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.

Twins and Rays play a couple today

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 4, 2011 - 9:06 AM

Ben Revere looked at the lineup sheet and took a deep breath.

``Two games today,'' he said. `` A long day.''

There's a B-game at 9 central time, followed by the regularly scheduled game at noon. The lineup sheet for the B-game instructed the players to, ``grab a sandwich,'' after the game and head for the main field.

With 27 pitchers in camp, the Twins are working on ways to make sure they get to throw in games. So Francisco Liriano, David Bromberg, Carlos Gutierrez and Deolis Guerra are pitching in the B-game. Twins pitching coach Rick Anderson said they're planning for a six-inning game.

The lineup:

1. Revere, CF. 2. Tolbert, 2B. 3. Plouffe, SS. 4. Parmelee, 1B.5. Benson, CF. 6. Justin Huber, DH. 7. Tosoni, RF.8. Chang, 3B. 9. Butera, C.

The clubhouse was a blur of players getting ready for the B-game or workout. Heard the Twins are working on another B-game with Pittsburgh soon.

Twins righthander Scott Baker will start Monday against St. Louis. He threw in the bullpen yesterday and said his elbow feels great. Baker should  be on a normal schedule to the regular season now.

Glad Jim Souhan wrote this column . All indications are that the Twins won't move Liriano anytime soon. If the Yankees call and decide to give up a chunk of their top ten prospects, then the Twins would listen. Who wouldn't?

And think about this: If Liriano was on the block, more teams than the Yankees would be interested. I would guess the Rangers, Dodgers and Angels - maybe the Cubs - would be among clubs calling if the Twins really wanted to move Liriano. That's just thinking out loud and through my fingers.

The Twins want to win. Why would they shop Liriano? Long-term is another issue. If the Twins have a good year, Liriano's future is tabled until the offseason. If they are out of it at the trade deadline, then Liriano and others could be dealt.

Here's the lineup for the official Twins-Rays game:

 
Rays

1. B.J. Upton, CF
2. Reid Briagnc, SS
3. Evan Longoria, 3B
4. MANNY RAMIREZ, LF
5. Ben Zobrist, 1B
6. Casey Kotchman, DH
7. Felipe Lopez, 2B
8. Justin Ruggiano, RF
9. Jose Lobaton, C

Pitching: Alex Torres

Twins

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Nishi, SS
3. KuBoom, RF
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Luke Hughes, 3B
6. Jeff Bailey, 1B
7. Rene Rivera, C
8. Jason Repko, LF
9. Lexi, 2B

Pitching: Kevin Slowey, with Joe Nathan scheduled.

 

 

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