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 v Yankees - the other game

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 13, 2011 - 11:32 AM

 Scott Ullger is in charge in Tampa as the Twins prepare to face the Yankees. Pitching coach Rick Anderson wanted  it pointed out that he made the trip after making the long trip to and from Jupiter yesterday.

``What about Gardenhire?'' Anderson said. ``He's down there!''

Andy pointed toward Fort Myers, then chuckled. He couldn't resist giving Gardy a shot for not coming to Tampa.

Anderson is going to give two young pitchers in camp, Deolis Guerrra and David Bromberg, a look today. Guerra, the final player left from the Johan Santana trade, has not developed the way the Twins hoped after throwing 95 as an 18-year old. They changed his mechanics to help him get more movement on his fastball, but his progress has been slow,. Opponents hit .308 off of him at Class AA New Britain last year, .337 at Rochester. He throws in the low 90's now.

Guerra is in great shape this spring, and the Twins continue to hope he'll put it all together. A scout here is going to tell me Guerra's radar gun readings after the game.

Bromberg throws a big knuckle curve he's used to pile up strikeouts as a minor leaguer. Anderson has been working him on smoothing out his mechanics, The Twins love his competitiveness. He's not a nibbler, but his walks, hit batsmen and wild pitches in his minor league past are a result of trying to command that breaking ball.

I'm pulling for him because he's polite, likes to talk and likes to shake hands before and after interviews. I always pull for good quotes..

 Just noticed something this morning. The most expensive Twins ticket down here ($39) is more expensive than the Yankees'  ($33). The Yankees have a larger stadium (around 11,000 to 8,000 at Hammond) but, man, that's interesting.

Just heard that Tsuyoshi Nishioka will "meet" Derek Jeter behind home plate about 15 minutes before the first pitch.

And I want to point out that the Twins could have showcased Francisco Liriano up here today but instead had him face the Phillies in Fort Myers.

 Twin$:  1. Denard Span CF, 2. Tsuyoshi Nishioka SS, 3. Jason Kubel DH, 4. Jeff Bailey, 1B, 5. Luke Hughes, 3B, 6. Brian Dinkelman, 7. Jason Repko RF, 8. Rene Rivera C, 9. Alexi Casilla, SS. Pitchers: Scott Baker, Matt Capps, Glen Perkins, Kyle Waldrop, David Bromberg, Deolis Guerra, Anthony Swarzak.

Yankees: 1. Derek Jeter, SS. 2. Nick Swisher, RF, 3, Mark Teixeria, 1B. 4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B, 5. Robinson Cano, 2B, 6. Jorge Posada, DH, 7. Curtis Granderson, CF. 8. Andruw Jones, LF. 9. Russell Martin, C. Pitchers: Freddy Garcia, Dellin Betances, Andrew Brackman, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson.  

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