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.

Some post game notes

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: March 11, 2010 - 10:03 PM

Twins righthander Scott Baker, on the Twins' offense:

``We got speed. We got power. We got it all.'' he said.

It's early in camp but the Twins' bats have been impressive. They pounded out 17 hits while beating the O's 8-3.

Michael Cuddyer homered.

Juan Portes, who can hit but isn't strong defensively, hit his third homer of the spring and is 7-for-10 so far.

Denard Span has reached base in the first inning in all five games he's played in. He singled in the first on Thursday, stole second on the next pitch and scored on Joe Mauer's single for the first run of the game.

Baker threw three scoreless innings, but the story was Francisco Liriano.

Liriano threw most of his fastballs at 91 mph. One touched 93. This prompted a follower on my twitter account to ask where was the 95-97 fastball and 87-89 slider from winter ball.

I replied: AND THAT'S WHY YOU DON'T BELIEVE THE GUN READINGS FROM WINTER BALL BECAUSE ALL THE VELO DOESN'T MAKE IT THROUGH IMMIGRATION!!!!!

Actually, there's a chance that Liriano will add some mph before spring training is over, so I must correct myself. (The follower on twitter then questioned the radar gun readings, OK., whatever).

The big deal was Liriano's slider. It's hard to see the full break from the pressbox, so I try to see how it affects swings. And Liriano changed a few swings on Thursday while striking out three batters.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire feels that Liriano has his confidence (mojo?) back.

``This game is all about confidence,'' Gardenhire said. ``Last year, he had lost his confidence. He had questioned himself and what pitch to throw.

(Now) he feels really good and the ball is coming out of his hand and he has confidence,''
 

That's all for tonight. Storms predicted for tomorrow. We'll see if we get the game in. 

 

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