Notebook: Dozier, Gardenhire watch video; Hendriks lights-out again
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Prior to batting practice on Monday, Dozier and manager Ron Gardenhire said down and watched video of the play -- a scenario that saw Jeff Keppinger hit a slow bouncer to Dozier with one out, the game tied 3-3 and the bases loaded. Dozier elected to get the sure out at first base, rather than throwing home or attempting to turn a difficult 6-4-3 double play.
After the game, Dozier -- without the benefit of replay at the time -- said, 'Every shortstop in the league would have done the same thing.'
But replays showed Desmond Jennings jogging from third base to home plate, which likely gave Dozier time to throw home for a force out.
"We talked about a lot of things, and I just wanted him to see exactly, because his thoughts were good, solid, but I don't think they went according to what you see on the video and what everybody's thoughts were outside watching," Gardenhire said.
"I thought we had time (to go home or to turn a double play). I got to the video, I saw where the runner was at, and I watched it, and I wanted him to see that, more than anything else. ...
"And his statements, where he said every shortstop in baseball would have done the same thing, and I wanted him to know, that in the first place, he's a rookie, and to say, 'Every shortstop in baseball,' and he understands that. He said it was out of pure excitement after the game, and that's good."
Gardenhire said sitting down and watching video stimulated a productive, back-and-forth conversation.
"I showed him where guys were at and options that he could have had. Instead of running through the ball, he could have planted his feet, I think he understands a lot now by watching video, which is a great thing," Gardenhire said. "Back in my day, we couldn't do that. Nowadays we can do that a lot easier."
Dozier received a night off on Monday, with Jamey Carroll shifting over to shortstop and Trevor Plouffe making his first start at third base in three weeks after spending time on the disabled list with a bruised thumb.
Diamond, Revere qualify for races
While everyone waited for Ben Revere to accumulate enough plate appearances to finally qualify for the American League batting title race, Scott Diamond quietly reached enough innings pitched to emerge on the ERA leaderboard on Monday.
After grinding out a solid seven-inning outing against the Rays on Sunday, Diamond reached 121 1/3 innings for the season, which is just enough to make him a qualified starter.
Diamond's 2.97 ERA currently ranks sixth in the American League.
Revere's batting average has dipped to .314 over the past week, but he still ranks 10th in the A.L.
As for Diamond, along with posting a sub-3.00 ERA, he has also gone at least seven innings in 10 of his 18 starts.
"He didn't have his good stuff yesterday, but he got long enough in there to give us a chance to win that game," general manager Terry Ryan said. "We should have won that game and we didn't. That's exactly the description that you can give Diamond -- he finds a way to stay out on that mound, and he did again yesterday, which was encouraging. He competes, he loves what he's doing, he adjusts. It doesn't matter if it's left or right-handed."
Diamond is under team control next season for approximately $500,000, and he is currently by far the Twins' most reliable starting pitcher.
Denard Span left Sunday's game early with a sore shoulder after landing awkwardly while attempting to catch a sinking line drive.
X-rays came back negative, but Span remains sore and will likely miss some time.
"I woke up this morning feeling somewhat better than yesterday, range of motion was better," Span said. "So I guess today and the next couple days I'll get treatment on it and just monitor how I'm feeling each day. ...
"I think swinging isn't probably going to feel too good, the second part of my swing -- the follow-through. That's how I knew I couldn't go back into the game yesterday; I came down here and tried to take some swings off the tee and it didn't feel good."
Span said doctors put him on anti-inflammatories, and he'll likely get treatment two or three times a day early this week. He will also see a masseuse and a chiropractor on Tuesday.
"I think (Tuesday) I'll have a better idea if I'll be out for a day or another two or three, whatever," Span said.
"Nothing was broken. I was worried about that. I heard that pop, that's what scared me more than anything. It wasn't so much the collision; when I heard the pop, I'd never heard anything like that, and that's what caught my attention, that sound. I though for sure something was fractured, even if it was a hairline fracture -- I thought something was going to be out of place. Thank God it wasn't."
Hendriks lights-out again
Liam Hendriks continues to dominate at Triple-A Rochester.
On Sunday night, Hendriks pitched seven scoreless innings against Lehigh Valley, striking out four while allowing only four hits and a walk. Hendriks has allowed only one earned run over his past three starts, and he now owns a 1.99 ERA on the season in 99 1/3 innings. To go along with the miniscule ERA, Hendriks has 76 strikeouts while walking only 25.
He has effectively conquered Triple-A, but that success has yet to translate to the major leagues, where Hendriks has mostly struggled.
"The reports have been good on him, which is encouraging," Ryan said. "There's nothing wrong with him being down in Triple-A. We brought him up two different times and it didn't work out. Now, alright, stay down there and keep dominating."
Home runs were a major issue for Hendriks in his two stints with the Twins earlier this season. He allowed 10 of them in only 38 1/3 innings, but in Triple-A he has allowed only four -- and only one in his last 10 starts.
"I'd say it's indicative of him not centering balls in the plate," Ryan said.
"Pitching behind, then coming in with a pitch down the heart of the plate. ... You know he throws strikes. That's one thing about him. He's going to give up some home runs up here, because he is around the plate a lot. Sometimes you get away with those types of things at Triple-A that you don't up here, there's no question.
"He's been pretty dominant down there as of late. He's done well."
Hendriks is likely to be called back up in September, if not sooner.
• A follow-up MRI on Matt Capps' inflamed rotator cuff Monday showed no significant changes, meaning the right-hander will continue doing strengthening exercises for the time being. Capps said Sunday he hoped to start throwing again by Wednesday, but that now appears unlikely. Capps still hopes to be pitching again in September.
• 3B Trevor Plouffe (bruised thumb) was back in the Twins lineup on Monday night for the first time in three weeks. "It feels good. It's good to be back," he said. "I missed a lot of time. It kind of snuck up on me. I didn't realize I missed three weeks but watching those games when the team was on the road made me really miss being in there."
• RHP Carl Pavano (shoulder) had his latest start rained out, so he will pitch again on Thursday -- likely 50 pitches for the Fort Myers Miracle.
• RHP Kyle Gibson (elbow) will ramp up to 50 or 60 pitches in his start for Fort Myers on Tuesday.