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.

Pitchers and catchers take the field

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 18, 2011 - 8:33 AM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire marched into the clubhouse at 9 a.m. and yelled, ``O.K. here we go!'' That's code for, ``media, get the heck out of here so I can address my team and start the day.''

And so we did. Now Twins pitchers, catchers - and a few position players - are warming up on a practice field on a nearly cloudless day at the Lee County Sports Complex. Spring training is underway.

Joe Nathan, Kevin Slowey, Glen Perkins, Matt Capps, Brian Duensing and Anthony Slama are among pitchers scheduled to throw in the bullpen today. The position players will work out on a separate field in an unofficial capacity. Several already have reported, including Michael Cuddyer, Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, Jason Kubel, Alexi Casilla and Rene Tosoni.

Some notes:

I'm getting twitter questions about how Jose Mijares looks. He looks about the same as last year, maybe a a little lighter.The was a rumor that he had gained weight during the offseason, but I don't see where.

Michael Cuddyer has a wart on the bottom of his left foot but it is not an issue.

Tosoni just left Justin Morneau in Arizona and said the first baseman is looking good and swinging well. Indications are that Morneau will arrive in Florida over the weekend and could be at camp as soon as Monday.

Tsuyoshi Nishioka was not at camp as of this morning.

Deolis Guerra, the last man standing from the Johan Santana trade, is in excellent shape. There's not more baby fat on him.

Chuck James, who hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008, looks a lot like Jesse Crain.


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