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.

Cuddyer has wart removed in Twin Cities. Morneau in Pittsburgh

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 1, 2011 - 5:56 PM

Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer flew to the Twin Cities on Tuesday and had the plantar wart on his left foot removed. He is expected to miss one to two weeks.

The removal was preformed by Dr. Charles Crutchfield at his office in Eagan..

Cuddyer has been bothered by the wart for much of the offseason. Two attempts to have the wart frozen were unsuccessful, and Cuddyer reported to camp favoring the foot. The Twins decided to have the wart removed now since there's a chance Cuddyer can be ready by Opening Day.

``Good decision.'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.

First baseman Justin Morneau, who missed the second half last season with a concussion,  was in Pittsburgh on Tuesday to be examined, part of the process before he decides to return to the field.

In all, it's potentially positive news for the heart of the Twins' batting order.

Game stuff

Righthander Kyle Gibson made his Twins debut on Tuesday, giving up one run on two hits and a walk. He did strike out Mike Cameron.

But the kid definitely has talent, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire basically credited the entire Gibson family and all his youth, high school and college coaches for raising him the right way.

``He's fundamentally sound,'' Gardenhire said, ``He's only been in our organization for a year.''

Gibson remembered striking Cameron out while he was at Class AA New Britain and Cameron was on a rehab assignment - and used the same approach to get him swinging. He also noted how Kevin Youkilis almost chased one of his breaking pitches,

``The first sinker I threw him in that he took, his hips flinched a little bit and I saw he thought about swinging at it,'' Gibson said, ``The next two that started more on the plate than that one did he didn't even think about it so...that was a great at-bat.''

The pitching IQ is high with this kid.

Defense wasn't great for Gibson. Marco Scutaro doubled down the line on a ball that Justin Morneau regularly gets to, The next batter, Jed Lowrie, singles to right but reached third when Joe Benson mishandled the ball, allowing a run to score.

David Bromberg gave up two runs on three hits in the ninth. He mentioned something about hanging a changeup that was costly.

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