Brian Dozier got the axe after Tuesday’s game; he’ll be playing for the Rochester Red Wings for at least the next couple of weeks. My first reaction to the news was that it seemed a little harsh, but then I looked at Dozier’s stat line, and wow, he really has been bad. Dozier is hitting just .234/.271/.332 for the season, which means his OBP is actually worse than Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s .278 mark from last year. It’s hard to argue against demoting any player with worse numbers than Nishioka. Then again, Dozier is actually hitting quite a bit better than Alexi Casilla, who has a .220/.259/.301 line. This team has received some truly worthless hitting from its middle infielders.
I am certainly not ready to declare Dozier a failure. Yes, he’s a little old for a rookie, but he’s still a rookie. I’ve always thought Dozier’s minor league production looked a lot like that of former Twin Jason Bartlett. Seedlings to Stars has compared him to current Twin Jamey Carroll. Both of those players were late bloomers, so I have some confidence that Dozier will be better in the future. Given that MLB rosters expand in two weeks, this demotion will be a short one, and I expect it to be the last one for Dozier.
Speaking of players having trouble hitting, Trevor Plouffe has gone 0-12 since his return from the Disabled List. It’s probably just a fluke, but it could also be related to Plouffe’s injury. In a season where so much has gone wrong, Plouffe’s power spike is arguably the most promising turn of events. I hope he can snap out of the slump and prove those home runs were not a fluke.
I’ll close with some wildly irresponsible trade speculation.
Prior to the trade deadline, the San Francisco Giants were looking for a hitter. There didn’t appear to be any substantial rumors linking Minnesota and San Francisco, but the Giants apparently did inquire after Justin Morneau. And it was thought that the Twins would be willing to deal Denard Span and/or Josh Willingham for a very high price. Now that SF outfielder (and All Star Game MVP) Melky Cabrera has been suspended for a PED violation, they’re probably wishing they would’ve made the Twins an offer; losing Cabrera is a huge blow to their offense. Going into the offseason, this might make the Giants a potential trade partner for the Twins. They will want to contend in 2013, and I’m guessing they won’t be too eager to re-sign Cabrera. The Giants pitching to spare, and two time NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum, who is having a down season, will be in his contract year. Is it completely ridiculous to imagine them dealing Lincecum for a hitter? Perhaps a former MVP who, like Lincecum, is in his contract year, making a ton of money, and coming off a down season?
Yeah, that’s probably ridiculous. But on an off-day with a lot of free time, it’s fun to speculate. And I’ve heard dumber trade proposals in my time.