Dozier, Gardenhire meet to discuss rookie's play

Dozier, Gardenhire meet to discuss rookie's play

Dozier, Gardenhire meet to discuss rookie's play
DETROIT -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a 20-minute meeting with shortstop Brian Dozier before Wednesday's game to talk about the rookie's progress so far this season.

Dozier, the organization's Minor League Player of the Year last season, has mixed his good with the bad in his first big league season.

The right-handed hitter is batting .235 with three homers, eight doubles and a triple in 51 games. He's also made 11 errors, which is tops among American League shortstops.

"I've had some ups and downs since I've been up here," Dozier said. "[Gardenhire] assured me that a lot of rookies struggle when they get up, but I think he's been seeing a lot of my offensive struggles taken out to defense. Not necessarily making an error here or there; I can live with that. But being mentally there every single pitch, or taking the ground balls before the inning starts -- anything, really."

Gardenhire said Dozier needs to continue to work on his positioning defensively and reminded him not to get too complacent with his role as the club's everyday shortstop.

"I told him what we see and what he needs to do better to make it easier on himself," Gardenhire said. "Those are the types of conversations we like to have. Young players have things to learn, and a lot of things to work on. And just because you're the top shortstop prospect in our organization, it doesn't mean there's not another one right [behind] you. If you don't keep the fire and don't keep pushing, somebody else is going to come up here, and we're going to be saying this is our future."