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 camp: Day 2 pre-workout notes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: February 20, 2012 - 9:22 AM

Anthony Swarzak arrived at camp last year down about 20 pounds from the previous year.The wight loss was fueled by an illness, but he decided to keep the extra pounds off after he recovered.

This year, Swarzak has reported to camp in even better shape.

``I focused more on strength training, trying to get stronger and, on top of that, trying to get leaner and more athletic,'' he said. ``A little more flexible.

``I watched what I ate, made sure I worked out on a regular basis - I didn't do that in years past and just kind of winged it. ``I made sure I was on a routine and I'm ready to go.''

I headed over to the other side of the clubhouse, where Danny Valencia dresses. Get your urban dictionaries out, because Valencia wants everyone to know he's ``yoked,'' this year.

He weighs about the same as he did last season but says it's the best he's ever felt.

``It's night and day how I feel,'' he said.``I really made a serious, conscious effort to get my body right. I feel like I can move and feel strong at the same time.

``I  worked really hard,'' he said, `` but I feel great., I'm a lot stronger than I've ever been. I'm faster than I've ever been.''


Ben Revere, Rene Tosoni and Darin Mastroianni were among position players who reported to camp on Monday. Based on rough estimates, around 56 of the 66 players on the roster have reported for duty. Position players are to report by Thursday with the first full-squad workout on Friday.

Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano and Nick Blackburn are scheduled to throw in the bullpen today.

Lester Oliveros claims that Jose Mijares, now with the Royals, has lost 30 pounds. One, I gotta see it to believe it. Two, I hope he still has his fastball. We were talking the other day about the year Boof Bonser lost 25 pounds off his belly - and four miles off his fastball.




more twins blogs


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters