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.

Update: Twins monitoring Scott Baker's elbow

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 15, 2012 - 1:12 PM

Twins General Manager Terry Ryan acknowledged on Thursday that rigfhthander Scott Baker has a tender elbow. Baker will throw in the bullpen on Friday and, if all goes well, will return to the rotation.

Baker has battled elbow problems in each of the last two seasons, but Ryan refused to be more concerned than normal.

``I'm not worried about Scott Baker,'' he said.

Baker pitched poorly last Saturday in a B game at Pittsburgh. A scout at the game had Baker's fastball as low as 84 miles an hour with little movement.

10-RUN INNING FOR PIRATES

Pittsburgh scored 10 runs in the first inning against the twins today, knocking out starter Terry Doyle, who gave up eight earned runs on seven hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning. Anthony Swarzak came in and was charged with two more runs before the Twins finally escaped the inning.

Doyle was a Rule 5 pick from the Chicago White Sox and will have to be offered back to the White Sox, for half of the $50,000 drafting price, if he doesn't stay on the Twins roster for the season -- unless a deal can be worked out between the clubs.

TWINS MAKE CUTS

The Twins have optioned six players and reassigned three others to the minor league camp.

 They optioned righthanders Deolis Guerra and Lester Oliveros, lefthanders Scott Diamond and Tyler Robertson, and outfielder Darin Mastroianni to Class AAA Rochester.  Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was optioned to Class A Fort  Myers.

The Twins also reassigned lefthander Aaron Thompson, infielder Steve Pearce and catcher Danny Rams to the minor league camp. Pearce is out 7-10 days with a calf strain anyway.

The Twins now have 57 players in camp:  27 pitchers (10 non-roster), 8 catchers (5 non-roster), 13 infielders (6 non-roster) and 9 outfielders (3 non-roster).

Most of the moves were expected, but Diamond and Oliveros being sent out was a little surprising.

Coming up: It;s Twins-Pirates at Hammond Stadium.

Pirates

Alex Presley, LF
Jose Tabata, RF
Andrew McCutchen, CF
Garrett Jones, DH
Casey McGehee, 3B
Yamaico Navarro, 2B
Matt Hauge, 1B
Josh Harrison, SS
Eric Fryer, C

Jo Jo Reyes, LHP

Twins

Denard Span, CF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Danny Valencia, 3B
Trevor Plouffe, LF
Aaron Bates, 1B
Luke Hughes, DH
Wilkin Ramirez, RF
Alexi Casilla, 2B

Terry Doyle, RHP

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