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.

Three Twins postgame thoughts from LEN3: Mauer, Pelfrey, Clete. BONUS

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 21, 2013 - 12:18 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 6-3 win over the Tigers:

1. MAUER'S CONCUSSION: I knew something was wrong before the game when, during a chat with Mauer in the dugout before batting practice, he said he was, ``kind of,'' a Chicago Bears fan.......O.K., full disclosure. Andy Bischoff, the Bears tight ends coach, coached Mauer at Cretin-Derham Hall before working his way up the ladder. Still, it was unexpected to hear Mauer say that. I spoke with him for about five minutes before the game, and he seemed normal. But it was when he began pre-game activities that he realized something was wrong and alerted head trainer Dave Pruemer. The tests were conducted by the Tigers team doctor, with Pruemer present. And everyone agreed that Mauer had concussion symptoms. I didn't cover Monday's game but was told that Mauer took a couple foul tips off his facemask, including one of Ike Davis' bat that really rocked him. Amanda Rykoff, a huge baseball fan and a force on twitter, sent me the following: ``The ball was hit very hard and absolutely knocked him right on the mask. I was surprised he shook it off so easily,'' and, `` The ball bounced way back after it hit his mask if that's any indication of velocity/impact.'' Mauer is the fourth Twins player to land on the concussion DL this season. Get this: I just called up a list of injuries. There are six players, including Mauer, currently on the concussion DL. FIVE are catchers: Mauer, Yorvit Torrealba, Alex Avila, Carlos Corporan and John Jaso. Amazing. Actually it's scary to think how many catchers had concussions before this era of awareness began. The concussion DL was a good move by the league. ``I think it's one of the best things they have done,'' said Rob Antony, the Twins assistant GM. ``If you are shook up and show some signs, it's best to be safe than sorry. And you can put a guy on with him saying was little dizzy today. `We are going to put you on for two weeks,'  when you might feel great 2-3 days from now. He can resume baseball activities and be ready when the week's up.''

2. PELFREY SHARP: Pelfrey was impressive. He kept the ball down and his pitches were moving. He had one of his best sinkers and his curveball was noticeably better. I thought Pelfrey deserved to get that last out in the seventh after Brayan Pena reached on that slow roller and Jose Iglesias reached on the blooper - especially after Austin Jackson got an RBI single off of Josh Roenicke. But it worked out. Pelfrey believes backing off of bullpen sessions between starts is working well. He will still do long toss drills between starts and will throw from behind the flat ground behind the mound to work on his mechanics. Let's see if Pelfrey can finish the season strong.


3. BIG PLAY BY CLETE: Gotta mention the big catch Clete Thomas made in the eighth with one out and runners on second and third. Thomas raced in on Andy Dirks' sinking fly ball. Brian Dozier was unable to get to the ball, so Thomas knew the play was his. He dived forward and snow-coned the catch as the baserunners couldn't advance. ``That play Clete Thomas made was huge,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.


3A. MINOR DETAILS: Aaron Hicks was 0-for-3 at Class AAA Rochester in his first game back after recovering from a bruised heel....Alex Myer, recovering from shoulder soreness, has been assigned to Class AA New Britain and is ready to pitch for the Rock Cats. He threw for the Gulf Coast Twins on Monday, pitching 3.2 scoreless innings with nine strikeouts. His fastball was measured from 91-98 miles an hour, so he let it loose. He can get a few starts in before the season ends.

ADVERTISEMENT

more twins blogs

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT