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.

Postgame: Thoughts on Nolasco, Santana and Polanco

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: June 26, 2014 - 8:28 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' loss to the Angels.

NOLASCO'S FASTBALL: Needs to be better. We've seen his other pitches, and they look major league quality. But he doesn't control his fastball enough to make them more effective. And it's leading to outings in which he struggles, then looks O.K., then gets knocked out of the game. The Twins needed a stopper today, and Nolasco was unable to answer the call. ``It all gets back to him locating his fastball,'' Twins manger Ron Gardenhire said. ``When we see his fastball and he uses that a little bit more everything seems to work out a little bit better. When we see him get in trouble is when he is not locating his fastball. The breaking balls, he can spin it as well as anybody, but it is all abut that fastball.''

JUST DL SANTANA NOW: Every case is different, but there's too much precedence here. The MRI on Danny Santana's left knee revealed a bone bruise, leading to the possibility that Santana could land on the disabled list.``We're not exactly sure which way we are going to go,'' Gardenhire said. ``He's not moving very well and now you have to decide how long it is going to take. We've seen that with a couple guys here, Willingham, and each guy is different. The decision is where we go from here. Is it DL time or we try to let him play through it. When you a have three guys on the bench that's really hard to do.''

HIP, HIP, JORGE: Jorge Polanco said he was called by Fort Myers manager Doug Mientkiewicz at 12:30 a.m. last night and told he was going to the majors. ``I slept for one hour,'' he said. ``At first, when I heard, I was like, wow.''  Polanco flew out in the morning and arrived in the ballpark in time for the game. Polanco pinch hit in the ninth, drew a walk and scored on Joe Mauer's bases-clearing double. Was he nervous or comfortable in the batters box? ``I was excited,'' he said. ``I want to hit.''


 

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