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.

Big Shooters on Friday

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System, Twins game coverage, Twins prospects Updated: March 5, 2010 - 10:02 AM

It's friggin' cold. O.K. enough of that. Let's get to a Joe Mauer update.

What we are hearing is that no deal is close  - there's still a ways to go before we can even write that there's light at the end of the tunnel.


Ron Shapiro, Mauer's agent, remains in Fort Myers this weekend and the sides remain in discussions about a contract extension for the defending AL MVP. Also heard that Twins GM Bill Smith cancelled an appearance in front of a group of fans who have traveled here from Mankato to attend, `a meeting' this afternoon,

Wish we could chisel some details from one of the sides as that what the holdups are. For now, all we are getting is that the sides are talking this weekend but Shapiro's appearance should not be read as a sign that a deal is close.

Stay tuned....

Here are the starting lineups:


Mike Cameron, CF

Bill Hall, RF

Victor Martinez, C

J.D. Drew, DH

Jed Lowrie, 2B

Lars Anderson, 1B

Ryan Kalish, LF

Yamarco Navarro, 3B

Jose Iglesias, SS

Jon Lester, LHP


Denard Span, CF

Orlando Hudson, 2B

Joe Mauer, C

Justin Morneau, 1B

Michael Cuddyer, RF

Jim Thome, DH

Delmon Young, LF

J.J. Hardy, SS

Danny Valencia, 3B

Carl Pavano, RHP,with Matt Guerrier. Jon Rauch, Clay Condrey and Rob Delaney among the scheduled relievers.

Couple minor league notes:

The Twins have signed righthander Yoslan Herrera to a minor league deal Herrera, 28, was 11-1 with a 3.23 ERA at Class AA Altoona and 1-1, 2.30 at Class AAA Indianapolis. A Cuban defector, Herrera signed with the Pirates for three-years and $1.9M in 2006.  Got five starts with the Pirates in 2008, going 1-1, 9.82.

Checked on Matt Bashore the 46th overall pick last year who was diagnosed with a torn ligament in his right elbow. He's rehabbed it and has been throwing bullpen sessions. Keep an eye on this. The Twins had similar issues with Pat Neshek and Loek Van Mil. Neshek ended up having surgery. Van Mil did not.



more twins blogs


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters