Minnesota Twins: Why Optioning Brian Dozier Now Is Best Long-Term Move

Chris SchadContributor IIIAugust 15, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - AUGUST 11: Brian Dozier #20 of the Minnesota Twins speaks with home plate umpire Jordan Baker #71 after a called third strike during the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 11, 2012 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Rays defeated the Twins 4-2. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

In April, a lot of people wanted to see 2011 Minnesota Twins' minor league "Player of the Year" Brian Dozier up at the major league level. They got their wish in mid-May. Dozier has been shaky, hitting .234 with six home runs and 33 runs batted in entering Tuesday's game with the Detroit Tigers.

Dozier's OPS also ranked toward the bottom of the major leagues entering Tuesday as it was in danger of dipping below the pitiful .600 mark (otherwise known as "Nick Punto territory").

After a good start, Dozier simply has been overmatched in the major leagues and that is why the Twins have decided to option him to Triple-A Rochester and call up Pedro Florimon to replace him, according to ESPN Radio 1500 AM in Minneapolis.

Some people may think that the Twins are already giving up on Brian Dozier in the same way they have thrown in the towel on Tsuyoshi Nishioka. However, that is not the case with the 25-year-old shortstop of the future.

Sending Dozier down is similar to the situations the Twins have had with Chris Parmelee and Liam Hendriks.

Both Parmelee (.354, 15 HR, 41 RBI) and Hendriks (9-2, 1.99 ERA) have dominated the International League with Rochester, but they have not been able to duplicate that success with the big league club. Dozier has fallen into that same boat.

While Dozier's stats (.276, 1 HR, 12 RBI in 28 games) weren't as eye-popping as Duensing's and Parmelee's, the Twins loved the way he took control of the position in spring training.

So when Danny Valencia went down for the count, the Twins saw an opening to call Dozier up and find a new third baseman.

The initial plan was for Dozier to learn on the fly from his spring training mentor Jamey Carroll, but things never materialized the way the Twins had hoped and the whole plan seemed rushed, until the team couldn't take anymore.

With Florimon coming up, the Twins will see if they've struck gold again in the minor league free-agent department which has included finds such as Samuel Deduno, Darin Mastroianni, and P.J. Walters in 2012.

As for Dozier, he'll get a chance to let the game slow down. Dozier will likely be a September call-up, and if Dozier can get on a hot streak in Triple-A he could have a stretch similar to the one Parmelee put together last September.

It's not like shortstop is clouded with a potential All-Star like first base is for Parmelee, and Dozier will have a chance to help this team toward the end of this season and beyond. It's just that now is the time to let Dozier re-discover his game before these bad habits become permanent.