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.

Twins-Red Sox: The last fake game before 162 real ones

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 30, 2013 - 1:05 PM

Sorry this is late. Had to do some minor repairs to the Star Tribune headquarters, then got caught in traffic.

But I arrived in time for Terry Ryan's pre-game chat. Here are some updates:

JUSTIN MORNEAU (lower back tightness): Went over to the minor league side and got four at-bats. Everything went well. All systems go for Opening Day.

COLE DE VRIES (forearm stiffness): He feels much better today and is on track to start for the Twins on Saturday.

LIAM HENDRIKS (busied hand): Will pitch in a minor league game on Sunday and is on track to start for the Twins on Friday.

SAMUEL DEDUNO (left groin strain): Feels much better, but has not been penciled in for a bullpen session yet.

ANTHONY SWARZAK (ribs) and SCOTT DIAMOND (elbow): Both will pitch in a minor league game on Tuesday. Swarzak eligible to come off the disabled list on Apr. 6.


1. Aaron Hicks, CF
2. Joe Mauer, C
3. Josh Willingham, LF
4. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
5. Chris Parmelee, DH
6. Wilkin Ramirez, RF
7. Dan Rohlfing, 1B
8. Brian Dozier, 2B
9. Pedro Florimon, SS

Pitching: Mike Pelfrey, RHP

Red Sox

1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Will Middlebrooks, 3B
6. Salty, C
7. Jonny Gomes, LF
8. Daniel Nava, DH
9. Jose Iglesias, SS

Pitching: Felix Doubront


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