Dozier outrunning demotion

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 3, 2012 - 11:34 PM

When the Twins promoted shortstop Brian Dozier from Class AAA Rochester on May 7, they did it with the hope he'd be in the big leagues to stay.

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Twins shortstop Brian Dozier completed a double play while avoiding the slide of Boston's Mike Aviles during the fourth inning Friday.

Photo: Winslow Townson, Associated Press

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BOSTON - When the Twins promoted shortstop Brian Dozier from Class AAA Rochester on May 7, they did it with the hope he'd be in the big leagues to stay.

According to team officials, they've had several internal discussions in recent weeks about sending Dozier back to Rochester. But it seems like every time he's close to a demotion, he comes up with a game like Thursday's, when he went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and made two nice defensive plays in a 5-0 victory at Fenway Park.

"We're looking for consistency in a lot of different areas," manager Ron Gardenhire said Friday. "His at-bats on an everyday basis, cutoffs, relays, defense, being in the right spots, some sloppy defense, sloppy errors.

"But he's a young player, and we know we're going to live with some of those things. We're always paying attention to those things and seeing what's right for our ballclub and what's right for the player.

"We evaluate that pretty much every day. He had a good night [Thursday]; let's see if he can do it again."

Dozier entered Friday batting .244 with a substandard .275 on-base percentage, along with five homers and 30 RBI. He also had 15 errors in 74 games at shortstop -- two more errors than he had last year over an entire minor league season.

"That's the biggest thing," Dozier said of his defense. "I know the hitting is going to turn around and all that stuff. I had a bad showing in the first half with defense.

"I'm not trying to make excuses -- that's all me. But at the same time, I'm starting to feel more comfortable out there. So it's starting to feel a little bit better."

Dozier's parents and some friends flew in from Mississippi for his first series at Fenway Park. He didn't disappoint Thursday, homering over the Green Monster.

"That's pretty cool, man," Dozier said. "That's one of the best feelings so far since I've been up here, to be honest with you, because of all the history and everything behind it."

Oliveros needs surgery

Lester Oliveros, the righthanded reliever the Twins received from the Tigers last year in the Delmon Young trade, needs season-ending surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

Oliveros, 24, made one appearance for the Twins this year and posted a 2.42 ERA in 32 combined appearances between Class AA and Class AAA.

"It's disappointing," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "If he had been healthy, he could have been a guy that could have been up here and had a chance to pitch out of the bullpen. He was throwing the ball very well."

Etc.

Trevor Plouffe is doubtful to join the Twins in Cleveland next week, after having more discomfort in his bruised right thumb while swinging a bat.

•The Twins now hope Carl Pavano is ready to begin his minor league rehabilitation assignment in the coming days, pitching in the Gulf Coast League. Pavano has been on the disabled list since June 2 because of weakness in his right rotator cuff.

Matt Capps is trying to regain strength in his right shoulder before beginning his throwing program, but Antony said he believes Capps will be pitching for the Twins again before season's end.

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