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 claim pitcher from Arizona

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 27, 2011 - 5:17 PM

The Twins have claimed righthander Esmerling Vasquez off waivers from Arizona, taking a chance on a pitcher who throws hard but has control problems.

Vasquez was 1-1, 4.15 in 31 games with the Diamondbacks with 13 walks and 20 strikeouts in 30.1 innings.Over the last three seasons, Vasquez is 5-10, 4.66 in 141 games with the D-Backs, To make room on the 40-man roster, the Twins have moved infielder Alexi Casilla to the 60-day disabled list.

According to , Vasquez's fastball has averaged 93.7 miles an hour in the majors. The Twins obviously are taking a flyer on a guy with a good fastball but has to work on command. If you look around the division, the Twins are falling behind opponents in the power arms race. With no one ready to step up from the minors, they are trying out the Vasquezes and Lester Oliveroses of the heater world.

The Twins have lost 48 games at Target Field this season, their most home losses since 1999. They lost a team-record 50 games at home that year, meaning there's a chance they could tie that record with losses tonight and tomorrow.

Outfielder  Jason Kubel said he's going to have his troublesome left foot examined on Tuesday at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic in Los Angeles.

No Michael Cuddyer in the lineup tonight. Hope to find out why soon.

Royals (71-89)

1. Jarrod Dyson, CF
2. Johnny Giavotella, 2B
3. Billy Bulter, DH
4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
5. Salvador Perez, C
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, RF
8. Mitch Maier, LF
9. Alcides Escobar, SS

Pitching: Sean O'Sullivan, RHP

Twins (61-99)

1. Denard Span CF
2. Ben Revere LF
3. Danny Valencia 3B
4. Chris Parmelee 1B
5. Trevor Plouffe SS
6. Rene Tosoni DH
7. Joe Benson RF
8. Matt Tolbert 2B
9. Rene Rivera C

Anthony Swarzak, RHP


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