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 officially release Joel Zumaya

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 28, 2012 - 9:54 AM

The Twins just announced that they have released righthander Joel Zumaya. Zumaya is out for the year because of a torn elbow ligament.

The club was going to do something to clear space on their 40-man roster so they can add a key player before the regular season began, so some kind of move was expected. Releasing Zumaya is a mild surprise, but the Twins could always re-sign him next year if they want to give him another chance. Heck, they were willing to sign him to a major league contract this time, which surprised some folks around the league.

The Twins now have 38 spots filled on their 40-man roster. Terry Doyle, the Rule 5 pick sent back to the White Sox, is the other deletion.

The bigger question: Why in the heck are the Twins announcing something like this at 7:45 a.m. Eastern?

UPDATE: Trevor Plouffe (right hamstring) is playing in a minor league game down the road. This is an important step for him as he tries to get healthy before Opening Day.

Some folks on twitter think that this is the Twins Opening Day lineup. Not yet. I think the Twins want Plouffe to start in right and I think Ryan Doumit or Chris Parmelee - if he makes the team. Will be at first.

Scratch that last sentence. While Justin Morneau has indicated that being the DH this year could be the way to go for him, it wouldn't surprise me if he decides to man first base for Opening Day, then DH after that.

By the way, if you're not following me on twitter, what are you waiting for? @LaVelleNeal is the handle. You missed an interesting exchange last night!

Guess the Phillies are going sans DH today


Jimmy Rollins, SS
Carlos Ruiz, C
Hunter Pence, RF
Ty Wigginton, 3B
Hector Luna, 1B
John Mayberry, Jr., CF
Luis Montanez, LF
Miguel Abreu, 2B
Vance Worley, RHP


Denard Span, CF
Jamey Carroll, SS
Joe Mauer, C
Justin Morneau, DH
Josh Willingham, LF
Luke Hughes, 1B
Danny Valencia, 3B
Ben Revere, RF
Alexi Casilla, 2B

Francisco Liriano, LHP



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