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.

Morales in lineup vs R.A. Dickey and Blue Jays tonight in Toronto

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 9, 2014 - 5:29 PM

Kendrys Morales is tired of watching games.

He contacted one of the coaches last night - the guess here it was Bobby Cuellar - and told him to tell manager Ron Gardenhire that he was ready to play. So Morales, who has not played an organized game of baseball since Sept, 29, in tonight's lineup. The rust gets knocked off starting tonight.

``He's been sitting for four months,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``He's thought about it. He watched the game yesterday and he wants to play. I'vve got no problem with that. I told him he's got to let me know how he's feeling.''

Morales has been working out at Scott Boras' facility in Florida facing some pitching down there and working out six days a week. Will that be enough for him to shorten this adjustment period? We will see.

``Hopefully he will hit three home runs, and we'll go from there,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

Morales is out of options and can't go down to the minors to get ready. So the Twins are in unchartered territory.

``I have never done this before,'' Gardy said. ``He wants to play. He's been working out. He's been swinging against pitchers down there, in Florida. Against guys who are looking for jobs. And he's been hitting off those guys, it's good enough for me. You can wait wo weeks. You can wait three or four days. I don't have a timeframe. He's been working out.

``Here we are. We put him in there. I'm excited about it. It gives me something to be more entertained about..''

With Kendrys Morales at DH, Oswaldo Arcia had to returnt to right field on Monday. Arcia injured his right ankle on Thursday, so his range might be limited. But Gardenhire said he's moving well enough to play the outfield.

``He came out (early) today,'' Gardenhire said. ``He missed all the balls he would normally miss in the game.''

Another thing to watch in tonight's game, which could affect Arcia: The FieldTurf. The field was reconditoned with fresh recycled tire chips before the season, and  balls are bouncing much higher. ``I haven't seen this field bounce like that.''

Aaron Hicks injured his right shoulder while diving for a ball late in Sunday's game and it's affecting his throwing. ``He's available to run and maybe hit but I don't think the throwing is totally ready.'' This should be Hicks' last few days with the major league team. As soon as Sam Fuld is ready to be called up, they will likely send Hicks down then. Fuld is at New Britain, so it won't be hard for him to meet the team in Boston.

Mike Pelfrey was checked out by Dr. James Andrews today in Pensacola, Fla. Andrews is going to compare his notes with the Twins during a phone conference tonight, so we should know more tomorrow.

Joe Mauer is back in the lineup today. Gardy said he gave Mauer a mental day off more than anything.

Twins (29-32)

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Josh Willingham, LF
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Kendrys Morales, DH
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Eduardo Escobar, SS

Ricky Nolasco. RHP

Toronto (38-26)

Jose Reyes, SS
Melky Cabrera, LF
Jose Bautista, RF
Adam Lind, DH
Edwin Encarnacion, 1B
Juan Francisco, 3B
Brett Lawrie, 2B
Jose Thole, C
Anthony Gose, CF

R. A. Dickey, CF


Team Irvin 32 FINAL
Team Carter 28
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 98 FINAL
Cleveland 108
Dallas 106 FINAL
New Orleans 109
Indiana 106 FINAL
Orlando 99
LA Clippers 120 FINAL
Phoenix 100
Minnesota 100 FINAL
Atlanta 112
Detroit 110 FINAL
Toronto 114
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
San Antonio 101
Boston 111 FINAL
Golden State 114
Washington 117 FINAL
Denver 115
Houston 99 FINAL
LA Lakers 87
Team Toews 17 FINAL
Team Foligno 12
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 54 FINAL
Illinois State 53
Louisville 80 FINAL
Pittsburgh 68
Albany 69
Niagara 64 FINAL
Iona 87
Notre Dame 81 FINAL
NC State 78
Belmont 63 FINAL
Tennessee St 55
Creighton 50 FINAL
Villanova 71
Northwestern 67 FINAL
Maryland 68
Washington 56 FINAL
Utah 77
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Colorado 68 FINAL
Washington St 73
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
(14) Kentucky 83 FINAL
Missouri 69
(9) Oregon State 68 FINAL
(13) Arizona State 57
Vermont 63 FINAL
UMass Lowell 72
Iowa State 58 FINAL
(8) Texas 57
Southern Ill 61 FINAL
Wichita State 80
(15) Duke 74 FINAL
(12) North Carolina 67
Miami-Florida 55 FINAL
(4) Louisville 68
(21) Minnesota 61 FINAL
(25) Rutgers 66
California 72 FINAL
(11) Stanford 71 FINAL
USC 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question