Twins' Hicks gives up on switch hitting

Aaron Hicks made it clear on Monday. His switch-hitting career is over. And it was his decision.

And Hicks’ name appeared in black on the lineup sheet in the Twins clubhouse before the game. Switch hitters are listed in blue, righthanded hitters in black.

“It’s confidence,” the center fielder said. “Definitely need confidence in this game.”

Hicks entered Monday batting .187 this season — .263 righthanded and .145 lefthanded. For his career, he was .227 as a righthanded hitter and .179 as a lefthanded hitter. The accumulation of failures as a lefthanded hitter led him to make a decision he said he had contemplated for some time.

“When you switch hit you have to worry about both sides,” Hicks said. “Now I’m just hitting righthanded. It is only one side I have to work on with certain stuff and do the same drills.”

Hicks looked awkward in his first at-bat against Rangers righthander Nick Tepesch in the second inning, striking out on breaking ball that was well off the plate. But Hicks came back with singles in his next two at-bats and finished 2-for-4 in the Twins’ 7-2 loss. He also was picked off first base after his first single; the Twins believe the umpires missed a balk by Tepesch on the play.

The biggest challenge for Hicks will be facing breaking pitches that are moving away from him instead of into him, which was the case when he batted lefthanded against righties.

“I saw a couple [breaking pitches],” he said. “It’s definitely different. It felt good today to actually see them.”

Hicks first phoned his agent, Joe Urbon, on Sunday night about dropping switch hitting. Urbon urged him to sleep on the subject and get back with him Monday. But Urbon then received a text from Hicks in the middle of the night. Hicks had made up his mind and was ready for change.

“It’s a combination of a lot of things,” Hicks said. “For me, all I want is to produce for my team and do all I can to help this team win. I feel this is a decision that’s going to do that.”

Urbon phoned Twins assistant General Manager Rob Antony on Monday. Ten minutes later, manager Ron Gardenhire phoned Antony to tell him Hicks had just informed him of the decision.

Shouldn’t this be happening in the minors and not in the middle of a major league season?

“If we were in a perfect world right now, we’d be able to send him down to let him do this at the Triple-A level, but he’s our center fielder,” Gardenhire said. “We need him out there. We don’t have a replacement right now.”

The replacement would be Sam Fuld, but he still is recovering from a concussion.

Buxton still on shelf

Twins outfield prospect Byron Buxton remains relegated to conditioning drills in Fort Myers, Fla., while his sprained left wrist heals. He initially sprained the wrist on March 16 during spring training, knocking him out until May 4. He reinjured the wrist on May 8 while sliding into home plate.

Etc.

• Texas stole two bases in as many attempts Monday. Opponents are running with ease against the Twins, going 24-for-27 in stolen base attempts this season.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Washington 102 FINAL
New York 91
Oklahoma City 114 FINAL
San Antonio 106
Cleveland 91 FINAL
Miami 101
LA Lakers 93 FINAL
Chicago 113
Golden State 86 FINAL
LA Clippers 100
DePaul 69 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 72
Ohio 58 FINAL
Nebraska 71
Colorado 66 FINAL
Hawaii 69
George Washington 60 FINAL
Wichita State 54
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins' offseason moves so far?

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