On Sunday, acting manager Scott Ullger delved a little deeper into the impact the expected changes will have on Minnesota, including the assertion by manager Ron Gardenhire -- not on the trip to Seattle because of his daughter's graduation -- on his radio show that Dozier would play shortstop. Jamey Carroll has started all 27 games at shortstop.
"Well Gardy's the manager of the team and if he says he's going to play shortstop, he's going to play shortstop," Ullger said. "Jamey Carroll throughout his career has been a great utility man and he can play all three positions very well. It might be the case where he's one of those guys that plays every day, but a different position every day. Give other guys a chance to get a break and rest."
Dozier was an eighth-round pick by the Twins in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft and is batting .276 with 12 RBIs in 28 games with Rochester this season.
"He's athletic, he's got a strong arm, I think he's a bright-enough kid to position himself correctly, he pays attention to the game, he knows who's pitching -- all those intangibles go hand-in-hand to being a good shortstop," Ullger said. "He showed us he can play in Spring Training and he was doing fine in Triple-A.
"I think there's a lot of pressure on anybody that comes to the big leagues. There is an expectation in performing. Obviously, I think he's a bright-enough kid, a mature-enough kid that he can handle it. Hopefully he can handle it, but there is pressure on him, just like any kid that comes up."
Ullger recognized Carroll's defensive importance to the Twins, noting he probably saved the game Friday by knocking down a ground ball up the middle to keep a run from scoring. But at 38 years old, a few days off could do Carroll some good.
"Defensively, he's played very, very well," Ullger said. "I think that with his age, and he can use days off. Dozier will allow Gardy to do that."