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.

Postgame: Albers, defense and PTBNL

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 13, 2013 - 12:10 AM


Here are three thoughts on the Twins' 3-0 win over the Indians

1. NOT SOLD ON ALBERS: Lefthander Andrew Albers is entertaining to watch. It's just as entertaining to watch the reactions of opponents when they fail to hit him. It's been pretty impressive to watch him keep pitches in the corners and then see how slow he can throw. He said he's followed the careers of Jamie Moyer and Tom Glavine and thinks he can carve out a decent career as well. ``They found a ways to do it, so it can be done,'' Albers said. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire mentioned Randy Jones as a pitcher Albers reminds him off, working fast, keeping the defense sharp. And there's the deception. ``It's not overpowering fast, 84-87, maybe an 88,'' Gardy said. ``He cuts it and sinks it and he turns it over with his change up. A nice little slow breaking ball, if that is possible. He just really never puts a ball in the center of the plate, it looks to me.'' Everything is great now, but we have to wait several starts before we declare him a fixture in the rotation. He has to prove he can do this every outing - although his last two outings were complete games at Rochester, giving him four straight outings of at least eight innings. It's now the league's turn. What will scouts suggests to their teams. What happens when Albers faces a team for the second time? He's on track to face the White Sox at home on Saturday. After that, he's lined up to face the Detroit Cabreras on Aug. 22. Then there's a rematch with the Royals on Aug. 28. He's had two amazing starts, but slow your roll, let's see how this plays out.

2. DEFENSE! There were several sparkling plays behind Albers tonight, which often happens when the defense isn't falling asleep out in the field.
Brian Dozier, Clete Thomas, Trevor Plouffe and Pedro Florimon all made noteworthy plays on Monday - and Chris Herrmann almost held on to a foul ball before tumbling over the railing in front of the Twins dugout. ``The defense behind me was just incredible,'' Albers said.

3. STRAIGHT CASH, HOMEY: When a player to be named later is in play, teams have six months to settle on who gets moved. Teams often work off a list of players they have agreed upon, then consummate the deal later. The Twins traded Jamey Carroll to the Royals on Sunday for PTBNL or cash. In an effort to manage expectation here, I want to let you know that cash is in the lead here. I don't think I'd even want a PTBNL for a veteran utility player who is batting .230. Those types of players just don't bring a lot.




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