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.

Three postgame thoughts from LEN3: Cespedes, pitching help, scout watch

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: July 15, 2012 - 7:20 PM

Three quick thoughts after this mess:

1. Yoenis Cespedes is fun to watch: He does not get cheated on a swing, and the ball explodes off his bat. I found myself stopping whatever I was doing at the moment to watch his at-bats. Many folks didn't think he could be a productive player right away, but the eight-year veteran of the Cuban league is proving that he belongs in this league.

2. It didn't sound like the Twins were close to sending Brian Duensing back to the bullpen and calling up Nick Blackburn or Liam Hendriks. We were told that, while Blackburn was sharp in his last outing, He gave up more fly balls than a sinkerballer should.. And they want Hendriks to get on a roll at Class AAA Rochester and stop bouncing back and forth between Rochester and the Twin Cities. They want him to improve his fastball command then mix in other pitches,

3. Scout watch: A scout from the Reds - former White Sox first baseman Mike Squires - was at Sunday's game. The Reds are believed to be in search of a left-handed hitting leadoff guy who can play the outfield. Hmmmmm.


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