Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

Follow Randball on Twitter

Thursday (Calling out Aaron Hicks) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Target Field, Twins fans Updated: May 15, 2014 - 9:52 AM

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and assistant GM Rob Antony publicly called out centerfielder Aaron Hicks for poor production and work habits before Wednesday's game, creating a story for us all.

It was a continuation of a new tough-love theme with the Twins this season, who quickly have dispatched players who are underperforming and attempted to create less of a country club environment. The net gain in talent can be debated, but there at least seems to be more fight, at least, on a game-to-game basis.

Hicks is a tricky situation, of course, because the Twins cannot just send him to Rochester unless someone wants to watch Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello, Chris Parmelee Oswaldo Arcia or a middle infielder patrol the vast expanses of center at Target Field, at least until Sam Fuld returns from a concussion.

Nobody wants to see that.

So instead, the Twins played a rare Public Rip card. It's hard to remember the last time the Twins made such a concerted effort to out someone in this fashion. Sure, Gardenhire will take a jab at a player or two for particular in-game mistakes, but this was something else entirely.

The Twins let us know that Hicks sometimes shows up without knowing who that day's starting pitcher is, which is a particularly galling notion. The numbers suggest what the Twins suggest: that Hicks is a man without a plan. His numbers across the board are pretty dreadful in a short career, but these two figures stick out:

With two strikes on him, Hicks has 23 hits in 209 official career at-bats. He only has 365 at-bats, so he is getting two strikes on him close to three out of every five times at the plate. That's either a man with a poor plan, a man with too many holes in his swing, or both.

Almost as galling: He has just 25 hits in 123 at-bats when he is ahead in the count. Again, that's either a man with a poor plan, a man with too many holes in his swing, or both -- since it suggests he is unable to sit on a pitch he expects and drive it.

Maybe expectations are too high. A glance at his career minor league numbers suggests a patient hitter who strikes out a lot, but his output does not jump off the page. Comparing Hicks to Torii Hunter and suggesting it could take a while to figure this all out is fine, but it's also hollow. Torii struggled, but he hit .255 and .280 in his two earliest seasons.

Whatever the case with Hicks, it appears the Twins have seen close to enough. He was 1 for 3 with a walk and two strikeouts last night. We will see if the message has been received, and how capable Hicks is when it comes to turning words into actions long-term.

Final123456789RHE
Cleveland000010000150
Minnesota «00010201X481
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:P.Hughes(14-8) L:C.Kluber(13-7) S:G.Perkins (32)
HR: CLE- Z.Walters (4) MIN- K.Vargas (4)

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston - LP: D. Keuchel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: B. McCarthy 3
Cleveland - LP: C. Kluber 1 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: P. Hughes 4
Detroit - LP: D. Price 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: A. Cobb 1
Arizona - LP: O. Perez 0 FINAL
Washington - WP: R. Soriano 1
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 1 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 8 FINAL
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 0
LA Angels - WP: M. Shoemaker 2 FINAL
Boston - LP: R. De La Rosa 0
San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 3
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 1 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 2
Pittsburgh 21 FINAL
Philadelphia 31
Carolina 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:00 PM
ULM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Vanderbilt
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
Montreal 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Montreal
Winnipeg 8/31/14 2:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Washington 73 FINAL
Indiana 78
San Antonio 84 FINAL
Minnesota 88
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