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.

The band is nearly back together as the Twins wrap up season series with Pale Hose

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: September 16, 2012 - 12:09 PM


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire spent most of pre-game combing the clubhouse, field and trainer's room for updates on ouchy players. The lineup wasn't crafted until shortly before 11 a.m., as the manager had to finalize some things.

First of all, the Twins want to give Josh Willingham, who has been bothered by a sore hamstring, some rest. So he'll get today off, as well as Monday's scheduled off day.

Joe Mauer is back. After missing four games because of back spams, Mauer worked out before the game and is able to play first base.

Ryan Doumit was held out of Saturday's lineup, despite his lobbying, because of an oblique muscle pull. He was determined to play today, but Gardenhire wasn't sure if he was ready to catch. The search for Doumit began, and Gardenhire ended up sending someone into baseball chapel service to check with Doumit to make sure he could start behind the plate.

Gardenhire had his lineup, and finally could send a copy to the other clubhouse.

This goes on in clubhouses across the league, especially at this time of year. Managers start sweating over the lineup six hours before the first pitch, as players report to the clubhouse and see if the aches and pains can be tolerated enough for them to play. And the Twins don't want to field a lineup of backups against the White Sox, who are fighting for a postseason spot. It will be different in Cleveland, where the Indians have nothing to play for and you'll probably see Chris Herrmann make his major league debut.

Stat of the day: Denard Span is batting .421 against the White Sox this season.


White Sox (78-66)

1. Dewayne Wise, CF
2. Kevin Youkilis, 3B
3. Adam Dunn, 1B
4. Paul Konerko, DH
5. Alex Rios, RF
6. Dayan Viciedo, LF
7. Alexei Ramirez, SS
8. Tyler Flowers, C
9. Gordon Beckham, 2B

Pitcher: Jake Peavy, RHP

Twins (60-86)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Ben Revere, LF
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Justin Morneau, DH
5. Ryan Doumit, C
6. Chris Parmelee, RF
7. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
8. Alexi Casilla, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Scott Diamond, LHP


 

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