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 postgame: Deduno, Bartlett, Sano, Ryan, Panama

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 13, 2014 - 9:11 PM


The Twins lost 4-3 in a game marked by defensive mistakes. Trevor Plouffe, Joe Mauer and Danny Santana all committed errors, and Darin Mastroianni slung a ball back toward the infield that got away from the cutoff man, leading to runners advancing.

But there were some good signs.

Folks, Samuel Deduno was nasty today, throwing three shutout innings during which he gave up no hits and struck out two while walking one. He's given up one earned run over 9.2 innings this spring and looks to be leading the pack in the race for the No. 5 starter's spot. I would put Kyle Gibson second, Vance Worley third and Scott Diamond fourth.  It's really impressive that he looks so good following shoulder surgery. You usually expect a pitcher coming off such surgery to struggle for awhile. So far, Deduno has been far from that.

Aaron Hicks singled in his first at-bat.

Jason Kubel drew two walks.

Chris Herrmann was 2-for-2 and is batting .556.

Jason Bartlett is 0-for-17 this spring, so he went to a minor league spring game to get at-bats while playing six innings in the outfield - two innings at all three outfield spots.

``He did fine,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He hit the ball hard three times out of I think he got seven at-bats. Base hit his first time up, to center, and another lineout to second, and another base hit later. He got some at-bats. We need at-bats right now. Trying to spread these at bats around right now.''

Clarification: Players who go down the street to play can get as many atbats as they want.

Sano update

Miguel Sano remains in a New York hosptiali as he recovers following Tommy John elbow surgery on Wednesday. The surgery was preformed by Dr. David Altchek.
``(Sano) said he was feeling good but feeling a little dizzy from the medication when he walks,'' Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said.
So the Twins are letting him stay in New York one more day until the medication wears off. Sano will return to the ballpark on Saturday. Antony confirmed that Sano's ulnar collateral ligament was completely torn, although that should not change the timetable for his recovery. He'll be able to swing a bat in 4-5 months.
``They said they had a good ligament to work with. Altchek was very glad about that,'' Antony said.

Ryan update

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan on Thursday received his first radiation treatment as he continues to recover from Feb. 12 surgery to remove a cancerous lump from his throat. Ryan checked in with Antony while driving back from his session. Antony said Ryan is doing well, but there's still no timetable for this return to work.
Ryan announced in early February that he was battling Squamous Cell Carcinoma and would likely miss all of spring training. Antony was unsure if Ryan would be back by Opening Day.

On Deck

The Twins will play two games on Friday. Righthander Mike Pelfrey will start at Hammond Stadium against lefthander Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles. Righthander Kyle Gibson will start in Tampa against righthander David Phelps and the Yankees. First pitch is 12:05 p.m. for both games.  Not sure what caliber of team the Yankees will field on Friday. A split squad is headed to Panama for a special two-game series against the Marlins - at Rod Carew Stadium.

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