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.

Some Twins roster housekeeping

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: October 14, 2011 - 1:20 PM

The Twins on Friday announced some moves that clears space on their 40-man roster,

They outrighted catcher Rene Rivera, infielder Matt Tolbert, outfielder Jason Repko and righthander Antony Slama to Class AAA Rochester. They also reinstated righthander Nick Blackburn and infielder Alexi Casilla from the 60-day DL. Therefore, they have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

So there's room to add two players, either through trade, free agent signing or by placing a player from the minor leagues there. Historically, 40-man rosters have to be submitted in mid-November. Not sure if that is the case this year,

Rivera hit .144 in 45 games, missing out on a great chance to prove himself while Joe Mauer was out of action.

Tolbert batted ,198 in 29 games, also blowing a chance to make a name for himself. He's 29 years old.

Repko batted .226 in 67 games and battled injuries. He's not expected to be in the mix next year. The Twins are looking at an outfield that includes Denard Span and Ben Revere. They might bring back Michael Cuddyer and/or Jason Kubel, And Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes could land a job as a backup infielder/outfielder (both are out of options next year).

Slama had a rough year with injuries. He had a 2.92 ERA in 27 games at Rochester and threw 2.1 scoreless innings with the Twins but missed a chunk of the season while rehabbing his elbow. Slama will be 28 next season and has not gotten much of a shot to show what he can do. The elbow problem doesn't help. But neither does being outrighted.

Technically, all four players can be selected in the Rule V draft. Slama is the most likely.


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