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.

Vasquez clears waivers and is invited to camp

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 13, 2012 - 3:16 PM


Righthander Esmerling Vasquez, who was designated for assignment last week, has cleared waivers and has been outrighted to Class AAA Rochester. Vasquez was placed on waivers in order to make room on the 40-man roster for outfielder Darin Mastroianni, whom the Twins claimed from Toronto.

But the Twins will invite Vasquez to spring training camp, which opens this weekend. That brings the number of players in this year's camp to 66, which includes 33 pitchers.

That's a lot of arms for the coaching staff to have to evaluate. It will be interesting to see how much game action some of these guys get before they are cut.

I landed in Fort Myers this afternoon. If you're coming down this weekend get ready for the Orange Barrel Festival - construction - that's going on around the park. A lot of it is just repaving, but this place already is bad for traffic.

Saw one player at the park today - Joe Mauer. He had finished his workout and was signing autographs before he hopped in his truck and left the complex. Get ready for reports starting later this week, and our spring training preview package on Sunday.

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