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.

Twins-Pirates: Still no Hardy

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III under Twins Farm System Updated: March 18, 2010 - 11:11 AM

J..J. Hardy is missing a fifth straight game because of a `mild' quad strain - which makes you wonder how the Twins define, `mild.' Matt Tolbert starts at short.

Justin Morneau, however, has recovered from his hockey soreness and is back in the lineup, along with Jim Thome. Part of me believes that they were healthy enough to play but this is part of the Twins' plan to be careful with them.

Ben Revere is leading off and starting in center field. The Twins' No. 3 prospect (on the Neal Prospect List) is impressing in camp. I think he could be ready to contribute on the major league level with another half-season of seasoning.

By the way, Miguel Angel Sano, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco - the Twins' three big international signings last year - made their pro preseason debuts yesterday during a 8-0 exhibition win over Bethel. Sano played short and DH'd, going 2-for-3 with an RBI. Outfielder Kepler was 1-for-4 with a RBI and run scored and Polanco, who played short, was 1-for-3 with a RBI.

Joe C. has a big smile on his face today. Mrs. Joe C. and Baby C. are flying down today for a few days. Baby C. is 14 months old. It didn't hit me what was about to happen to the house we're staying in until a baby care rental van pulled up yesterday with a temporary crib, car seat, stroller and playpen. I'll be writing from home with background noise for a few days.



1. Ronny Cedeno, SS
2. Delwyn Young, 2B
3. Garrett Jones, RF
4. Jeff Clement, 1B
5. Lastings Milledge, LF
6. Brandon Moss, DH
7. Pedro Alvarez, 3B
8. John Raynor, CF
9. Jason Jaramillo, C

RHP Ross Ohlendorf


1. Ben Revere, CF
2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, C
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Jim Thome, DH
6. Michael Cuddyer, RF
7. Jacque Jones, LF
8. Brendan Harris, 3B
9. Matt Tolbert, SS
RHP Carl Pavano, with Jose Mijares, Clay Condrey, Anthony Swarzak and Kyle Waldrop to follow.


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