Wetmore: 5 thoughts on Astros leak, linebackers in outfield, Dozier
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MINNEAPOLIS - The Twins ended a five game losing streak Sunday. They couldn't stay in the left hand column Monday, though, at the start of a seven-game homestand, when they lost to the Royals, 6-1.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Monday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Nunez were activated from the disabled list before Monday's game, and each player found his name written in the starting lineup. Plouffe played third base and batted sixth; Nunez played shortstop and batted eighth.
Nunez turned two inning-ending 4-6-3 double plays with Brian Dozier and Joe Mauer, and went 2-for-4 at the plate. He singled to left field to drive in a run in the 5th inning to put the Twins on the board and he took second base on the throw to the plate.
Plouffe was 1-for-4 with a single in his final plate appearance of the night. He said he's been anxious to get back into the lineup for about five days now. He got his first ground ball in the fourth inning and caught a line drive to end the sixth inning.
2. Jarrod Dyson hit a triple on a ball over Sam Fuld's head in right-center field in the seventh inning. It probably required a near-perfect relay to keep the speedy Dyson from getting third base, and the Twins didn't do that.
Sam Fuld overthrew the first cutoff man, Brian Dozier, and the secondary cutoff man, Eduardo Nunez, had to field the throw on a hop, which slowed down a potential relay throw to third base. Dyson rounded second as the ball was about to get to the cutoff, so he was being aggressive with his speed to take third. Perhaps more than anything it looked like he was daring the Twins to execute a perfect relay to throw him out.
3. Brian Dozier uncharacteristically committed two errors in the eighth inning. One was a throw in the dirt that it seemed like Mauer should have scooped. He threw the second clean over Mauer's head--not easy to do considering Mauer is 6-foot-5 without his spikes.
With the inning extended, Alcides Escobar hit a ball in the left-center field gap that scored two runs. That double put the Royals up 6-1.
"He made a nice play [to field] the one up the middle," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "That was on the other side. He probably had a little more time than he thought. He just kind of flipped it over there. It was in the dirt, it's one Joe can pick, we know that, but it's in the dirt. He had plenty of time to throw it.
"The other one sailed on him. He was playing deep out in the outfield and he threw that one, that ball just kept sailing. It looked like a Frisbee and caught some air and went over Joe's head. That's not like him and I'm sure he's frustrated."
4. Twins GM Terry Ryan said he won't change the way he conducts his business in the wake of leaked internal documents from the Houston Astros front office. I'm fascinated by the thought that the Astros recorded dialogue with other teams during tentative trade talks, and then that those records were made public after they allegedly were illegally obtained.
Ryan shared his thoughts on the matter, and the whole thing is pretty interesting if you've ever wondered how front offices communicate with other clubs to make trades.
5. Chris Parmelee moved to center field after Oswaldo Arcia pinch hit for Sam Fuld in the seventh inning. Parmelee started in center field Sunday in Texas, flanked by Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia, for what had to be one of the least rangy outfields in the Majors this season.
"It's like prevent defense with linebackers in the defensive backfield," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire cracked before Monday's game. He acknowledged before the game that it's not an ideal scenario. But he said Sunday likely wouldn't be the last time fans would see the outfield alignment.
Sure enough, Fuld, who had started in center, was lifted for Arcia in the seventh with runners on first and second and no outs. Arcia was called out on the infield fly rule. In the top of the eighth, Arcia took over for Parmelee in right field and pushed Parmelee to center.
"Everything went fine [Sunday]," Gardenhire said before Monday's game. "I don't think you can live that way. But Parm reads balls good, he gets good jumps and you'll probably see it again, now with [Danny] Santana out. I can't kill [Sam] Fuld. I know that he's better served if we use him the right way. If I have to go to another center fielder, put somebody else out there, Parm will be the guy."