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.

Tonkin arrives, Bartlett prepares to depart; Twins prepare for Royals

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 12, 2014 - 12:10 PM


Michael Tonkin has landed in the Twin Cities and will be in uniform for today's game against the Royals. Tonkin had thrown 4.2 scoreless innings at Class AAA Rochester.

That means the Twins have a three-man bench, which today is Chris Herrmann, Darin Mastroianni and Eduardo Escobar. The Twins want offense, so Herrmann being here gives them the flexibility to use Pinto as the designated hitter.

Jason Bartlett will leave for Fort Myers tomorrow and begin a rehab assignment. Bartlett said before today's game that he agrees with the coaching staff that he needs to get out and get some at-bats.

Josh Willingham was on his way to get a MRI on his left hand. ``There's not going to be anything wrong,'' he predicted. But the Twins didn't want to play shorthanded longer than they have, so Willingham was placed on the DL. He's expected, eventually, to join Bartlett in Fort Myers and get some swings in during rehab games, too.

Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson is here to compete in the home run derby vs. TC Bear and will also throw out the first pitch. He's told the Twins staff to, ``Get the radar guns ready.''

Royals (4-5)

1. Nori Aoki, RF
2. Omar Infante, 2B
3. Eric Hosmer, 1B
4. Billy Butler, DH
5. Alex Gordon, LF
6. Salvador Perez, C
7. Mike Moustakas, 3B
8. Lorenzo Cain, CF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Pitching: James Shields, RHP.

Twins (4-6)

1. Brian Dozier, 2B
2. Joe Mauer, 1B
3. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
4. Chris Colabello, RF
5. Jason Kubel, LF
6. Josmil Pinto, DH
7. Kurt Suzuki, C
8. Aaron Hicks, CF
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Ricky Nolasco, RHP

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