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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Roster move, battling at-bats, Albersmania

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 16, 2013 - 11:57 PM


Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-2 loss to the White Sox.

1. ROSTER MOVE: It's too bad the Twins couldn't have figured out a way to keep Chris Colabello with the major league team and give him some at bats. Especially this weekend with the Twins facing lefthanders in three straight games. The Twins decided to keep three catchers since Ryan Doumit is coming off the disabled list after recovering from a concussion. If that's the case, Doumit needs to start hitting. He entered Friday batting .220 in the No. 5 spot in the batting order and was batting .195 with runners in scoring position. That was before he hit into a double play with two on in the first and struck out with the bases loaded in the third.

2. BATTLING AT-BATS FUTILE: I thought when a hitter grinds out an at-bat he is eventually is rewarded? This is how bad things are going for the Twins right now. Doumit had a 12-pitch at-bat in the third inning, fouling off eight pitches. A couple pitches were above the strike zone, but you have to protect in those situations. Pitch No. 12 cuts across the inner half of the plate, and Doumit takes it for strike three. Chris Herrmann pinch hit in the ninth inning and worked White Sox closer Addison Reed over for an 11-pitch at bat. He too was caught looking for strike zone. Herrmann believes the pitch was too high, and replays suggest that he might have a beef. But he has to protect there too. Two examples of how things are going for the Twins right now. When they appear to be on the verge of breaking through, something bad happens.

3. THE BIG MATCHUP: It's Albers vs. Sale tomorrow night at Target Field. The Twins are hoping that a big walk-up leads to a sellout crowd. Terry Ryan was full of praise for Albers during his media meeting today. ``Albers does it one way and Sale is going to do it another. I think everyone in this area who watches the Twins I think are intrigued. I don't doubt that we are going to have a pretty big crowd.'' Wow. Albers the drawing card.


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