Hicks remains in leadoff spot despite early struggles

The first 35 at-bats of Aaron Hicks’ major league career had mostly been poor, leading to concerns that a young player like Hicks could get in his own head and make things worse.

While acknowledging that he doesn’t want to see outfielder Aaron Hicks “dig too deep of a hole,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire still penciled the rookie and his .057 batting average at the top of the lineup on Friday against the Mets.

The first 35 at-bats of Hicks’ major league career had mostly been poor, leading to concerns that a young player like Hicks could get in his own head and make things worse.

At this point, Gardenhire said he believes it would do more harm than good to move Hicks around in the batting order. Another factor: It’s not like a year ago, when Ben Revere could lead off when Denard Span wasn’t in the lineup. The Twins don’t have appealing leadoff options other than Hicks when Hicks is playing center.

“I won’t say there was no thought about it. We have kind of been mulling over everything,” Gardenhire said. “We want to do what’s best for our baseball team, and that would be for him to take off, get some hits and run with it.

“We want to protect him, too. We don’t want to get him mired in here too deep. It’s only 30-plus at-bats against some really good teams and the weather has not been conducive for anything. We’re going to give him a chance to right himself.”

Hicks said before Friday’s game that he’s trying not to press. He said he is going to continue to lead off games by working the count so his teammates can get an idea of what the opposing pitcher’s stuff is like that day. Gardenhire suggested that Hicks might have to go after fastballs earlier in the count and hit his way out of his slump.

“Right now I’m just trying to enjoy playing ball,” Hicks said. “It’s a long season. This isn’t going to be the only time I’m going to struggle. Just go about it every day as strong as I can and do what I can to help the team win.”

Gardenhire also spoke with Hicks about the play on Wednesday on which Hicks did not run hard on a pop-up that was dropped. “You have to go hard from the get-go,” Hicks said.

Field was ready

Twins head groundskeeper Larry DiVito and his staff put in extra shifts over the past two days to clear the field of snow and make it playable in time for Friday’s game.

“We were fortunate that [Thursday] night was just drizzle, then a little snow overnight and the snow stuck last night after we had to clear the outfield,” DiVito said. “Today is a pretty good day, for us overall.”

DiVito said they worked on the field until 11 p.m. Thursday and returned at 7 a.m. Friday. Most of the snow that fell over the last couple of days was melted by the underground heating system. The final three-fourths of an inch was knocked off by tractors that had PVC pipes attached to them.

DiVito usually heats the field to 62-64 degrees but turned the outfield up to 70 on Friday. And the field will remain heated throughout the weekend to make sure any snow that falls is melted.

Quite an effort.

“This was fun,” DiVito said. “This was a lot of work and the crew is tired, but this beats a concert any day. Concerts are the absolute worst thing that happens in here. It always will be every year, but it is part of the business.”

Etc.

• Righthander Cole De Vries, on the 15-day disabled list because of a flexor pronator strain, will try to play catch Saturday and see how his forearm feels.

• Righthander Tim Wood, on the 15-day DL because of a sore shoulder, pitched one inning in an extended spring training game Friday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 23 FINAL
Pittsburgh 30
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 98 FINAL
Cleveland 107
New Orleans 88 FINAL
Washington 84
Milwaukee 120 FINAL
New York 107
Philadelphia 88 FINAL
Brooklyn 99
Charlotte 114 FINAL
Atlanta 117
Sacramento 99 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Memphis 103 FINAL
Dallas 108
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Montreal 10/24/14 5:30 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 10/24/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
Hamilton 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Winnipeg

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Are you happy to see the Royals in the World Series?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close