8/2/2014 11:09 P.M. ET
Suzuki a good example to Twins' young players
By Daniel Kramer / MLB.com
CHICAGO -- Kurt Suzuki knocked in three RBIs and lined two hits in the Twins' 10-8 losing effort to the White Sox on Friday night, continuing his torrid pace against the American League Central foe.
Entering play Saturday night, Suzuki had played 10 games against the White Sox, second to only the Royals, and boasted a line of .447/.452/.579 with 10 of his 43 RBIs.
Manager Ron Gardenhire downplayed Suzuki's success against the South Siders, and noted the All-Star's overall catapult in 2014.
"I don't know about that. I haven't looked at his history," Gardenhire said. "He stays within himself and puts a nice swing out there and has a very good idea of the strike zone. He barrels most of the balls. I just think he stays within himself, and that's pretty much what he's done for us all year."
Suzuki, who went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Saturday night's 8-6 victory, signed with the Twins in December and inked a two-year extension on Thursday, ensuring stability at the position once occupied by converted first baseman Joe Mauer.
In addition to Suzuki's offensive prowess, including a .338 average with runners in scoring position, Gardenhire praised the catcher's guidance through disposition.
"All of the things our young hitters watch and pay attention to is what he does," Gardenhire said. "He doesn't even try to goose up. ... He's good anticipating when guys are trying to come in on him and he'll, every once in a while, turn on a ball here and there. But for the most part in those RBI situations, he thinks center of the field, and you work from there. And that's what young hitters need to learn."
Vargas slotted at DH for second big league game
CHICAGO -- It's no secret that Kennys Vargas has struggled defensively during his six-year upbringing with the Twins' farm system.
Assistant genral manager Rob Antony made that point Friday before Vargas' debut, where he went 1-for-5 with a two-run double and committed an error at first that led to a White Sox run.
Vargas remained in the six-hole in Saturday's lineup, but moved to designated hitter, with outfielder-first baseman Chris Parmelee taking the post at first. Vargas went 2-for-4 in the Twins' 8-6 victory, and his 3-for-9 over his first two games.
"DH'ing is a little bit easier for him," manager Ron Gardenhire said of Vargas. "He doesn't have to worry about that first-base side. We all know what he's doing defensively. We know that he's still working on that, and he's worked very hard. ... We want him to relax and just get up there and take his swings."
Vargas, an All-Star at the Double-A level this year, has drawn comparisons to slugger David Ortiz, who played with the Twins before signing in 2003 with Boston, where he's won three titles.
"I think that's an awful big compliment to start comparing him to a guy like that," said Gardenhire, who coached Ortiz from 1997-2002. "Sizewise, yeah, he's big and strong like David. He's a switch-hitter, which David didn't do, but kind of similar. And I think he probably idolized David and still does. That's not a bad guy to think about when you're trying to figure out somebody you can emulate."
Ortiz hit .266 with 58 homers and 238 RBIs during his five seasons in Minnesota, and played exactly one-third of his games at first base, with the remaining at designated hitter.
Twins vice president of player personnel Mike Radcliff was inducted into the Professional Scouts Hall of Fame by the St. Paul Saints at Midway Stadium on Saturday.
Radcliff, who was named the 2011 Scout of the Year in the Midwest by Major League Baseball, has been with the Twins since 1987, and was the club's director of Scouting from 1993-2007.
Daniel Kramer is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.