Wetmore: 5 thoughts on double-play Dozier, Santana, All-Star numbers
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MINNEAPOLIS - Kyle Gibson and the Twins got off to the wrong start post-All-Star break. Gibson gave up 6 earned runs, and the Twins fell 7 games below .500 Friday with a 6-2 loss.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Friday'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. The Twins activated Danny Santana before Friday's game and optioned Chris Herrmann to Triple-A Rochester to make room on the active roster. He went down with a bone bruise in his left knee June 25 in a game against the Angels.
Santana played in three games and went 0-for-11, but his rehabilitation stint probably was more about stringing together plate appearances and proving that he was healthy enough to play multiple games in a row. He played twice in center field and once at shortstop.
He played center field Friday, batted leadoff and went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts in his return to the lineup.
2. Jim Pohlad shared his thoughts on this 10-game home stand, as it relates to the approaching non-waiver trade deadline. He said that he doesn't think this is a "pivotal" home stand.
For more from Pohlad, here's my story.
3. He also spoke glowingly before Friday's game about the Target Field All-Star Game experience. He called it a "10," from the weather to the event itself, to the Twins angle with Glen Perkins and Kurt Suzuki and the in-game tribute to Derek Jeter.
The game drew 11.34 million viewers, according to a release from Major League Baseball. That's the largest All-Star Game audience since 2010. The Twins and Major League Baseball also donated more than $8.5 million, part of which was used to dedicate baseball fields across the state.
4. Joe Vavra had a sore hip Friday, so Scott Ullger replaced him at first base. Paul Molitor subbed for Ullger as the first base coach, while Vavra sat on the bench.
5. Brian Dozier made two fine fielding plays Friday, both involved positioning himself so he could control the hop.
Dozier entered Friday one behind Ian Kinsler among all Major League second baseman in starting double plays.
With one out in the second inning and a runner on first base, Dozier got a ground ball to his left. He ranged that way and took a slight angle back (toward the outfield), so that he could get a short hop off to his left. He then turned in a fluid motion over his left shoulder and threw to second base while still slightly bent over at the waste. Eduardo Escobar couldn't turn the double play, but Dozier put him in about as good a position as he could have on that ball.
Then, in the seventh inning, the Rays had runners on first and third with one out. Dozier was in place to field what looked to be a routine grounder. But it took a high hop and Dozier adjusted by jumping off the ground, which allowed him to keep his glove in near his sternum. He fielded it in the air and made a backhanded flip throw while still in the air. This time Escobar turned the double play.
--Addtional listening: If you haven't this week's Sports Over Beers podcast, it's worth a listen. Jim Souhan joins Phil Mackey, Judd Zulgad and me to talk MLB trade deadline and the Twins.