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: Gordon, Nolasco, Bartlett

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 19, 2014 - 12:06 AM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 5-0 loss to Kansas City

1. DON'T MESS WITH ALEX GORDON: Seriously, why even think about taking an extra base with this guy and THAT arm in left field. Since he became an outfielder in 2011, his 57 assists lead the majors. Josmil Pinto stumbled around first and then had to adjust his helmet, or he might have beaten the throw, But it was a beautiful throw.

2. NOLASCO TO HOME: I initially thought Ricky Nolasco made a bad decision to throw home in the third inning but he might have been in no-man's land. He picked up Omar Infante's dribbler between home and third base, and his throw skipped in front of home plate and was late as Alcides Escobar scored the first run of the game. ``It was tough because I was falling off the other side on the mound so I didn't think I had a play on Infante,'' he said. ``He was running out of the box It was one of those things where you hang with em try to put the ball in the right place.''

3. JASON BARTLETT: Too bad Jason Bartlett has decided to hang up the spikes. I figure if you come this far you might as well let things play out a little while longer. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a very telling comment about the situation: ``He doesn't have that little drive he needs to get back in it. He told me he appreciated everything. He was good for us in spring training. We're going to miss him. But he's one of the greatest kids you'll meet in your life.'' The Twins aren't upset that Bartlett is quitting less than a month after they gave him a spot on the roster. I think he's too well-liked for them to have thoughts like that. No, he wasn't hitting. But how many 25th men do? He was supposed to be chemistry guy. The Twins' move for Eduardo Nunez looks a lot better now from a depth standpoint. James Beresford and Doug Bernier have been playing well at Class AAA Rochester, too, but aren't projected to be starters in the majors at this point.

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