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.

Capps stays in AL Central

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: January 31, 2013 - 4:24 PM


This update is from Phil Miller, who will share the Twins beat this season with La Velle E. Neal III. Phil is in the process of transferring his blog from his former beat of Gophers football to baseball. So we're borrowing La Velle's blog. The news:

            When the Twins declined Matt Capps' $6 million option for 2013 back in October, the righthander realized his days in Minnesota were probably over. That became a certainty on Thursday, when the Twins' former closer, according to, signed a minor-league contract with Cleveland that includes an invitation to spring training.
            Capps, acquired just before the 2010 trading deadline from the Washington Nationals for catcher Wilson Ramos, helped the Twins win the Central Division title that year, saving 16 games with a 2.00 ERA in two months, giving him a career-high 42 saves for the season. But injuries limited his availability and effectiveness in the past two seasons, and after suffering a shoulder injury, Capps made only one appearance after mid-July last year. The Twins could have renewed his contract for $6 million, but decided against it.
            "Matt did OK that first year. But last year was a difficult situation," general manager Terry Ryan said Thursday. "We thought the right thing to do was probably turn the page."
            Capps saved 45 games in parts of three seasons with the Twins, posting a 3.61 ERA. But he also blew 12 saves, and he became the target of Twins fans in 2011 when he blew nine of 24 save opportunities. He bounced back to save 14 games in 15 chances last year, but ceded the closer's role to left-hander Glen Perkins when his shoulder sidelined him for almost three months.
            Ryan said the Twins remain in the market for another free-agent addition before training camp opens in two weeks.
            "We'll keep looking at them right up into spring training," he said. But nothing is imminent at the moment, he added.


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