Gardenhire may opt to demote slumping Dozier

Gardenhire may opt to demote slumping Dozier

Gardenhire may opt to demote slumping Dozier
CLEVELAND -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he's looking to get more consistency from rookie Brian Dozier, who has been the club's everyday shortstop since being called up in early May.

Dozier has been in a slump recently, hitting just .211 with a .241 on-base percentage and .276 slugging percentage over his last 20 games dating back to July 16. The recent funk has the 25-year-old hitting .236/.267/.328 with five homers in 78 games this season.

It's caused Gardenhire to debate whether it's worth sending Dozier back down to Triple-A Rochester to get straightened out.

"It's always talked about," Gardenhire said. "What's talked about is what's right for him? If he continues to struggle offensively, he's not drawing walks, is it right to do? We talked about that at the All-Star break, and believe me, I've wondered myself. I don't have any intention of doing it right now, but that could change tomorrow. It really could."

Gardenhire also wants to see that consistency defensively as well, as Dozier leads American League shortstops with 15 errors.

Dozier, though, said he feels like he's getting more comfortable defensively and is confident his overall game will turn around.

"That's the biggest thing," Dozier said. "I know the hitting is going to turn around and all that stuff. I had a bad showing in the first half with defense. I'm not trying to make excuses. That's all me. But at the same time, I'm starting to feel more comfortable out there. So it's starting to feel a little bit better."