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.

Blackburn to start on Monday

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 22, 2010 - 8:30 PM

Nick Blackburn is listed on the Twins' game notes as the starter on Monday against the Rangers. So I guess that's their way of announcing it.

Blackburn, called up to replace the injured Kevin Slowey, was on a five-day schedule to start on Monday anyway. Francisco Liriano, originally scheduled to start Monday, will now start on Thursday while Carl Pavano and Brian Duensing stay on their regular schedules.

Blackburn will meet the team in Texas in time for tomorrow's game,

Anthony Slama, who was called up to replace Ron Mahay, is expected to be here today. Remember, the Twins don't have a lefty reliever available today because Mahay and Jose Mijares are on the DL and Glen Perkins in not available after pitching 2.2 innings yesterday.

Will check back later with lineups and updates.

UPDATE: Just realized that I never posted the starting lineups. That would do a lot of good now. I was working on some other tasks (pre-game notes, preview of the Rangers series) and it totally slipped  my mind.

I did check to see if the Twins are checking the waiver wire for lefty relievers. They are, but there's a whole lot of blocking going on right now and it didn't appear that they liked anything that was out there.

Another interesting thing was that Gardy and Rick Anderson are worried that Francisco Liriano might have a tired arm. He was not going to have a bullpen session before his start on Monday, but now that he's been pushed back three days he'll have a light session on Monday.

In recent days I have checked with Matt Guerrier, Jesse Crain and Carl Pavano to see if the Twins have approached them about contracts for 2011 and beyond. They have not.


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