Brian Dozier said Saturday that he’s more than comfortable batting at the top of the order.
CHICAGO – Brian Dozier has become the new leadoff hitter now that Aaron Hicks has been moved to the bottom third of the batting order. It seems like a tough assignment for Dozier, who took his rookie lumps while batting .234 during a call-up last season.
He’s not really tearing the cover off of the ball right now, batting .209.
But Dozier said Saturday that he’s more than comfortable batting at the top of the order. He first batted leadoff while at Class A Fort Myers, then did it extensively at Class AA New Britain. He offered a glimpse of what he can do in that spot on Tuesday when he fought through a 10-pitch at-bat before flying out in the first inning.
He saw 19 pitches over his next four at-bats, drawing a walk and hitting two singles. In five plate appearances, Dozier saw 29 pitches.
On Saturday, Dozier popped out in two pitches, drew an eight-pitch walk, bunted for a single, struck out and fouled out. He saw 20 pitches in five plate appearances.
It’s not just about taking pitches, it’s about what happens when you swing the bat. And Dozier feels he’s in a better position to be a table-setter this season than last season.
“Absolutely,’’ he said, “because my whole approach has changed. Everything, as far as knowing what kind of hitter you are.’’
The Dodgers’ A.J. Ellis leads baseball in working a count, seeing 4.48 pitches per at-bat. Twins catcher Joe Mauer is second at 4.47.
The Twins hope Hicks can repair his approach enough to return to the leadoff spot. But if Dozier can have productive at-bats, it will be a boost to the offense.
“You do want to make him throw,’’ Dozier said, “but, at the same time, you don’t want to fall behind 0-2. Sometimes, if a guy has a good track record of the first pitch down the middle, you have to take your shot.
“That’s how my approach has changed.’’
Back to work
After an off day and two rainouts, the Twins played baseball on Saturday.
“Early All-Star break,’’ Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “I think everyone is rested.’’
There’s a belief that sinkerballers struggle with extra off days because they might be too well rested, overthrow and can’t get the baseball to sink. Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey, Scott Diamond and Kevin Correia all rely on sinkers, so this could be dangerous.
“I think it depends on pitcher to pitcher,’’ Gardenhire said.
That turned out to be true. Worley held the White Sox to one run over seven innings on Saturday.
|Cincinnati||0||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Minnesota||0||Top 6th Inning|
|NY Yankees||0||Top 7th Inning|
|Philadelphia||1||Bottom 7th Inning|
|Boston||8||Top 5th Inning|
|Miami||0||Bottom 4th Inning|
|Cleveland||2||Top 3rd Inning|
|Detroit||0||Bottom 2nd Inning|
|Texas||1||Top 3rd Inning|
|Chicago Cubs||1||Top 3rd Inning|
|Colorado - C. Bergman||8:40 PM|
|Arizona - J. Collmenter|
|Oakland - J. Lester||9:05 PM|
|LA Angels - J. Weaver|
|Los Angeles - D. Haren||9:10 PM|
|San Diego - A. Cashner|
|Washington - J. Zimmermann||9:10 PM|
|Seattle - F. Hernandez|
|Milwaukee - W. Peralta||9:15 PM|
|San Francisco - R. Vogelsong|
|Green Bay||9/4/14 7:30 PM|
|(21) Texas A&M||52||FINAL|
|(9) So Carolina||28|
|(18) Ole Miss||35|
|(19) Arizona State||45|
|(6) Jacksonville St||0||2nd Qtr 2:04|
|(8) Michigan State||35|
|Bowling Green||0||2nd Qtr 8:09|
|TX-San Antonio||8:00 PM|
|Colorado State||8:00 PM|
|Penn State||8/30/14 7:30 AM|
|Troy||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|(7) UCLA||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Western Mich||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|(5) Ohio State||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Appalachian St||8/30/14 11:00 AM|
|Ga Southern||8/30/14 11:30 AM|
|Boston College||8/30/14 2:00 PM|
|West Virginia||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Rice||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|(17) Notre Dame|
|(10) South Dakota St||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Fla Atlantic||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|California||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|Marshall||8/30/14 2:30 PM|
|UC Davis||8/30/14 3:00 PM|
|Arkansas||8/30/14 3:00 PM|
|(16) Clemson||8/30/14 4:30 PM|
|Liberty||8/30/14 5:00 PM|
|(23) North Carolina|
|Ohio U||8/30/14 5:00 PM|
|Louisiana Tech||8/30/14 6:00 PM|
|Idaho||8/30/14 6:00 PM|
|Stephen F Austin||8/30/14 6:10 PM|
|(20) Kansas State|
|Fresno State||8/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Southern Miss||8/30/14 6:30 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|North Texas||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|(1) Florida State||8/30/14 7:00 PM|
|(14) Wisconsin||8/30/14 8:00 PM|
|South Dakota||8/30/14 9:30 PM|
|(25) Washington||8/30/14 9:30 PM|
|Utah State||8/31/14 6:00 PM|
|SMU||8/31/14 6:30 PM|
|Miami-Florida||9/1/14 7:00 PM|
|Arizona||9/4/14 7:00 PM|
|Pittsburgh||9/5/14 6:00 PM|
|Washington St||9/5/14 9:30 PM|
|Houston||0||1st Half 28:00|
|Sporting Kansas City||0|
|Winnipeg||8/31/14 3:00 PM|
|Toronto||9/1/14 12:00 PM|
|Edmonton||9/1/14 3:30 PM|
|Brt Columbia||9/5/14 6:30 PM|
|Calgary||9/6/14 6:00 PM|
|Hamilton||9/7/14 12:00 PM|
|Saskatchewan||9/7/14 3:00 PM|
Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?