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.

Twins notes: Killebrew, Mauer, Nishioka, Nathan, Blackburn, Bazardo

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 17, 2011 - 2:40 PM

Twins pitchers and catchers officially reported to camp on Thursday. Reporting is kind of a loose way to describe it, It's at the point now that if a player is in the state of Florida on reporting day it's acceptable. Carl Pavano dropped off his gear, talked to whoever he could talk to, then left without working out.

Righthander Yorman Bazardo was the only pitcher not expected to report today. Bazardo has travel issues coming out of Venezuela. Not visa issues, travel issues.

Jose Mijares looks about the same, to me, as last season. Scott Baker, a model of physical fitness, thinks Mijares actually looked a little thinner.

Some notes heading into the first workout:

[*} Twins president Dave St. Peter said that there's still hope that Harmon Killebrew will be able to make an appearance during spring training. Killebrew has been undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy since being diagnosed with esophageal cancer last month. St. Peter said Killebrew's weight loss has stopped and that he's in good spirits.

]*] Joe  Mauer met Tsuyoshi Nishioka today when the Japanese infielder walked up and said, `Hello, Nice to meet you.'' They chatted for a minute before went to his stall to try on helmets while Mauer continued to unpack.

Mauer expects to do everything the other catchers do during Friday's first workout. Mauer, who had offseason knee surgery, did say he hasn't spoken to manager Ron Gardenhire about his workload this spring yet.

{*]Joe Nathan and Nick Blackburn will be among pitchers throwing off the mound on Friday. Pavano and Scott Baker are expected to throw on Saturday.

Nathan is a man on a mission. He had a headband tied around his head as he worked out. While most players had left for the afternoon, Nathan was still working out.


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