Molitor learning to be patient with scuffling club

Molitor learning to be patient with scuffling club

DETROIT -- Paul Molitor, who has been told by Twins owner and CEO Jim Pohlad that he will remain the team's manager into the 2017 campaign, said it can be difficult trying to make things happen amid the team's struggles, given his tendency to press in trying to create offense.

"You look for it, but you don't want to force it," Molitor said.

Molitor said he is always thinking ahead as to which combinations of players he'd like to hit and run, which players he wants to give the steal sign, or which lineups he'd like to try to spark the offense. But lately, not much has worked.

While it has been difficult for Molitor to stand pat with a struggling offense, he has been pleased with catcher Kurt Suzuki's recent surge.

Through the first two months of the season, Suzuki was hitting just .212 with one home run and 11 RBIs. Over the last 30 games entering Tuesday, he has hit at a .352 clip, with 21 RBIs and four homers.

"I think he's just been squaring more balls up," Molitor said. "It's just kind of one of those confidence things. He knows he can hit. He kind of went through a rough period last year, and he finished strongly. And like this year, he had a lot of troubles getting out of the gate, but he's got his numbers back up very respectably. He's getting the bulk of the playing time, and he's been responding."

The Twins have not had a winning streak of more than three games since the end of May -- they have done so only twice this season -- but have had six losing streaks of three or more games since then. Molitor said Monday that he is grateful to know that he will get another fresh start next season, but for now, he and the club just have to take a day-by-day approach the rest of the way out.

"I'm grateful because I want to keep doing this," Molitor said Monday. "I want to help try to be part of the solution of our team getting better and try to find a way to do some things that we haven't been able to do for quite a while."

Kyle Beery is a reporter for MLB.com based in Detroit. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.