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: Mauer, Darnell, Herrmann

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: May 7, 2014 - 3:15 PM

Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 4-2 loss to Cleveland:

MAUER'S BACK: Having spent a night in the hospital because of back spasms - and after talking to Mauer - I'm not sure what he has (or has) is actually a spasm. To hear Mauer explain it, his back started bothering him during pre-game on Sunday. He tried to play through it and it got worse. Whatever is grabbing him down there is slowly going away. I asked him directly, ``When did the spasms end?'' His reply: ``Well. it's still there. Spasm? I don't know. It was hurting pretty good during the game and we tried to calm it down as best as possible.'' Dr. Neal thinks he took a swing during batting pratice and wrenched his back and still is getting over it. I'm willing to be enlightened if my idea of a spasm is too narrrow.

LOGAN DARNELL: The radar gun at The Prog read 95 mph after one of Darnell's pitches. Even he was surprised to hear that. But he pitched very well in his major league debut, retiring all nine batters he faced. He said he wasn't that nervous before taking the mound. Jared Burton reminded him to go out and have fun, and Darnell said he felt normal after he threw the first pitch. Too bad his parents weren't in town to see his debut. They are on vacation and planned to cut it short in time to meet him in Detroit. But his brother, Landon, and his buddy, Paul Hogg, drove up for the game.

CHRIS HERRMANN: The kid is batting .125 now, and the fact that Gardy pinch hit a righthanded batter (Pinto) to face a righthanded pitcher in Bryan Shaw is an indictment on Herrmann. The Twins are definitnely making a roster move after tomorrow's game, as the manager would like another outfielder. Oswaldo Arica was 2-for-4 with a double for Rochester tonight. Hmmmmmmm. And since Herrmann was coming out, Kurt Suzuki would have played in right field if the Twins had tied the game.



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