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05/28/08 10:16 PM ET
Fielding drills await Twins in Minnesota
Gardenhire schedules pitchers' fielding practice for team
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
KANSAS CITY -- Every once in a while, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire believes it's good for a team to get a reminder of the fundamentals. For the Twins right now, that means a return to regular pitchers' fielding practice (PFP) sessions. That need for PFP was emphasized recently by some mistakes by the Twins pitching staff. The club's pitchers recorded four errors in 10 days prior to their series at Kansas City. That led Gardenhire to request a session of PFP when the club returns home on Friday for the start of a seven-game homestand. "We think we have very good fielding pitchers -- I know we do," Gardenhire said. "But that doesn't mean you can forget about it. You continue to work on it. We have to be better than that." Gardenhire said that he talked with pitching coach Rick Anderson during Spring Training about doing more PFP this season, perhaps every other homestand. It's a Spring Training ritual that often gets lost in the regular season. The Twins aren't the only team to turn their focus back to fundamentals. The Royals were out on the field at Kauffman Stadium by about 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday afternoon to take part in PFP. It was a session that had been previously scheduled and had nothing to do with Kansas City's nine-game losing streak, Royals manager Trey Hillman said. But Gardenhire said that sometimes an event like PFP is just what a scuffling team needs. "As a manager, you try different ways to get their minds off the losses and you turn your attention to things that you can control," Gardenhire said. "By doing some PFP and working on infield drills, you try to take their minds away from where they're at -- win, win, win and pressure, pressure, pressure. You have to do something to take their minds off the continuous losses."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.