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.

Twins cut five, including Trevor Plouffe, Lineups

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 19, 2011 - 10:55 AM

Trevor Plouffe could be in line to start some games with the Twins this season if there are injuries or poor form with one of the starting middle infielders.

But Plouffe has not had a good camp. Because of that, he was one of five players cut on Saturday.

Plouffe, outfielder Ben Revere and righthander Alex Burnett were optioned to Class AAA Rochester. Catcher Danny Rams and infielder Matt Brown were reassigned to the minor league camp.

Plouffe batted ..,206 in 16 games and committed six errors. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, earlier this week, said Plouffe appeared to be pressing too much.

Revere batted .205 in 17 games with two doubles, two triples and five steals. He made a couple fine catches in the outfield and probably will be called up if Denard Span goes down for an extended period of time.,

Burnett, trying to win a sport in the bullpen, posted a 4.50 ERA in six outings.

Rams and Brown were destined to start the season in the minors. Rams could start the year at Class A Fort Myers while Brown is one of those, `hired guns,' to help Rochester.

UPDATE: Hearing that Justin Morneau is going to play in a minor league spring training game today, thehis latest test.


1. Sam Fuld, CF
2. Reid Brignac, SS
3. John Jaso, C
4. Dan Johnson, DH
5. Sean Rodriguez, 3B
6. Felipe Lopez, 2B
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. Chris Carter, LF
9. Justin Ruggiano, RF

Pitching: Wade Davis, with R.J. Swindal and Cesar Cabral on the list


1. Denard Span, CF
2. Nishi, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Jim Thome, DH
5. Delmon Young, LF
6. Jason Kubel, RF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Jeff Bailey, 1B
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: Nick Blackburn, with Kevin Slowey, Jim Hoey, Pat Neshek, Carlos Gutierrez. Bullpen battle!


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