With their season already starting to slip away in the face of a 7-20 start, the Minnesota Twins are calling up shortstop Brian Dozier, the former Itawamba AHS and Southern Miss standout. The Minneapolis newspaper has a blog post here.
Dozier will join the team in time for Monday's series opener at home against the L.A. Angels. During spring training, Dozier - an eighth-round pick in 2008 out of Southern Miss - was described as "the next big thing" for the Twins franchise.
He's hitting .276 at Triple-A Rochester. Last season, he hit a combined .320 and led the Twins minor-league organization in runs scored (92) and triples (12)
The Twins aren't calling up Dozier - their 2011 minor leaguer of the year - to sit on the bench. Manager Ron Gardenhire said in a radio interview on Sunday that he plans to install Dozier as his everyday shortstop. Details here (new link), complete with some MLB video.
Minnesota, which has lost 11 of its last 13, went into Sunday's game hitting .113 on its current road trip and there are rumblings that Gardenhire could be in trouble. So all eyes will be on Dozier.