05/06/12 4:25 PM ET
Dozier to play at shortstop upon arrival
By Josh Liebeskind / MLB.com
On Sunday, acting manager Scott Ullger delved a little deeper into the impact the expected changes will have on Minnesota, including the assertion by manager Ron Gardenhire -- not on the trip to Seattle because of his daughter's graduation -- on his radio show that Dozier would play shortstop. Jamey Carroll has started all 27 games at shortstop.
"Well Gardy's the manager of the team and if he says he's going to play shortstop, he's going to play shortstop," Ullger said. "Jamey Carroll throughout his career has been a great utility man and he can play all three positions very well. It might be the case where he's one of those guys that plays every day, but a different position every day. Give other guys a chance to get a break and rest."
Dozier was an eighth-round pick by the Twins in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and is batting .276 with 12 RBIs in 28 games with Rochester this season.
"He's athletic, he's got a strong arm, I think he's a bright-enough kid to position himself correctly, he pays attention to the game, he knows who's pitching -- all those intangibles go hand-in-hand to being a good shortstop," Ullger said. "He showed us he can play in Spring Training and he was doing fine in Triple-A.
"I think there's a lot of pressure on anybody that comes to the big leagues. There is an expectation in performing. Obviously, I think he's a bright-enough kid, a mature-enough kid that he can handle it. Hopefully he can handle it, but there is pressure on him, just like any kid that comes up."
Ullger recognized Carroll's defensive importance to the Twins, noting he probably saved the game Friday by knocking down a ground ball up the middle to keep a run from scoring. But at 38 years old, a few days off could do Carroll some good.
"Defensively, he's played very, very well," Ullger said. "I think that with his age, and he can use days off. Dozier will allow Gardy to do that."
Twins with chance for series victory in Seattle
SEATTLE -- If winning games has been difficult for Minnesota this season, taking a series has been that much harder.
The Twins have won just one series this season, and it came all the way back on April 9-12 against the Angels. Sunday against the Mariners, Minnesota has its first opportunity to win a series since it fell short in a 7-6 decision to the Yankees on April 19.
"It would be a shot in the arm, really," acting manager Scott Ullger said. "We haven't had a chance to do that since probably New York came out, split the series. That's what your goal is throughout the course of the season: to win series. We have a chance we haven't had in a long time, and it really would give you a shot in the arm."
A bit of offense would help the Twins take the series, although they've been lacking just that for quite awhile. Heading into Sunday's tilt with the Mariners, the Twins were hitting just .113 on their road trip, which covers a span of five games. Unfortunately for Minnesota, the answer to the woes isn't so obvious.
"It's just a matter of consistently having good at-bats and hopefully get a couple guys hot and so they can be contagious," infielder Jamey Carroll said. "I think it's just as contagious the other way around. When you're not hitting well as a team, you're trying to be the guy to get things started. So it's kind of a cycle both ways. But if there were a definite answer, I'm sure it would be out there and everybody would know."
The Twins will recall infielder Brian Dozier from Triple-A Rochester on Monday to take the place of Justin Morneau when the first baseman officially heads to the disabled list, and assistant general manager Rob Antony hopes he can provide some sort of spark to the offense.
"Everybody out there is struggling, not swinging the bats well," he said. "So you're just looking for a situation hopefully Brian can come up -- we're not looking for him to come in and be a savior -- but hopefully he can come up and do what he did in Spring Training and do what he's done the first month of the season at Rochester."
After being one-hit Saturday by the Mariners, the Twins have accumulated just nine hits in their past four games. That is the fewest amount of hits in a four-game span in modern Major League history. The Angels (1963) and Reds (1993) had the previous low with 10 hits in a four-game span.
The Twins have not hit a home run since Trevor Plouffe went deep April 27. The 14 home runs by the Twins is the second-lowest by a team, slightly higher than the Padres (12).