Twins' Willingham gets mental break

hide

Twins left fielder Josh Willingham

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Twins outfielder Josh Willingham, his batting average plummeting and his frustration building, did not start Sunday’s game against Boston.

Willingham finished April batting .250. In May, he is batting .132 with a .208 slugging percentage. He has not homered in 75 plate appearances. Overall, he’s batting .198 with five home runs and 18 RBI. At the same point last year, Willingham was batting .298 with eight homers and 24 RBI.

He was visibly frustrated after a couple of his at-bats during Saturday’s game against the Red Sox, so manager Ron Gardenhire decided it was time to give Willingham a mental break.

“He was a little fired up [Saturday night],” Gardenhire said. “I haven’t seen that out of him too often. So take a break.”

The break didn’t last. Willingham struck out in a pinch-hit appearance Sunday, and a Dustin Pedroia hit bounced off his glove and over the left field fence.

With Willingham struggling, Justin Morneau has been moved up to third in the batting order.

Dozier adjusts

Gardenhire praised Brian Dozier’s defense as second base but also pointed out that the second-year infielder is hitting the ball into the air a little too much.

Dozier is batting .128 over his past 10 games, so hitting coach Tom Brunansky has been working with Dozier on making some mechanical adjustments that the Twins hope will lead to more line drives.

Gardenhire was encouraged by what he has seen from Dozier in batting practice.

“We know the kid can hit,” Gardenhire said. “He just has to carry it into the game.”

Jamey Carroll, swinging a hot bat recently, started at second on Sunday. Gardenhire indicated that Dozier would be back in the starting lineup soon.

Suited for NL action

Twins pitchers have taken batting practice and worked on their baserunning in preparation for the interleague series at Atlanta this week. But it just so happens that the Twins’ three scheduled starters are imports from the National League — Kevin Correia, Mike Pelfrey and Vance Worley.

“That’s strategy,” Gardenhire joked.

Pelfrey is a career .098 hitter with no homers, 13 RBI, and 24 sacrifice hits. Worley is batting .153 with no homers, seven RBI and nine sacrifice hits. Correia is batting .116 with no homers, 12 RBI and 41 sacrifice hits.

“They know what they are doing,” Gardenhire said. “They can handle the bats. … Not as much of an experience for them as it is for guys who have been in our league.”

Gibson strong again

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Final123456789RHE
Minnesota000000100140
Baltimore «00053100X970
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:M.Gonzalez(7-7) L:T.May(0-4)
HR: MIN- T.Plouffe (11) BAL- D.Young (7), C.Davis (24)

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Toronto 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
NY Mets 4
Boston 8 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Atlanta 2
Cleveland 4 Top 6th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Bottom 4th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 7 Bottom 5th Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
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
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 28 4th Qtr 13:41
Connecticut 7
(6) Jacksonville St 7 3rd Qtr 6:00
(8) Michigan State 38
Bowling Green 10 3rd Qtr 11:24
Western Ky 38
TX-San Antonio 7 2nd Qtr
Houston 0
Colorado State 0 2nd Qtr 15:00
Colorado 7
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 0 1st Half 28:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 3 12:33
Montreal 13
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close