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.

A few notes from Friday's informal workouts

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 17, 2012 - 3:18 PM

With camp opening on Sunday, several pitchers climbed onto the mounds at the Lee County Sports Complex this morning.

Carlos Gutierrez, Kyle Waldrop, Scott Baker, Anthony Swarzak, David Bromberg, Alex Burnett, Liam Hendriks and Scott Diamond were among pitchers who threw today. Like Bromberg, Swarzak is in excellent shape this year and sounds very determined.

Alexi Casilla, Drew Butera, Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier made their first appearances of pre-camp week.

The Twins have so many pitchers in camp (33) that they are trying to schedule B games to make sure everyone gets enough innings in. They have scheduled one B game for 10 a.m. March 10 at Pittsburgh. Look out for a couple B games with the Red Sox to get locked up soon. Boston has 34 pitchers in camp, so they've in the same situation.

Chris Parmelee put in a lot of work at first base.

While Swarzak and Bromberg appear to be in the best shape of their lives, sandwich pick Hudson Boyd is a little husky. They gave him a workout plan during instructional league, and he worked out at the complex throughout the offseason (he's a local product). It sounds like they expected him to have lost more weight that he has. I will point out that the kid has good stuff. His fastball seems to have nice zip (no radar gun around) and he has a nice breaking ball, A high school product with a lot of upside and a long way to go.

Bromberg, 24, hopes to surge this year after pitching just 44 innings last season because of a broken right forearm suffered when he was hit by a comebacker,



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