MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - INSIDE PITCH


CHICAGO -- Kennys Vargas could probably stand to not play in any more doubleheaders until next season.

Vargas got a day off Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field in the Minnesota Twins' 6-4 win to conclude a series against the Chicago White Sox, but manager Ron Gardenhire said it was a little overdue.

Vargas played in all four games of back-to-back doubleheader losses Thursday at the Cleveland Indians and Saturday against the White Sox, going 2-for-16 with seven strikeouts. The 24-year-old rookie designated hitter/first baseman, called up July 31 from Double-A New Britain, had also played in every game since Aug. 1.

Veteran second baseman Brian Dozier also got the day off from starting.

"(Vargas) is having some good at-bats and everything, I just think, like everybody else, he played a doubleheader last night and I think he gets a little worn down," Gardenhire said. "It's the same way with Dozier. He was a little worn down, so you've just got to give them a break. This is a lot of baseball, two doubleheaders in a matter of three or four days, and they've played pretty much every inning."

Vargas, whose average dipped from .299 to .285 after his performance Saturday, has made a strong impression thus far. In 172 at-bats, he's hit seven home runs, driven in 35 runs and slugged at a .459 clip to go with his batting average.

He's also shown the ability to make adjustments to pitchers using advanced scouting reports to make their own adjustments in how they pitch him. That trait could be key to maintaining his success for a full season in the majors next year.

"We've sure talked about it," Gardenhire said. "He's handled pretty much everything that's been thrown at him to this point. He's a strong kid. He can get away with a few things some other hitters can't because he is so strong, but he's had some great at-bats, especially with runners in scoring position. He's laid off some really tough pitches against some really good pitchers and we've been impressed. Hopefully we can continue that."

Vargas played this past winter in his home country of Puerto Rico and got to know some major leaguers who also play winter ball there.

"I think he's benefited from winter ball, being around a lot of major leaguers and playing some of that stuff down there and getting an opportunity to hang out with those guys and pick their brains," Gardenhire said. "I think he's benefited from that and I think it's kind of helped the process here."

-----------------------------------------------

MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES


RECORD: 63-86

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: Tigers (RHP Max Scherzer, 16-5, 3.19 ERA) at Twins (RHP Anthony Swarzak, 3-1, 3.95 ERA)

PLAYER NOTES:

--RHP Anthony Swarzak (3-1, 3.95 ERA) will make his second spot start of the season for the Twins on Monday to open a series against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field. Swarzak, who's pitched primarily out of the bullpen the past three seasons, came up through the Twins' system as a highly-touted starting prospect. "I will always think of myself as trying to be a starter, I want to be a starter," Swarzak said. "I would love to get the ball every five days at some point in my career, but right now I'm kind of a swing guy, a long man They need me to start (Monday) and I'm more than willing to do that."

--RHP Trevor May (3-4, 7.71 ERA) had a career-best outing in terms of strikeouts on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Cellular Field. May struck out a career-high 10 hitters in the Twins' 6-4 win against the Chicago White Sox, including four straight on two separate occasions. May has earned wins in each of his past three starts. "I came into the day and told myself that results and that kind of stuff is second to me right now, in trying to get my approach back where it needs to be," May said. "That's being aggressive and never losing that kind of fire for every single pitch I make in the game."