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-Yankees: Roster is coming together

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 27, 2011 - 11:42 AM

 The Twins have optioned Luke Hughes, Anthony Slama and Jim Hoey to Class AAA Rochester. The moves mean that Matt Tolbert has made the team as the utility infielder and that Jeff Manship and Glen Perkins will likely fill out the bullpen.

The Twins technically have pitchers Phil Dumatrait, Carlos Gutierrez and Kyle Waldrop in camp. Dumatrait will be assigned to minor league camp tomorrow and Gutierrez and Waldrop will head there after the exhibition games in Atlanta.

That leaves Scott Diamond. I reported in today's editions that the Twins appear to be looking to make a deal with Atlanta to keep Diamond and send him to the minors where he can get innings in. The guess here is that Diamond already has cleared waivers - any team could have claimed him and assumed Rule 5 responsibility. I have yet to confirm that - but he has to pass through waivers before a deal with the Braves can be made.

The like Diamond but the Twins will start the season with Jose Mijares, Glen Perkins and Dusty Hughes as lefties in the bullpen.

UPDATE: Just heard that Diamond has indeed cleared waivers,which paves the way for the Twins to swing a deal to keep him and send him to the minors.

Joe Nathan, Matt Capps, Kevin Slowey and Jeff Manship will be the right-handed relievers on the 12-man staff.

Hoey throws hard but the Twins want him to come up with something to get hitters off his fastball. If he does that, then he'll have more room for error with his fastball.

Hughes threatened to make the team but hit a rough patch later in camp. He batted .246 and leads the team with 6 homers, 15 RBI and 37 total bases. I think the Twins seriously considered taking him north. In the end, they felt more comfortable with the sure-handed Tolbert on the bench.

And how often would Hughes pinch hit for someone part of a deep lineup?

The man I still consider to be the top prospect in the organization is leading off today.

Update; Gardy, on his Sunday morning radio show, said Nathan will be the closer and Glen Perkins has definitely made the club.



1. Eduardo Nunez, SS
2. Robninson Cano, 2B
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. A-ROD!!, DH
5. Eric Chavez, 3B
6. Andruw Jones, RF
7. Ramiro Pena, LF
8. Jesus Montero, C
9. Austin, Krum, CF

Pitching: Buddy Carlyle (?)


1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Matt Tolbert, 2B
3. Michael Cuddyer, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Drew Butera, C
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: Carl Pavano


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