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.

Postgame: RISP, Sulbaran and Morneau on the wire

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 13, 2013 - 11:28 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-2 loss to Cleveland

1.RISP..WTH? In 2010, the Twins led the majors in batting average with runners in scoring position at .285. They were 19th in each of the next two seasons .248, then .252. They entered Tuesday ranked 27th with an awful .232 average. They currently are in a 3-for-49 drought that is beyond awful. Just going on tonight's game, some players might be trying to do too much in those situations. Brian Dozier has been a stud at the plate in recent weeks, but he struck out with a runner on third in the third on a pitch he can't do anything with. In the sixth, Justin Morneau is on third with one out and Josh Willingham strikes out on a high fastball. I'm not used to seeing him do that. Going on tonight, some players might be pressing with runners in scoring position.

2. TRADE: I didn't think the Twins would get much in return for Drew Butera but the Dodgers sent them lefthander Miguel Sulbaran, who's 19 and putting up decent numbers at Low-A. He's listed as the Dodgers' 14th best prospect by MLB.com, so not bad.

3. MORNEAU: Justin Morneau doesn't believe he's going to be traded, but it will be interesting to see if someone puts a claim in on him. The Twins could take some heat if they trade Morneau for a low-level prospect. They have indicated that they don't have to cut payroll and can actually eat some of Morneau's payroll if they can get a good player in return.  And that's the only trade they should make here. Anything else and there will be backlash for trading away a former league MVP and half of the M & M boys. On the other hand, will Morneau's last two weeks change the minds of teams who watched him hit in July? The Pirates, Yankees and Rays could use another stick. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

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