6/26/2014 2:07 A.M. ET
Dozier building resume worthy of All-Star spot
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
ANAHEIM -- Brian Dozier has emerged as one of baseball's top second basemen and could very well represent the Twins on their home field in the All-Star Game on July 15.
But Dozier, who currently ranks fifth among American League second basemen in the latest ballot update released Sunday, said he's trying his best not to think about it just yet.
Dozier certainly has a worthy resume, as his 3.3 WAR (Wins Above Replacement), leads all Major League second basemen and ranks just ahead of the Detroit's Ian Kinsler's 3.0 WAR, according to Fangraphs.com. Among traditional statistics, Dozier also leads all second basemen with 15 homers and 59 runs scored. He also ranks third in RBIs (43), stolen bases (15) and OPS (.826).
"It is still early but it would be cool," Dozier said. "But I don't play this game for individual goals or accomplishments. I play to win. I feel like each and every day you play that kind of stuff like the All-Star appearances take care of themselves. But at the same time, if it does happen it would be a cool accomplishment, especially this year at Target Field. It would mean a lot."
Dozier said he feels more comfortable stumping for his teammates to make the All-Star Game, including catcher Kurt Suzuki, who also ranks among the top five in his position in the balloting for the Midsummer Classic.
"I think a lot of guys are deserving and I think Suzuki is a guy I'd like behind the plate more than anyone in baseball," Dozier said. "The way he calls games and the picking he's been doing behind the plate, that stuff gets overlooked over the stuff he's been doing with the bat. He's one of the best catchers in baseball."
Fans can cast their votes for starters at MLB.com and all 30 club sites -- online or on a mobile device -- using the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Ballot Sponsored by Experian until Thursday, July 3, at 10:59 p.m. CT. The 2014 All-Star Game will be played at Target Field on Tuesday, July 15.
Fans may submit up to 25 online ballots, but they can also earn a one-time bonus of 10 additional online ballots. To access these additional online ballots, you must be logged into your MLB.com account when you submit any online ballot. If you do not have an MLB.com account, register on the site in accordance with the enrollment instructions for a free MLB.com account.
Fans this year once again can participate in the Home Run Derby Fan Poll. Fans will have the opportunity to select three players in each league who they would most like to see participate in the Home Run Derby. The 2014 Home Run Derby will be broadcast live on ESPN, ESPN HD, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Radio in the United States beginning at 7 p.m. CT on Monday, July 14.
The 2014 AL and National League All-Star teams will be unveiled on the 2014 MLB All-Star Game Selection Show on July 6, with further details to follow on MLB.com. Immediately following the announcement of the AL and NL All-Star rosters, fans can begin voting to select the final player for each league's 34-man roster via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote Sponsored by Experian. Fans will cast their votes from a list of five players from each league over the balloting period.
And the voting doesn't end there. The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again have fans participating in the voting for the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com via the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Santana exits game with knee soreness
ANAHEIM -- Rookie shortstop Danny Santana left Wednesday's game against the Angels in the third inning with left knee soreness after doubling to center field. He's day to day.
Santana doubled on a 1-2 fastball from right-hander Garrett Richards but said he twisted his left knee while running from first to second. He was visited at second base by manager Ron Gardenhire and head trainer Dave Pruemer and had to be taken out of the game.
The initial tests were encouraging for Santana, who will be evaluated further Thursday morning. He's scheduled to have an MRI exam before Thursday's game as a precautionary measure.
"I just twisted it a little bit after I touched first base," Santana said. "I feel better."
Pedro Florimon replaced Santana and was stranded at second base that inning with Brian Dozier flying out to left and Josh Willingham popping out to second to end the inning. Florimon remained in the game at shortstop to take over for Santana, and went 0-for-3 at the plate.
Santana, 23, has been a spark plug for the Twins this year, hitting .328 with two homers, 10 doubles and six stolen bases in 37 games.
"He's kind of our catalyst," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think we all saw it when he was running to second that he felt something in his knee. He tried to stretch it and run again so they took him out of there and checked his knee out thoroughly. So we'll see how he is the morning. That's all we can do. Right now everything checked out fine as far as the test goes with the ligaments and all that."
Arcia's homer snaps 0-for-31 skid
ANAHEIM -- Oswaldo Arcia snapped his 0-for-31 skid in a big way, as he homered in his first at-bat against the Angels on Wednesday night.
Arcia entered without a hit since singling in the sixth inning against the Blue Jays on June 11 and was hitless over his last eight games. But he ended his hitless streak with a solo shot off Angels right-hander Garrett Richards in the second inning with the homer coming on an 0-1 fastball.
"He put a nice swing on the ball," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Arcia, who went 1-for-3 with a walk. "He had a couple good at-bats. He drew a walk. So he had some good at-bats and I like that. I told him that. I thought he hung in there pretty good. He was better. It was nice to see."
It was the longest hitless streak of Arcia's young career, and the longest by a Twins player since Greg Gagne went 32 at-bats without a hit in 1991.
The club record was set in 1978 by Butch Wynegar, who went 38 at-bats without a hit that September. The modern Major League record is a 46-game hitless streak from Eugenio Velez set in 2011.
Hicks activated from DL, then sent to Double-A
ANAHEIM -- The Twins activated outfielder Aaron Hicks from the 15-day disabled list and optioned him to Double-A New Britain on Wednesday.
Hicks, who was on the 15-day DL retroactive to June 10 with a right shoulder strain, was hitting .238/.346/.286 with one double and two RBIs in six games while on a rehab assignment with New Britain.
He'll remain at New Britain to give him a chance to regain his confidence after struggling this year with the Twins, hitting .198/.338/.262 with one homer, five doubles and nine RBIs in 48 games.
"He's had success in New Britain and hopefully he'll be able to find it again," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "We'll see how he does. That's all we can do. He's a really good talent. I think we're all trying to find out how to get everything out of him. I think everybody in this organization is very interested in that because he's a good player."
Hicks also just resumed switch-hitting Saturday, reversing his decision to drop switch-hitting and bat from the right side on May 26. Hicks will continue switch-hitting at New Britain and will also see time in in all three outfield positions.
"There have been a lot of changes for him," Gardenhire said. "He went from not switch-hitting anymore and batting right-handed to him not being comfortable with it. So it's about getting your mind right and focusing on how to get better as a player all the way around."
• Outfielder Byron Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect by MLB.com, has started to make progress with his sprained left wrist, and has progressed to hitting off a tee and taking dry swings, Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. He's also been able to do defensive drills such as catch fly balls in the outfield.
He sprained his wrist in Spring Training and reinjured it in early May, and has only played in five games in the Minors this year as a result. There's still no official timetable for his return.
• Infielders Trevor Plouffe (left rib inflammation) and Eduardo Nunez (strained hamstring) remain on track to rejoin the Twins once they're eligible to return from the 15-day disabled list on Monday. The Twins are expected to stick with a 13-man pitching staff until the two infielders return to action.
Nunez will start a rehab assignment Thursday at Double-A New Britain, while Plouffe will join the Twins in Texas this weekend to work out with the team, according to Twins general manager Terry Ryan.