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-Rays: Gibson vs Price a nice matchup. Warning: Buxton update below

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 22, 2014 - 4:38 PM

Nice day here in St. Petersburg as the Twins prepare to face the Rays in what should be a decent pitching matchup. Both Rays lefthander David Price and Twins righthander Kyle Gibson have started the the season well.

This comes on the day in which many of the "aces" in the league are on the mound. Verlander, Fernandez, Price, Bumgarner, Wainwright, Cueto, Lester, Tanaka, Shields are all starting today.

The Twins are 6-3 over their last nine games, outscoring opponents 52-32 during that time. Can the offense keep it up? The Twins are batting just .250 as a team but, thanks to a league-leading 96 walks, they have the best on base percentage in baseball at .354.

Four Twins players - Brian Dozier, Josmil Pinto, Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe - are among the top 10 in walks in the AL.

Will check back soon with updates and the Rays' lineup.

One more thing: Byron Buxton took batting practice on a field in Fort Myers today and is making progress in his comeback from a left wrist injury. He is on track to start playing in extended spring training games early next week.


Darin Mastroianni has been claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays, the team that drafted him in the 16th round in 2007. Ron Antony said he would have liked to have kept Mastroianni in the organization and had hoped to get him through waivers. But I know one Blue Jays scout who was upset they lost Mastroianni to the Twins in 2012. Toronto planned to move Mastroianni to second base before they lost him on waivers. Let's see if they revisit that now that he's back in the fold.

Antony spent most of Monday's off-day finalizing paperwork on Jason Bartlett's release and retirement. Officially, the Twins got Bartlett through release waivers Monday and he is now retired. The Twins now have 39 spots taken on their 40-man roster.

Sam Fuld was in the weight room on Tuesday when he stopped at a mirror to take a look at himself with Twins colors on. Fuld is here. and is available. He's just not starting because David Price, one of the top lefthanders in the game, is on the mound for the Rays tonight. Fuld said his goal for today was to meet everyone before the first pitch.

Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia, Antony said, are still 10 days to two weeks away from returning to action. Arcia is ahead of Willingham, who is still tender where the broken bone is. Willingham is swinging off a tee, though, he just can't start taking batting practice until all the pain is gone from the wrist.

For those of you watching at home, the Rays have changed a couple things in The Trop. That restaurant in center field is gone, so fans can know walk around the entire stadium. And some seats have been covered up. They say it's because of bad sight lines, which might be part of the reason. I think LOD is other problem - Lack Of Demand.

Twins (9-9)

Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, C
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Chris Colabello, RF
Jason Kubel, LF
Josmil Pinto, DH
Kurt Suzuki, C
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Kyle Gibson, RHP

Rays (9-10)

Ben Zobrist, 2B
Desmond Jennings, CF
Matt Joyce, DH
Evan Longoria, 3B
James Loney, 1B
Wil Myers, RF
David DeJesus, LF
Yunel Escobar, SS
Jose Molina, C

Pitching: David Price, LHP


Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 67 3rd Qtr 1:33
Miami 66
Indiana 50 3rd Qtr
Brooklyn 47
New Orleans 45 3rd Qtr 12:00
Chicago 49
Atlanta 27 2nd Qtr 4:25
Milwaukee 28
Philadelphia 5 1st Qtr 5:35
Utah 12
New York 9:00 PM
Minnesota 9:30 PM
Golden State
NY Islanders 3 3rd Prd 4:03
Buffalo 3
Detroit 2 3rd Prd 7:04
Ottawa 2
Carolina 0 3rd Prd 6:15
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 3rd Prd 4:20
NY Rangers 2
Boston 2 3rd Prd 9:30
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 2 3rd Prd 10:58
Minnesota 1
Washington 1 3rd Prd
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 3 2nd Prd 9:49
St. Louis 2
Philadelphia 1 2nd Prd 8:27
Nashville 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 6:53
Arizona 1
Chicago 1 1st Prd 12:33
Colorado 1
Edmonton 9:00 PM
San Jose 9:00 PM
Los Angeles
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 30 2nd Half 9:30
Western Ky 63
Tennessee St 26 2nd Half
Tennessee 29
Kennesaw St 8 1st Half 12:14
Illinois 22
Colorado State 6 1st Half 10:21
New Mexico St 14
Portland 6 1st Half 10:37
San Diego 12
Wayland Baptist 13 1st Half 10:54
Utah State 15
Bristol University 24 1st Half 10:07
Weber State 22
Sacramento St 13 1st Half 11:46
Utah Valley U 17
Southern Utah 9:00 PM
SD Christian 9:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 17 2nd Qtr 11:13
(24) USC 17
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 57 2nd Half 13:24
Portland 36
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