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.

Twins-White Sox: Vargas makes debut ... against Chris Sale

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: August 1, 2014 - 6:13 PM

I found out early this morning that Lollapalooza was happening this weekend in Chicago. The guy next to me on the flight in from MSP ordered a Jack Daniels. I looked at my watch. It was 9:15 a.m. The guy caught me looking at him and said, ``I've got to get ready for Lolla.''

"Lolla" has downtown Chicago at a crawl. Streets are blocked off near Grant Park. When my cab drove past the park at 11 a.m., it was holy mass of humanity, Batman, people were gathering there already. Throw in the annual construction site, and downtown is a mess.

After an early afternoon shower, the tarp has been pulled off and we are preparing to play at The Cell. That means Kennys Vargas is close to taking the field for his major league debut.

``He's excited, I think,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ``and we'll see how long that lasts.''

Hope he brought his hard hat and lunch box. Hello Mr. Sale.

Joe Mauer and Ricky Nolasco are both headed to Cedar Rapids for rehab assignments. That was the only minor league outpost that was playing at home next week, so the Twins are sending them there. That means Mauer will play for his brother Jake, the manager of the Kernels.

``He'll have to suck up to the manager,'' Twins assistant GM Rob Antony said.

Nolasco (flexor pronator) is going to start on Tuesday and throw around 50 pitches. If that goes well, he'll start on Sunday and throw 75 pitches. Then the Twins will see where they are at with them. Was told today that Nolasco has looked like the pitcher they thought they had bought during the offseason. We won't really know for sure until he returns to the Twins.

Mauer (oblique) will drive down on Sunday, work out on Monday then play Tuesday. He'll bounce between first base and DH the rest of the week. He probably get one off day during the week, Mauer could return on Aug. 11 against the Astros in Houston.

Sounds like Yohan Pino and Logan Darnell might be in a pitch-off to see who goes to make room for Tommy Milone, whose stay at Rochester should last just one start.

Twins (48-59)

Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Trevor Plouffe, 3B
Josh Willingham, LF
Kurt Suzuki, C
Kennys Vargas, 1B
Chris Colabello, DH
Chris Parmelee, RF
Eduardo Escobar, SS

Logan Darnell, LHP

White Sox (53-56)

Adam Eaton, CF
Gordon Beckham, 2B
Jose Abreu, 1B
Paul Konerko, DH
Alexei Ramirez, SS
Conor Gilaspie. 3B
Tyler Flowers, C
Alejandro De Aza, LF
Moises Sierra, RF

Chris Sale, LH

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