Sore right oblique ends Dozier's career year

Second baseman, out of lineup for season finale, finishes with 42 HRs, 99 RBIs

Sore right oblique ends Dozier's career year

CHICAGO -- Twins second baseman Brian Dozier's career year came to a close on Sunday, as he was held out of the lineup in the series finale against the White Sox with right oblique soreness he sustained during Saturday's 6-0 win.

Dozier, who was injured on a swing in the first inning and later left Saturday's game, finishes hitting .268/.340/.546 with 42 homers, 35 doubles, 18 stolen bases, 104 runs and 99 RBIs in 155 games. He finishes one homer short of tying the record for homers hit by a player who primarily played second base and one RBI short of 100.

"I'm disappointed for him that he doesn't have a chance to give it one more shot," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "He's a guy who can walk out of here with his head held high. I know he's disappointed and he'd trade a lot of those things in for a better year collectively, but it's been a remarkable year for him."

Dozier ended his year mired in a 2-for-34 slump, but it doesn't take away from his impressive season that saw him hit 28 homers after the All-Star break after a slow start to the season.

"You talk about positives that come out of your year," Molitor said. "His ability to hang in there with what wasn't a pleasant start for him or his team and find a way to put together obviously his best year overall with his power and games played. To be on the doorstep of 100 runs scored and 100 RBIs, it's been tremendous."

Dozier's production came while serving as leadoff hitter in 73 games, including his final 57 games. Molitor said he'll explore Dozier's best spot in the lineup going forward given his power numbers.

Dozier shows versatility

"It maybe changes how you see him going forward," Molitor said. "I'm going to have to sort out where his bat is going to be most valuable and those kinds of things given the power trend we've seen the last three years. But he knows how much I appreciate his steadiness and being able to play through aches and pains."

Worth noting

• Molitor, who has been assured by ownership he'll be back next year, said he's hopeful his coaching staff will remain in intact but that it's likely to be out of his control. With a new front office expected to be announced early this week, there could be changes to the staff.

"I would say that I don't believe it's totally up to me," Molitor said. "I would have input, I hope. I'm going to try. I know there are people who might have opinions and they might concur or differ with me, but we're going to have to talk through these things."

• Molitor was asked for one word to describe the season and came up with "disappointed." But he said it's bittersweet ending the year, especially knowing the roster could look dramatically different heading into next year.

"There are mixed emotions," Molitor said. "A lot of these guys might not be back. We're changing things up. This is the last day this particular group will be together. So there is some emotion about that part of it."

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for since 2011. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.