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.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: Burton, Jamey Dozier and Dream Weaver

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 6, 2012 - 11:49 PM

Ugh, what a series.

The amazing thing about it is that they had a chance to win the series if they could have beaten Seattle today. The offense has been non-existent and their pitching staff is not capable, right now, of shutting a team down for nine innings.

That brings me to my three thoughts, live from Sea-Tac airport as I wait for the red eye back to the Twin Cities.

1. The Twins could shut opponents down if they had nine Jared Burtons. Congrats to him for his relief no-hitter. Burton has thrown 9.1 hitless innings, spanning 32 batters. He's one free agent signing that has worked out for the Twins. He's not a flame thrower but he gets a lot of swings and misses with that split change-up he throws. If the Twins lead in the late innings, they should have no trouble getting to the ninth inning with Burton and Glen Perkins.

2. Jamey Carroll makes room for Brian Dozier. Didn't get a chance to get Jamey Carroll's thoughts on Brian Dozier being promoted and handed shortstop. Carroll is batting almost .200 but has been so steady in the field. Twins pitchers have had to have been comforted knowing that a ball hit to short was going to be fielded - something they didn't get from Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Carroll has worked well with Alexi Casilla and has been a pretty solid guy to deal with. I had my doubts about Carroll when he was signed but he's grown on me. He needs to hit more, but he was second on the team to Denard Span in pitches per plate appearance the last time I checked. So he tried to grind out at-bats.

Dozier is the future at short. He's a good defensive player with a chance to be very good. He's been a decent on base percentage guy in the minors. And there's a little pop in his bat. This is a good opportunity for him, but let's not release balloons and start handing out candy to children. Most players called up end up back in the minors for more seasoning. This is his time to see what the majors are like - and our time to see how he handles it and how he makes adjustments. It will be neat to watch. Boy, do the Twins need to solidify their shortstop position.

3. Dream Weaver is back in town. The odds are in the Twins' favor that they will hit Jered Weaver on Monday. But the fact that he has a chance to join the Johnny Vander Meer club is pretty interesting. There's been over 160 no-hitters thrown since Dandy Vandy went back-to-back in 1938. No one has been able to duplicate it. As I wrote in Monday's dead tree edition, it's worth keeping an eye on - even if it's hard to watch the Twins right now.

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