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.

Twins: Nolasco to start on Opening Day, as expected

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 14, 2014 - 11:33 AM

As expected, Ricky Nolasco will be the Twins' Opening Day starter.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire let that foregone conclusion be known this morning before the Twins-Yankees game in Tampa, when a Yankees writer asked him where Phil Hughes was going to land in the rotation.

Gardenhire wouldn't divulge that information but did say, ``Nolasco is going to start on Opening Day, and we're just going to work it in from there.''

It will be Nolasco's third Opening Day assignment, the other two coming in 2009 and last year. Both were against Washington (1-1, 5.25 ERA).

Gardenhire, while nodding toward the Twins Cities writers, playfully jabbed: ``If these guys had any clue they would have already figured this out.''

Well Gardy, anyone can count back from Opening Day and see that Nolasco has been on line to pitch that day. And that you had Nolasco, Kevin Correia, Hughes and Mike Pelfrey in order. We were just waiting for the manager to decide to give out this massively essential morsel of information. Thank you. The batting order is next, buddy.

It's a lovely day here at George M. Steinbrenner Field where a split-squad Twins team is facing a split-squad Yankees team.

What's that? The Yankees don't have a split-squad scheduled? You're right. But the Yankees have sent Derek Jeter and some of his Yankee friends down to Panama for a special two-game series against the Marlins. There's some guy from Panama who used to play for the Yankees and is having a party, or something like that.

So the Twins are facing Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and some other fellows.

By the way, it's 59 degrees here in Tampa - 79 in Panama City.

Pedro Florimon will play three innings in a minor league game today as he works his way back to the major league lineup following surgery to remove his appendix.

The Twins have added three players to the traveling roster today - Eric Farris, Danny Ortiz and Corey Wimberly,


Aaron Hicks, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Jason Kubel, DH
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Chris Colabello, 1B
Wilkin Ramirez, LF
Deibinson Romero, 3B
Josmil Pinto, C
Danny Santana, SS

Pitching: Kyle Gibson, with Ryan Pressly, Kris Johnson, Caleb Thielbar, Aaron Thompson, Deolis Guerra and Sean Gilmartin also on the list.


Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Brian Roberts, 2B
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Eduardado Nunez, SS
Russ Canzler.B
Ramon Flores, LF
Pete O'Brien, DH
Mason Williams, RF

David Phelps, RHP


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