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.

Keeping up with Twins players in winter leagues

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins prospects Updated: October 19, 2011 - 10:52 AM

Winter ball is underway throughout the Caribbean, and Twins players and prospects are sprinkled throughout the leagues. Here's an updated list, courtesy of the Twins:

Player                           Cntry  Team
 
Arcia, Oswaldo               VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Benson, Joe                   VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Casilla, Alexi                  DR    Gigantes del Cibao
De los Santos, Starlin  DR    Gigantes del Cibao
García, Jhon                   VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Goncalves, Jonathan    VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Guerra, Deolis                VZ    Magallanes
Gutierrez,Carlos            PR    Carolina Giants
Hidalgo, Anderson        VZ     Tigres de Aragua
Ibarra, Edgar                  VZ     Tigres de Aragua
Liriano, Francisco         DR    Leones de Escogido
Mijares, José                  VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Morales, Ángel                PR   Ponce Lions
Muñoz, Miguel                  VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Ortiz, Danny                     PR    Indios de Mayaguez
Perez, Jairo                     VZ     Lara
Pinto, Josmil                   VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Romero, Deibison        DR    Leones de; Escogido
Rosario, Eddie               PR    Indios de Mayaguez
Salcedo, Adrian              DR   Gigantes del Cibao
Santana, Daniel             DR    Aguilas Cibaenas
Solarte, Yangervis          VZ    Tigres de Aragua
Soliman, Manuel            DR   Leones de Escogido
Suarez, Deinys               PR    Ponce Lions
Tosoni, Rene                   VZ    Cardenales de Lara

It's a good move for players like Joe Benson and Rene Tosoni, who are trying to advance their careers. The Twins would like to see more of their players work on their games during winter ball, but it's up to the player. This list will change throughout the offseason. Some players play during the first half of the season then shut it down. Others will join teams for the second half. Someone like righthander Anthony Slama, for example, is looking for a team and could head somewhere for a few innings.

Liriano isn't expected to pitch a lot. If I remember correctly, he mentioned to me last month he wanted to throw 25-30 innings. The Twins,cautious about his workload, banned Liriano from pitching in winter ball last year. He threw on the side on his own and ended up with shoulder problems early in spring training. Liriano pitched very well in winter ball before the 2010 season and went 13-10 during the regular season.

If you want to keep up with winter league action,here's a link to MLB's Caribbean Leagues website.

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