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.

Hughes looks for third straight win as Twins face Royals

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 16, 2014 - 4:40 PM


Danny Santana is back at shortstop for the first time since June 25, and he's expected to make several appearances there before the season ends. The Twins still vew Santana as their shortstop of the near future. But remember that he battled inconsistency in spring spring training with his throws. He also has been known to drop an occasional throw while covering second. Those are things to watch for has moves back to short.

``I'm just going to play it day by day,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``I just want to get him back in the infield. He's a shortstop and I want him to play there. No knock on (Eduardo) Escobar. He's been playing great.''

That raises something interesting. With Escobar, Santana and Eduardo Nunez around, and Miguel Sano in range to debut sometime next season, should the Twins have moved Trevor Plouffe and used Santana and Escobar on the left side of the infield? Plouffe leads the Twins in RBI and is tied for the lead in doubles.'

Gardenhire went on to say that he wants to see Jordan Schafer in center field, so he's going to move people around. Aaron Hicks is batting .357 through eight games at Class AAA Rochester and figures to be up in September. Again, they could have moved Plouffe. Perhaps they tried to and didn't get an offer they liked.

As the Twins roster build for 2015, they are going to have to open up spots for new blood. Third base is inevitable. And they have to have at least two guys who can run balls down in the outfield. But at least Gardenhire is committed to getting Santana at short, where some teammates have called him a young Jose Reyes.

``You move people around and get Santana back in the infield,'' Gardenhire said. ``I'm not going to say it's going to be today, tomorrow, the next day. I'm just going to do it whenever I feel like doing it, pitching matchups and all those things.''

Ice bucket challenge madness

Terry Steinbach, Brian Dozier, Joe Mauer and Ron Gardenhire pulled off the ice bucket challenge earlier this afternoon, the craze that has raised, according to reports, more than $11 million for ALS.

The Ice Bucket Challenge was hatched with the idea to raise awareness about ALS. A person has to be filmed having ice water dumped on them, then challenge others to do the same. If not, then that person must donate $100 to ALS. A-list celebrities and professional athletes have taken the challenge, which has been a social media smash hit.

Twins broadcaster Bert Blyleven and Royals counterpart Rex Hudler did theirs together.
After being doused with his ice bucket, Gardenhire said he's challenged Wild head coach Mike Yeo, Gophers men's hockey coach Don Lucia and former manager Tom Kelly to do the same.

``Cause they are ice people,'' Gardenhire said. ``And then Tom Kelly, because when he hears that he's going to stare me down, cold as ice.''

Royals (67-54)

Nori Aoki, RF
Omar Infante, 2B
Salvador Perez, C
Billy Butler, 1B
Alex Gordon, LF
Lorenzo Cain, CF
Raul Ibanez, DH
Mike Moustakas, 3B
Alcides Escobar, SS

Yordano Ventura, RHP

Twins (54-66)

Danny Santana, SS
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, 1B
Kennys Vargas, DH
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Kurt Suzuki, C
Chris Parmelee, LF
Jordan Schafer, CF

Phil Hughes, RHP

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