In a switch, Hicks bats lefthanded on rehab assignment

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 23, 2014 - 11:51 AM

The Twins' Aaron Hicks, shown during spring training, will return to switch-hitting, meaning he will bat left-handed against right-handed pitchers.

Photo: Steven Senne, Associated Press file photo

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Ron Gardenhire’s opinion sounds more flippant than he meant it, but the manager made a good point about Aaron Hicks’ decision this weekend to return to switch-hitting.

“It’s his career,” Gardenhire said. “He’s got to decide what’s best for him.”

A month ago, Hicks decided that abandoning the lefthanded batter’s box was best, since he was batting only .182, with a .302 slugging percentage, against righthanded pitchers. But Saturday night during his rehab stint at Class AA New Britain, the outfielder decided to switch hit once more, a decision the Twins understand to be permanent. For now.

“Basically, he didn’t feel comfortable [batting] right-on-right,” Gardenhire said. “He wanted to bat lefthanded again. … I think it surprised most people down there.”

The Twins had suggested batting righthanded only, but General Manager Terry Ryan said he’s leaving it up to Hicks, 24. “It’s the right thing to do, to support the player. If he doesn’t have any confidence hitting from the right side against a righthanded pitcher, there’s no sense forcing the issue,” Ryan said. “So now we’ve got to get back to work on the left side.”

Stolen moments

Danny Santana had been successful on all six stolen base tries before Sunday, so when he was thrown out by Tyler Flowers in the sixth inning, he was understandably surprised. Actually, he didn’t believe it at all.

Santana stood on second base for more than 20 seconds after being called out, as though expecting umpire Andy Fletcher to come to his senses. Acting manager Terry Steinbach finally emerged from the dugout, just as Fletcher made a “go on, move it” gesture to Santana. As Steinbach walked toward the base, confirmation came from video specialist Sean Harlin that the call was correct. Close, but correct.

“I talked to Danny between innings, and said, ‘I just want you to know, I’ve got your back. But our people said you were out,” Steinbach said of the Dominican infielder. “I always give the guys the benefit of the doubt, because there is the language factor. I hope no one thinks he was trying to show the umpire up. Danny does not do that.”

Actually, Santana said, he assumed the Twins would challenge, so certain was he that Gordon Beckham’s tag was late. He said he had not seen a replay, but was informed that he really was out.

“They said close, close. Hard to tell,” Santana said. And what did the umpire tell him? “He just said, ‘Go walk around,’ ” he said.

Reliever on way out?

The Twins have discussed reducing the bullpen to seven relievers once more, instead of the eight they are carrying now, in order to add another position player to the bench. That means somebody could face demotion, trade or release Monday.

“I really don’t want to stay with that many pitchers for this road trip. We do have 20 games in a row coming up, but we can always go get a pitcher,” Gardenhire said. “I’d like to have an extra bench guy.”

But Ryan, who would have to decide which reliever to jettison, downplayed the idea. “We’re going to go day-by-day. We’ll see how this thing pans out,” Ryan said, pointing out that the Twins lineup has stabilized recently. “How much would [another bench player] play? Probably not much.”


• Third baseman Trevor Plouffe is not expected to require a rehab stint for his sore ribs and could join the team in Texas on Friday, if he is pain-free this week. He is eligible to come off the disabled list next Monday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 14 FINAL
Kansas City 41
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
NY Rangers 6
Toronto 0 FINAL
Detroit 3
Pittsburgh 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Nashville 0
Florida 4 FINAL
Dallas 5
Winnipeg 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Arizona 4 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM


Golden Gavel by Star Tribune

Time left for great deals

Bid thru Sept. 29




question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question


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