. Ryan Flaherty. 2B
8. Alex Gonzalez, 3B
9. David Lough, LF

Pitching: Bud Norris

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