Twins option Dozier, select contract of Florimon
MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins shook up their middle infield after Tuesday’s 8-4 loss to the Tigers, as they optioned rookie shortstop Brian Dozier to Triple-A Rochester and selected the contract of infielder Pedro Florimon from Rochester.
Dozier, 25, hit .234/.271/.332 with six homers and 33 RBIs in 84 games since being recalled from Rochester on May 7. He also was tied for the lead among American League shortstops with 15 errors.
“He’s a kid who’s been up here, and he’s battled through this year,” Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. “He’s had his good days, he’s had his tough days, and basically he just needs to go down and play every day. He’s got to work on his defense. There’ve been certain things that he needs to work on — cut-offs, positioning, that type of thing.
“But he also needs to be a little more consistent offensively. He’ll have some good games, but he gives away too many at-bats. He needs to be a little bit more consistent, and I think he’s taking too many defensive swings. It’s just an opportunity for him to go down, relax, get his confidence back, play every day, and work his way back up here.”
Dozier, the Twins’ Minor League Player of the Year last season, said he wasn’t exactly surprised by the move because he hasn’t been hitting like he did before his callup, as he’s a career .305/.379/.416 hitter in four seasons in the Minors.
“I’d have sent me down because I haven’t been playing the way I know how to play, and that I’m capable of doing,” Dozier said. “I know what I’m capable of, especially being up here for a few months now. I know my style of my game and everything, and I think it’ll be fine. Just get back down there and work hard and get a few things ironed out.”
Dozier’s last game came Sunday, when he threw to first base on a slow roller hit to him at shortstop with the bases loaded and one out in the 10th inning. Dozier played it safe on the play and got an out but it allowed the go-ahead run to score in an eventual 7-3 loss.
But Antony said the move had nothing to do with the play, as it was not based on his recent play but on his overall body of work.
“I think it was a lot longer process,” Antony said. “We really were trying to be patient because we know with a young player and a rookie, he’s going to have his ups and downs. But it just got to the point where we felt it was better for him rather than continue to battle through it up here to go down to Rochester to try to get his game in order.”
Florimon, meanwhile, is known more for his defense up the middle. The 25-year-old hit .251/.308/.354 in 82 games with Rochester.
“He’s done a terrific job defensively,” Antony said. “He’s hitting .251, so he’s not hitting a ton. But at the same time, he’s done a very, very good job defensively. He’s improved a lot offensively over the course of last year to this year.”