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.
One thing we couldn't understand about the Brian Fuentes' deal with Anaheim: How did the Twins get awarded the waiver claim to work out the deal in the first place?
The Twins had a better record than the Rangers and the White Sox, teams that might need a pitcher like Fuentes even more than the Twins. Especially the White Sox.
Chicago has been worried about Bobby Jenks and J.J. Putz for a couple weeks, which should have had them all over the waiver wire. Jenks stayed off the DL by pitching well during a bullpen session at Target Field when the Sox last visited. Putz, if Twins' fans remember, was visited by the trainer during an outing against the Twins that week.
Putz landed on the DL with a sore right knee. Thornton developed a sore elbow and was DL'd too.
They called up promising lefty Erick Threets to replace Thornton - he had been disabled with turf toe.
This really makes Chicago's challenge even tougher. They are clinging to playoff hopes with a very inexperienced bullpen - and games against the Twins,.Yankees and Red Sox left (although Boston is drowing in injuries too).