Twins will be patient with Aaron Hicks, who has yet to start clicking
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To Aaron Hicks' credit, he has made the most out of his two hits this season -- a go-ahead RBI single in Sunday's win over the Baltimore Orioles, and a two-run single to help cap a blowout win over the Detroit Tigers last week.
But aside from those two singles, the Minnesota Twins' rookie centerfielder has mostly struggled in his first six career major league games -- .077/.143/.077, to be exact, with no stolen bases.
It's not the start Hicks or the Twins were hoping for. It's also early.
And while moving Hicks down in the batting order is "always a thought," manager Ron Gardenhire said Sunday on 1500 ESPN, no such move -- or demotion -- is on the immediate horizon.
"You can see a little bit of frustration, and that comes with the territory," Gardenhire said. "The fortunate thing for me is I've got a guy like (hitting coach Tom) Brunansky and a guy like (bench coach Terry) Steinbach who are veterans that have been there and done that with a lot of major league at bats that are constantly saying, 'Calm down' -- and I'm doing the same thing -- 'Calm down and we'll be OK. See it, put some good swings on it.' ...
"He's got a lot of questions. He comes up and he wants to know if I want him to take more pitches. I want him to just play the game. Have some fun and quit worrying about counts and all those things right now."
Hicks has always been a high-strikeout, high-walk hitter throughout the minor leagues, and he is holding up his end of the bargain on the strikeout side, whiffing 11 times in 26 plate appearances so far. Hicks has, however, just two walks -- something he'll need to improve on if he wants to remain at the top of the order.
It's also worth noting Hicks has been a slow starter at multiple levels before eventually picking it up later in the season.
"If he continues to struggle, we'll figure something else out," Gardenhire said. "But it's really early, we haven't played many games, and right now I want to ride him and see if he can get through this thing and go from there."