Columnist | Minnesota Twins

A native of Chicago, La Velle has covered the Minnesota Twins since 1998. He also covered the Kansas City Royals for the Kansas City Star from 1995 through 1997. A graduate of the University of Illinois - Chicago, La Velle is a former president of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Buxton pitches Baldelli: Put me on playoff roster

Neal: Injured center fielder is "pushing day in and day out" trying to recover, and he'll work out this weekend in an attempt to prove he can play in the postseason on Tuesday.

Neal: Baldelli has choices to make — and here are five things he must do

The Twins need firepower in a three-game wild-card series. Here's what manager Rocco Baldelli should do with Byron Buxton, Joe Ryan and other when he sets the team's playoff roster.

Neal: The Twins manager managing twins needs some sleep

Cigars and champagne for Rocco this weekend. Congrats to the Baldellis, who may not see a decent night's sleep for several more weeks.

Neal: Trades with Twins helped revive Reds — but no regrets needed

The Twins traded away prospects for pitching, and now some of those prospects have put the Reds in the National League playoff race after being a 100-loss team last season.

Neal: Twins will win AL Central, and here's their optimal opponent ...

Breaking down four potential playoff opponents and landing on one particular team that the Twins could beat — and break their ugly postseason losing streak while they're at it.

Neal: Where did Duran's dominance go? It's trouble with the curve

Closer Jhoan Duran either no longer has a feel for his curveball, has lost confidence in it — or both. It's lead to inconsistency that makes other Twins bullpen topics secondary.

Neal: Saluting Walley and his punch that saved the Gophers

There were several playmakers for Minnesota in its comeback vs. Nebraska, including Justin Walley and his game-saving forced fumble.

Neal: Gophers fans. Are you ready for a mid-level bowl game this season?

Looking at a challenging schedule and knowing some of the issues that face the 2023 Gophers appears to lead the Gophers to a bowl bid — but not one of the glamour games. Here's why.

Neal: Kepler proved me wrong. Pagan proved me right. Here's why.

Max Kepler and Emilio Pagan had horrible starts to their Twins seasons. Many voices were asking for them to depart. The Twins kept both and those decisions are paying off now.

Neal: Concussion disrupted Mauer's career, Twins' trajectory 10 years ago

A decade ago, Twins catcher Joe Mauer's career was permanently altered by a foul ball to the mask. What could have been if he hadn't suffered that concussion?