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.

Valencia returns to lineup; others to follow?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 10, 2010 - 4:29 PM

The Twins did the right thing in taking extra time with third baseman Danny Valencia and his sore hamstring. He's back in the starting lineup tonight, and the Twins don't have to wonder if they brought him back too soon.

Valencia still has some developing to do (he has to start showing some power, for example) but he looks like a keeper, I think he'll hit for power eventually - maybe not this season. His batting practice power is very impressive.

Nick Punto was on the field for early batting practice. We'll find out soon how close he is to being activated from the disabled list.

Brian Fuentes, Jose Mijares, Jim Thome, Scott Baker - we should get updates on all those injured guys once we meet with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire before the game.

Carl Pavano is 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in four starts against Cleveland.

UPDATES, UPDATES, UPDATES

  • Nick Punto has been activated from the disabled list but is still limited by his left hamstring. Pinch running is out, but he could be a late-inning defensive replacement.
  • Brian Fuentes played catch today and felt much better, He's going to throw in the bullpen tomorrow and could be available by the end of the weekend.
  • Jose Mijares threw to Punto and Jerry White and looked very good, pitching coach Rich Anderson said. He'll probably be activated tomorrow.
  • Jim Thome, slowed by a strained abdominal muscle, is better and should be in the lineup tomorrow.
  • Jason Repko has rejoined the team after the birth of his daughter.
  • Class AA New Britain manager Jeff Smith has joined the staff as an extra coach.

Worth a peek tonight:

Royals at White Sox (Bruce Chen v. Mark Buehrle), 7:10 p.m.

Yankees at Texas (Javy Vazquez v. C.J. Wilson) 7:05 p.m.

And this: Tough break for Cytana.

Twins (83-57)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, DH
4. Jason Kubel, RF
5. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. J.J. Hardy, SS
9. Drew Butera.

Carl Pavano, RHP

Cleveland (57-83)

1. Michael Brantley, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Jayson Nix, 3B
6. Matt Laporta, 1B
7. Trevor Crowe, LF
8. Jason Donald, 2B
9. Lou Marson, C

Fausto Carmona, RHP

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