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Dozier working through rookie-season struggles

Dozier working through rookie-season struggles

Dozier working through rookie-season struggles
MINNEAPOLIS -- Brian Dozier has made his share of nice plays for the Twins at shortstop, but his rookie season hasn't been without growing pains.

Offensively, Dozier's .303 average this month entering Sunday's game tops his .228 and .231 marks in May and June. Defense has seemingly come more slowly for the 2011 Twins Minor League Player of the Year. Dozier's 13 errors entered Sunday tied for the second-most among Major League shortstops.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said the staff continues to work with Dozier on not playing so deep in the hole at short.

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"He's had his moments where he's OK," Gardenhire said. "I still think he gets sloppy with his glove a little too much. He makes plays a lot harder than they should be. He plays really deep. We've had conversations about shortening it up -- you have to make adjustments on these infields."

Even though Dozier's bat has been steady as a rookie shortstop, Gardenhire is also looking for situational improvements.

"Situations like putting hit and runs on, even though the pitch might be off the plate, you as the hitter have to find a way to put the bat on the ball," Gardenhire said. "You can't leave a runner out there. Those are situations that he's built for -- hit and runs and things like that. And he's got to get better at that."

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