The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

September 15, 2013

Thoma column: Who's on second?

The Twins have invested two years in turning Eddie Rosario into a second baseman.

Now it appears that effort may not have been necessary.

Even as the 21-year old Puerto Rican sharpened his defensive skills at the keystone in the middle levels of the Twins farm system, Brian Dozier was emerging as a Gold Glove candidate. Even as Rosario continued to impress scouts with his ability to hit line drives — the so-called hit tool — Dozier, 26, transformed into power threat in the major leagues.

So the Twins have what appears to be a surplus at second base. Dozier, of course, is already in the majors; Rosario finished the season at Double A and isn’t far from being major-league ready.

Which means decision time is approaching.

The two are, or project to be, different players. Rosario, converted from the outfield, may never be as good with the glove at second as Dozier. Dozier is unlikely to hit for average; there is some thought that Rosario will not continue his power production as he climbs the ladder.

Assuming that Dozier’s power production (51 extra base hits this year, 26 since the All-Star break) is real and not a small-sample mirage, he fits in the bottom half of a contender’s lineup. (It speaks to the problems of the Twins lineup that he’s spent most of this season hitting first or third.) Rosario has a higher ceiling as a hitter but also a lower floor.

I see three options here for the Twins front office:

■ Trade one;

■ Return Rosario to the outfield;

■ Return Dozier to shortstop.

I rule out the third immediately. Dozier established in 2012 that he simply doesn’t have the arm for shortstop. That caused him to play too shallow; that, in turn, reduced his range. Dozier is either a second baseman, or he can’t play.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Outdoors
Latest auto racing news
Featured Ads
Shane Frederick's Twitter updates
Chad Courrier's Sports Report
Latest NCAA basketball news
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
NDN Video
Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend NBA playoff preview: Memphis Grizzlies vs. Oklahoma City Thunder NBA Eastern Conference playoff preview Can Malik Zaire Win the QB Job At Notre Dame? Boise State's Past Points To A Promising Future NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Seattle Seahawks NBA playoff previews: Golden State Warriors vs. Los Angeles Clippers Mike Tyson throws out first pitch at PNC Park Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft NHL playoff preview: New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Philadelphia Eagles Boomer: Chris Johnson signing will work for Jets NHL playoff preview: Los Angeles Kings vs. San Jose Sharks NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New England Patriots NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Washington Redskins NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - New Orleans Saints NHL playoff preview: Boston Bruins vs. Detroit Red Wings NHL playoff preview: Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Montreal Canadiens NFL Draft 2014 Team Needs - Dallas Cowboys NHL playoff preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Columbus Blue Jackets