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The Twins have finally had enough of Brian Dozier

Aug 14, 2012, 11:43 PM EDT

Brian Dozier Getty Images

Shortstop Brian Dozier got the bad news after riding the pine for the second straight game Tuesday; the Twins sent him down and called up Pedro Florimon following the loss to the Tigers.

The timing is decidedly odd. There was plenty of reason to send Dozier down a month and a half ago — I even wrote an entry calling for it — but his play had improved a bit since. He was hitting .225/.249/.306 and had committed 11 errors in 45 games as of my writing. In 39 games since, he hit .245/.297/.364 with six errors.

Obviously, that’s still not the kind of performance the Twins were hoping for, but since it’s mid-August and rosters expand in 16 days anyway, it’s hard to tell what Minnesota’s motivation was here, unless maybe there was an off-the-field situation that factored into the thinking.

The switch certainly has nothing to do with Florimon’s performance. He’s hit .231/.274/.295 in 78 at-bats since the All-Star break for Triple-A Rochester, which is even worse than his overall .251/.308/.345 line in 307 at-bats for the season. He’ll be an upgrade defensively over Dozier, but he’s never going to hit. Odds are that he’ll serve as the backup to Jamey Carroll at shortstop.

  1. jashton11 - Aug 14, 2012 at 11:52 PM

    The timing might have something to do with this defensive play against the Rays in the 10th inning on Sunday:

    That was a big mental lapse that ultimately cost the Twins the game. Gardenhire seemed to spend a lot of time talking to him after the inning was over.

    • Cris E - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      The timing has to do with Florimon. He would have been up a week ago instead of the lamented Nishioka, but he was hurt at the time. Nishi came up, suuuucked, and when the team was ready to try something else Florimon was healthy and available. Congrats Pedro.

      Also, Dozier is just getting sent down for a tune up. The Twins do this all the time with any of their young players who get away from their game after a time in the big leagues. It was Revere for a while, it’s been a bunch of pitchers, Parmalee has his act together again (and how!) and the players believe it because they get called back up in a timely manner. Dozier is getting the trip to Rochester for his bat as much as his glove, and he’ll be back in Sept.

  2. Ben - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:01 AM

    They called up who?
    I’m a Twins fan. Not a casual fan; I pay attention to the minors and to depth charts. I was stumped, so I pulled up the ever handy Baseball Prospectus Annual Player Comments for Pedro Florimon for 2011 (he wasn’t even listed in the 2012 edition):

    In an act of pathological optimism, the Orioles placed Pedro Florimon Jr. on their 40-man roster and kept him there all year. A supposed defensive whiz despite a .937 fielding percentage in nearly 500 career games, Florimon’s chances of hitting enough to stick in the major leagues are about the same as that of an elephant mating with your tabby and producing a pachycat with whiskers and a trunk who answers to the name, “Mr. Jumbo Muffin-Paws.”

    Oh. So that’s why I’ve never heard of him. Ugh.

    • stex52 - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:28 AM

      I’m going to be the rest of the day getting that image out of my head. No thanks to you. :-)

    • greymares - Aug 15, 2012 at 8:52 AM

      I watched Florimon this week live in a series against the Iron Pigs (Phillies) although he made some excellent defensive plays he didn’t have a clue with the bat.

    • stlouis1baseball - Aug 15, 2012 at 11:31 AM

      Yeah really. Thanks Ben. Thanks alot.

  3. randallmyhandle - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    In the preseason, the Twins Homers said he is “going to be the next big thing.”

  4. captainmcallister - Aug 15, 2012 at 12:12 AM

    During the game, Bremer and Blyleven defended Dozier’s decision to go to first, saying something to the effect of “it was the only play he had”. Looked to me he could have tried to get the out at the plate, or at least tried to turn two.

    They must want to see Florimon play at the big league level. Too bad Parmalee can’t play SS.

  5. rooney24 - Aug 15, 2012 at 10:49 AM

    I think it was to send a message to Dozier. He has stayed in the majors all season mostly due to lack of better options. But, he needed the message that he isn’t above being sent down. I wouldn’t be surprised if they left him in the minors for a bit and didn’t bring him up immediately when rosters expand. If they leave him down the finish out the minor league season and only bring him up later, it could be to send a message.
    I think that he will be back and could be a part of the Twins future. Some guys don’t get it their first time up. The first time Ben Revere came up, he looked totally lost. Last year was better, but still probably replacement level or below, and now this year, he is a solid (not spectacular) player. Trevor Plouffe also nearly burned up all of his chances before figuring something out a couple months into this year. Dozier may never be a star, but could develop into at least a solid, starting player.

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