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.

Cuddyer to play in minor league game

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 20, 2011 - 10:00 AM

Just arrived at Dunedin for today's Twins-Jays game. Joe C is back in Fort Myers and checked in with the following:

Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer will play in an intrasquad game over at the minor league complex to test a left foot that needed time to heal after a plantar wart was removed on March 1.

The wart  - and the hole it left in the foot after it was removed - makes it hard for Cuddyer to turn while he's  running. After today, there are 10 games left on the exhibition schedule, not counting minor league games he could play in. So Cuddyer is running out of time to get his timing at the plate down before Opening Day.

Righthander Anthony Slama (elbow) threw in the bullpen for seven minutes on Saturday and hopes to throw in the bullpen every other day. if all goes well, he could pitch in a game on Friday.

``There's still some pain,'' he said. ``but I'm on a plan to manage it and it should decrease over  time.''

I'm hearing that lefthander Dusty Hughes is pretty much a lock to make the roster as a reliever. If that's the case, then there's just one or two spots left. Joe Nathan, Matt Capps, Jose Mijares, Hughes and Kevin Slowey (expected to lose the battle for the fifth starter's spot) take up five of seven bullpen spots.


1. Alexi Casilla, SS
2. Nishi, 2B
3. Jason Kubel, DH
4. Delmon Young, LF
5. Danny Valencia, 3B
6. Luke Hughes, 1B
7. Jeff Bailey, RF
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Jason Repko, CF

Pitching: Scott Baker, Matt Capps, Jeff Manship, Dusty Hughes


1. Corey Patterson, CF
2. Yunel Escobar, SS
3. Jose Bautista, 3B
4. Adam Lind, 1B
5. Juan Rivera, RF
6. Travis Snider, LF
7. Brett Lawrie, DH
8. J.P. Arencibia, C
9. Jonathan Diaz, 2B

Pitching: Jesse Litsch, David Purcey, Shawn Camp, Jason Fraser, JON RAUCH.



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