Trying to break slump, Twins' Arcia works to remain in control

His tendency to take monster cuts helped send him into a long slump.


The Twins' Oswaldo Arcia talked to the plate umpire after striking out against Seattle in the fourth inning Monday. Arcia went 2-for-3 with a double, but the Twins lost 2-0.

Photo: Elaine Thompson, Associated Press

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– It was a swing Oswaldo Arcia hopes to repeat frequently the rest of the season.

With runners on first and second Sunday, Arcia recognized David Robertson’s slider and was able to lift it over the infield and into right field for an RBI single.

“I was thinking, ‘maybe no fastball,’ ” Arcia said. “I was ready for the slider and he threw the slider.”

Arcia didn’t overswing, taking a nice smooth cut that produced results. If he is going to climb out of the hole he is in right now, he is going to have to take better at-bats, like he did on his ninth-inning RBI single in the Twins’ 9-7 loss to the Yankees on Sunday.

Don’t be mistaken, the burly Arcia can hit baseballs a long way. But the 23-year-old is trying to repair his season, so he is cutting down on the murderous swings for now.

He needed to. He was 2-for-4 Sunday, his first multi-hit game since June 11. And he added two more hits Monday, going 2-for-3 with a double in the Twins’ 2-0 loss to the Mariners. But in the 19 games between June 11 and Sunday, he batted .127 with one home run and four RBI, and Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sat him down a few games, worried that his young hitter was getting too frustrated.

“You can work as hard as you want to, but you’re still going to be frustrated if you don’t see any results,” Gardenhire said. “We need his confidence to rising and get some hit. To put a couple balls on the grass in the outfield is huge. It shows his hard work is starting to pay off.”

Arcia was one of a handful of players on the field before Monday night’s game against Seattle for extra batting practice. He has been working with hitting coach Tom Brunansky to hold his hands higher, the belief being that it will help him get the bat head out with a more level swing than he had during his slump.

While swinging an air bat, Arcia said: “When my hands are down, my swing is up. I work every day with Bruno. I feel good and see the ball better.”

Arcia debuted last season, batting .251 with 14 home runs and 43 RBI. The Twins hoped he would take a leap forward this season, but that leap landed him on the disabled list because of a right wrist sprain that cost him 33 games. He had some success once he rejoined the lineup, but he went into a tailspin the second half of June.

After his two hits Monday, he is batting .224 with five home runs and 18 RBI in 41 games. But for a team that needs offense badly, Arcia has failed to carry his weight.

“When you start chasing balls out of the zone and they start working you over and start carving people up then you start losing confidence,” Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. “All Arcia has to do is get a pitch he can handle.”

Ryan has worried about Arcia keeping his confidence up and believes going back to some of the basics will help him turn his season around.

“I can see him swinging himself out of the funk as long as he addresses the strike zone and handles the strike zone,” Ryan said. “He’s not going to swing himself out of the mess without swinging at strikes.

“As with any hitter, you gotta swing at strikes it you expect to hit for average, on base percentage and all that stuff. [And] there nothing wrong with a walk.”

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@Ballpark Replay
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
W:J.Burton(3-5) L:K.Crockett(4-1)
HR: CLE- M.Brantley (20) MIN- O.Arcia (19), K.Vargas (9)


Los Angeles - WP: C. Kershaw 14 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: E. Jackson 5
Boston - WP: J. Tazawa 5 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: D. O`Day 3
Milwaukee - LP: J. Broxton 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Holdzkom 4
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: H. Kuroda 5
Washington - WP: D. Fister 3 FINAL
Miami - LP: T. Koehler 2
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Quintana 4 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Hellickson 3
NY Mets - WP: Z. Wheeler 5 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: J. Teheran 0
Cleveland - LP: K. Crockett 4 FINAL
Minnesota - WP: J. Burton 5
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 10 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 10 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Peacock 5
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: J. Lyles 15
Cincinnati - LP: D. Holmberg 1 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: J. Lackey 2
Philadelphia - LP: D. Buchanan 1 FINAL
Oakland - WP: J. Lester 3
Texas - WP: L. Bonilla 12 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Santiago 3
San Francisco - LP: T. Hudson 0 FINAL
San Diego - WP: O. Despaigne 5
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
(5) Auburn 20 FINAL
(20) Kansas State 14
Connecticut 14 FINAL
So Florida 17
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:00 AM
NC State
Duke 9/27/14 2:00 AM
North Carolina 9/27/14 2:00 AM
(22) Clemson
Colorado 1 FINAL
Real Salt Lake 5
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
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