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-Rays: Will the Twins get their bats going today?

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 16, 2011 - 2:17 PM

The San Diego Padres have more homers (7) than the Twins (3).

That's how bad it is for the Twin Cities nine, who are last in the majors in runs, batting average,slugging percentage and OPS.

A couple scouts in the pressbox here at Tropicana Field feel Twins hitters are just missing pitches and it will be just a matter of time before their bats come around, We'll see,

The national audience won't see Joe Mauer, who is injured, or primary backup Drew Butera. Steve Holm is starting behind the plate today.

Justin Morneau is getting a DH day today, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he plans on giving Morneau a day off during the series in Baltimore.

As for Mauer, he's still hanging out at the hotel. He's keeping his food down.So the Twins hope that he will be able to come to the park tomorrow and get some work in. They hope he'll go to Baltimore  for his annual check-up with the Johns Hopkins Specialist who treated his sacroiliac joint in 2009 then head to the Twin Cities for  rehab.

Guests at the stadium today include players from Tampa Catholic High School, where Denard Span starred., Some members of the Tampa Bay Lightning, guests of Justin Morneau, are on the field watching batting practice. Dwayne Roloson headlines the group.

Actually, Steven Stamkos could be standing done there and I wouldn't know which one he is.

Wonder if they can hit.....

Twins (4-9)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Luke Hughes, 2B
3. Delmon Young, LF
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Jason Kubel, RF
6. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
7. Danny Valencia, 3B
8. Steve Holm, C
9. Alexi Casilla, SS

Pitching: Scott Baker

Rays (5-8)

1. Sam Fuld, LF
2. Johnny Damon, DH
3. Matt Joyce, RF
4. Felipe Lopez, 3B
5. Ben Zobrist, 2B
6. B.J. Upton, CF
7. Casey Kotchman, 1B
8. John Jaso, C
9. Reid Brignac, SS

Pitching: Jeff Niemann




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