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 Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Benson, Milone, Colon

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 22, 2012 - 8:01 PM

Here are three thoughts following the latest Twins' defeat.

1. Tough breaks for Benson: First, some news. Twins outfield prospect Joe Benson on Monday will have surgery on his left knee to remove loose bodies. It's the same knee he had surgery last year to repair a slight meniscus tear.
Benson, 24, already has had surgery this season to remove the hamate bone form his wrist. That came after he got off to an awful start at Class AAA Rochester and was demoted to Class AA New Britain.
In stops at four minor league outposts - he also played for the GCL Twins and the Class A Fort Myers Miracle during rehab stints, Benson batted .206 in 76 games with 6 homers and 36 RBI. This is after being promote from New Britain to the majors late last season. If rehab goes well, Benson could appear in the Arizona Fall League.

2. I knew little about Tommy Milone, but the lefty was pretty crafty as he shut down the Twins for nine innings and improved to 10-9 for the season. "Milone was pretty good,' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He changed speeds, located his fastball in and out, lots of good changeups and breaking balls. He Kept us off balance pretty much the whole day." Another case of the crafty lefty pitching well against a team that's not familiar with him.

3. Bartolo Colon. So, is the drug testing working, or is there a bigger problem. The A's had to fight off questions about Colon after he tested positive for testosterone and now must serve a 50-game suspension. With Melky Cabrera already on the shelf for 50 games, the Bay Area is having flashbacks previous drug problems. "Unfortunately there have been some mistakes made and they are gong to pay," Gardenhire said. "That's why the system has gone the way it is, to protect baseball and, more than anything else. to protect players from doing something that could harm them."

Bonus item: Trevor Plouffe probably was rusty coming off the disabled list, but he's in a 2-for-39 skid at the plate and hasn't hit a home run in 92 plate appearances.


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