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.

Phillies trounce Twins 5-1

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 23, 2014 - 12:14 PM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire spent a chunk of his pre-game talking about the need for interchangeable parts on his bench. He's played players all over the field this spring to see how flexible they can be. Eduardo Escobar and Jason Bartlett have played in the ouffield. Chris Parmelee appeared in center in a recent games.

Gardy wants defensive flexibility - who doesn't - but he also wants to get bats in the lineup. For instance, Gardenhire praised Chris Herrmann's work this spring and noted that, in addition to playing the corner outfield spots and first base, Herrmann can also catch. That would allow him to use Josmil Pinto as the designated hitter at times.

``Don't you want to see Pinto hit?'' Gardenhire said.

Gardy said the final roster spots are very much up in the air, making this a very interesting week. But, based on how he talked, Aaron Hicks defintely will be the starting center fielder and Pinto is definitely on the team.

Byron Buxton had an MRI on his sore left wrist on Saturday, which showed no structural damage. Buxton has missed the last week of minor league spring games after injuring the wrist while diving for a ball.

Twins

Brian Dozier, 2B
Josmil Pinto, C
Oswaldo Arcia, RF
Chris Colabello, 1B
Chris Parmelee, LF
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Aaron Hicks, CF
Pedro Florimon, SS
Phil Hughes, RHP

Phillies

Ben Revere, CF
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Marlon Byrd, RF
Domonic Brown, LF
Carlos Ruiz, C
Cody Asche, 3B
Kyle Kendrick, RHP

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