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.

Afternoon update: Liriano, Morneau, Nishioka, Baker, Oliva

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 22, 2011 - 12:54 PM

Francisco Liriano threw in the bullpen on Tuesday with no problems after struggling with a sore shoulder last week, Liriano has worked to strengthen his shoulder and is back on track to progress toward the season opener.

Justin Morneau worked out on Tuesday with no problems.  I almost didn't write this note because it's not going through the workouts that has led to problems, the problems have come in the hours after his workouts.

So we'll see how he feels when he arrives at the ballpark on Wednesday before fans can get more excited that he's almost all the way back.after suffering a concussion on July 7.

Those of you who have predicted the worst for Morneau, shame on you. As I wrote in today's dead tree edition, this has its own timetable. Doctors would not have allowed Morneau to reach this point if they didn't believe he could return to the game.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he might carry a his pocket-sized Japanese dictionary onto the field tomorrow during workouts just so he can communicate with newcomer Tsuyoshi Nishioka.

``I'll learn more of him as we go along,'' Gardenhire said. ``Bottom line, he's been an All-star over there and won a batting title and he can play. He doesn't have to prove that to us. we just want him to fit in to our program and go from there, and see how we do things over here and learn it day by day and work with us.'

Interpreter Ryo Shinkawa will be on the field with Nishioka to make sure he understands what the Twins are doing during drills. Shinkawa will carry a glove, too,

``He must protect himself,'' Gardenhire said.

ETC.

Delmon Young reported to camp on Tuesday.

Scott Baker will be held of out live batting practice on Wednesday and will instead throw in the bullpen.  Baker had a small setback as he pushed himself following offseason elbow surgery.

Twins great Tony Oliva also arrived at camp on Tuesday.

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