The St. Louis Cardinals yesterday sent down second baseman Kolten Wong, even though they signed Wong to a $25 million contract three months ago.
Wong has been terrible for the Cards, with a .591 OPS so far this year. It made sense for them to send him down, given that the Cardinals are contending and have plenty of other middle infield options.
My question: Should the Twins do the same with Brian Dozier?
Dozier is often considered on par with Wong. He, too, has a long-term deal. He's been a bit better than Wong this year, with a .649 OPS on the season.
Yet Dozier was not very good in the second half of last year. His pull-happy approach has made it more difficult for him to get hits given modern shifting strategies. And pitchers just aren't giving him the same pitches they did to make him an all star last year. Perhaps the Twins should send Dozier down and instruct him to start hitting the ball the other way.
Then again, the Twins aren't exactly contending like the Cardinals, so the Twins could afford to let Dozier fix himself up here. In addition, Dozier is a potential trade candidate if he can fix himself, and sending him down would eliminate whatever trade value he had. And Dozier perhaps earned the right to fix himself in the majors. But he's had a year to do that, and still hasn't done so.
Regardless, the Twins have to figure out which Brian Dozier they have, because they have Jorge Polanco waiting in the wings to take over the second base job.