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 postgame: Three thoughts from LEN3

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 9, 2012 - 4:40 PM

The offense has been offensive.

The Twins on Friday ended a 27-inning scoreless streak but still haven't had an extra base hit since Sunday. Once this run of split-squad games ends and the regulars start playing more, the offense should improve. Then again, they should do better than two bases-loaded walks!

Here are three thoughts following their 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Friday:

1. What's up with Nishi? As I pointed out in the dead tree edition for Saturday, it seems as if Tsuyoshi Nishioka makes one poor play a game. On Friday, he could have gotten killed while trying to turn a double play he had no business trying to turn. He also went in front of the bag to catch a throw when Eugenio Velez stole second. Stay on the bag, let the throw come to you, drop the tag. It takes longer when you step in  front of the bag to catch the ball then try a swipe tag. Nishi did the latter.

Nishi is batting .278 but doesn't look good in the field. And I caught him walking out to his position one inning when everyone else was jogging. Negative body language.

2. I still think Matt Capps will be a decent closer this year. Some will point to the home run he gave up to Rafael Furcal on Friday as proof that he's not a good reliever. But Capps is tinkering with a cut fastball this spring, and watched one sail over the fence. Ball up the sheet of paper, toss it over your shoulder and back to the drawing board,

3. Perkins looks good., Lefthander Glen Perkins makes 95 miles an hour look effortless. He's thrown three scoreless innings this spring and looks poised to take off from where he left off last season.


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