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: Vasquez, Deduno, Willingham

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 2, 2012 - 7:26 PM

Three quick thoughts after the Twins' 6-4 loss to Kansas City.

1. Vasquez's outing. It might have been one of those that you have to chalk up to first-time jitters with a new team. Vasquez seemed to misfire at times, but looked O.K,. at other times. He topped out at 94 miles an hour on the radar gun but hung around 91-92. He used more changeups as he went along, which helped him throw up zeroes in the third and fourth innings. But there were some hard hit balls for outs, too. I want to see more of him before drawing conclusions.

2. Samuel Deduno's improvement: Had a chance to talk to Twins minor league pitching coordinator Eric Rasmussen, who's traveling with the major league team for awhile. He remembers seeing Samuel Deduno when he was at Rochester and said the righthander is commanding his fastball much better now. "I can see that Rick Anderson has made a couple of adjustments with him. He was throwing in the bullpen and (the command) was right there." He believes that Deduno is one of those late bloomers with nasty stuff who can turn out to be pretty good.

3. Willingham update: Josh Willingham has a sore right hamstring but was on deck to pinch hit in the ninth inning. That's a sign that he might be able to return to the lineup this week during the White Sox series.

3a. More Parmelee, please: Chris Parmelee had a nice series, going 5-for-11 with two home runs. Parmelee made his major league debut last September and really looks comfortable up here now. I guess when you hit opposite-field home runs - like he did in the second inning on Sunday - it's easy to look comfortable. "I feel like the term, 'mid-season form' is starting to kick in," he said. "I've had a couple hundred at-bats and now I'm starting to find a groove a little bit. It's not the beginning of the year, that has something to do with that."





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