8/13/2013 8:22 P.M. ET
Timing improved, Dozier takes off in second half
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- After a slow start to the season, Brian Dozier has been heating up in the second half and now ranks near the top among second baseman in extra-base hits this season.
With a leadoff homer against the Indians on Monday, Dozier has 41 extra-base hits entering Tuesday, which ranks fourth among Major League second baseman. Only the Cardinals' Matt Carpenter (50), the Indians' Jason Kipnis (45) and the Yankees' Robinson Cano (44) have more.
Dozier, who is hitting .275/.330/.560 in 21 games since the All-Star break, ranks second on the team in homers with 12, while leading the team with four triples and ranking third with 25 doubles.
"I got in a big funk early in the year so I'm not really worried about numbers or where they're at or anything," said Dozier, who hit .235 in the first half of the season. "But I don't want to lose the fact of extra-base hits and home runs and stuff and not be just a singles hitter and leadoff hitter."
Dozier is on pace for 57 extra-base hits, which would rank as the second most among second basemen in Twins history behind only Chuck Knoblauch's total of 62 in 1996. He also has a chance to pass Tim Teufel's team record of 14 homers as a second baseman set in '84.
Dozier said his turnaround started in late May, when he worked with hitting coach Tom Brunansky to fix his timing.
"I was missing a lot of fastballs and getting under balls because I wasn't getting anything started," Dozier explained. "I was getting started late and it caused the barrel to drag. You lose power and everything when you do that. So if you correct one thing, everything kind of aligns itself. So for me, it was just getting my foot down and seeing the ball better. It allowed me draw more walks and hit for more power."
Report: Twins place improved Morneau on waivers
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, who was the subject of several trade rumors before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline, was reportedly placed on revocable waivers Monday.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan, however, wouldn't confirm that Morneau was placed on waivers, as the process is supposed to be confidential. But the waiver deadline for Morneau reportedly expires at noon CT on Wednesday, and Morneau must be offered to the other 29 teams in the reverse order of the current standings. MLB Network's Peter Gammons first reported the news.
If Morneau is claimed by a team, the two clubs have 48 hours to work out a deal. But the Twins also could decide to let the claiming team take Morneau and the rest of his 2013 salary without a return, or pull him back off waivers, which means he wouldn't be able to be traded to any team.
But if Morneau, who is making $14 million this season in the last year of his six-year, $80 million contract, clears waivers and isn't claimed by another club, the Twins are free to trade him to any team this season.
Morneau, 32, has turned it around in August after struggling in July. He enters Tuesday's game against Cleveland hitting .269 with six homers, three doubles and 14 RBIs in 12 games this month.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he heard reports about Morneau being on waivers and doesn't think it will affect his performance.
"It just gets out there," Gardenhire said. "There's so many people getting run through waivers now. It's just part of the year here. We understand that this was probably going to happen. It happens to pretty much all our players and everybody else's players. Hopefully, he'll keep moving forward. He's playing good and feeling good, so hopefully he'll go from there."
Twins acquire lefty prospect Sulbaran from Dodgers
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins acquired left-hander Miguel Sulbaran from the Dodgers on Tuesday to complete the July 31 trade of catcher Drew Butera.
Sulbaran, ranked as the Dodgers' No. 14 overall prospect by MLB.com, posted a 3.01 ERA with 85 strikeouts, 27 walks and three homers allowed in 92 2/3 innings with Class A Great Lakes this year.
The 19-year-old has a career 3.21 ERA in three seasons in the Minors since being signed as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2011. The 5-foot-10 lefty possesses a low-90s fastball as well as a curveball, slider and changeup.
"He's had a pretty good year so far," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We had a list of a couple guys and wanted to take him. He's holding his own in the Midwest League, which is a good sign."
Sulbaran, who is one of the youngest pitchers in the Midwest League, is scheduled to report to Class A Cedar Rapids, where the Twins already have seven top-ranked prospects.