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
Minnesota «00201000611140
Kansas City0011010005121
@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:A.Swarzak(3-1) L:B.Chen(2-4)
HR: MIN- None KAN- A.Gordon (17)


Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Arrieta 2 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: D. Axelrod 7
NY Yankees - LP: S. Kelley 2 FINAL
Detroit - WP: P. Coke 3
Colorado - LP: J. Lyles 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: Y. Petit 4
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: A. Miller 5
Atlanta - WP: M. Minor 6 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: J. Niese 1
Cleveland - WP: C. Carrasco 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Danks 2
Minnesota - WP: A. Swarzak 11 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: B. Chen 5
Texas - LP: R. Mendez 2 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 4
Oakland 3 Bottom 8th Inning
LA Angels 3
Atlanta 24 FINAL
Jacksonville 14
Detroit 23 FINAL
Buffalo 0
Indianapolis 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 35
Kansas City 14 FINAL
Green Bay 34
Philadelphia 37
St. Louis 13 FINAL
Miami 14
Carolina 10 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
New England 13 FINAL
NY Giants 16
Washington 24 FINAL
Tampa Bay 10
Baltimore 22 FINAL
New Orleans 13
Chicago 13 FINAL
Cleveland 33
Denver 27 FINAL
Dallas 3
Minnesota 19 FINAL
Tennessee 3
San Francisco 40 FINAL
Houston 13
Arizona 9 FINAL
San Diego 12
Seattle 24 4th Qtr 6:36
Oakland 38
(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 34 4th Qtr 10:35
Washington St 31
Weber State 7 3rd Qtr 4:48
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 21 3rd Qtr 9:43
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 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
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
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
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
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
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
(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
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
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
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

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

Weekly Question