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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: May, Vargas, Lineup of the near future

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 4, 2014 - 12:07 AM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 11-4 win over the White Sox

INTRODUCING THE REAL TREVOR MAY: I think I posted something recently about young pitchers needing a few starts to show what they have, and we might have seen that with Trevor May for five innings tonight. He got ahead in the count, was down around the knees, got hitters to chase with two strikes and showed that his pitches do have some quality movement. It took May five starts to show how good his stuff is. He said a lot of interesting stuff after the game, so I'm just going the get out of the way and let him talk. ``Stuff was sharper,'' he said. ``I felt more confident throwing everything for strikes. Being able to use all your pitches at any (time in the count) was big. It wasn't as sharp as I have been, but sharper.
``I've kind of gotten off of the mechanical things I've worked on all year since being off the DL (at Rochester). I got away with it a little bit there. Up here, it became a glaring thing. I didn't have any angle on the ball, everything was flat. and I know that is not how I usually am. I've been working so hard to get that angle back and stay tall longer through the delivery. It's tuff you've heard people say before.
``Especially when it is later in the season and the legs are getting less and less under you, it's something you have to constantly be on and make sure you are doing. The last four days, that's all I've been hammering in and I took out on the mound, at least for the first 4-1/3 innings. Toward the end you have longer innings and you start to lower again and things get a little flatter and I think that's what accounted for the fifth inning run.
``I really feel like I'm closer to five, six, seven (innings in a row) stringing some zeroes.''

VARGAS, WOW: Kennys Vargas has hit six home runs in 32 games since being called up from the Class AA New Britain. On Wednesday, he hit his first home run from the right side, and was estimated at 429 feet, landing in the second deck. Vargas has 31 RBI in his first 31 MLB games. He's hitting .349 over his last 14 games. His 28 RBI since Aug. 1 are tied for the forth most in baseball, behind Victor Martinez, Chris Carter and Giancarlo Stanton. He has 23 homers and 94 RBI on the second, including his work in New Britain. He's had great exposure to MLB pitching. He'll have status when he goes back and plays winter ball in Puerto Rico. He'll continue to work on his body. He seems to have the right attitude about it all. He could be scary.

AS FOR THE LINEUP: The lineup of the near future is looking good, as the Twins have moved into fifth in the league in runs scored. They have scored more runs than the Orioles, Royals, Nationals, Cardinals and Dodgers - and all those teams are in first place. The first five hitters - Santana, Dozier, Mauer, Vargas and Arcia - look like a core that, moving forward, can cause problems. The White Sox reporters were comparing the impact Santana and Vargas have had to Adam Eaton and Jose Abreu. And if Hicks can come around and be a factor next year,  that's another speed guy for the lineup. A coach told me that this is the most focused he has seen Hicks. And Hicks is even thinking about playing winter ball. All of this, of course, doesn't matter without pitching. Change doesn't come until the Twins get their starting pitching figured out. But it looks like they have the bats.

Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000000040
Detroit «00100002X340
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:D.Price(15-12) L:K.Gibson(13-12) S:J.Nathan (35)
HR: MIN- None DET- I.Kinsler (17)

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland 8 Bottom 12th Inning
Kansas City 7
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 3 3rd Prd 12:53
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT