Jun 10, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Minnesota Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (2) gets the force out at second base in the seventh inning as Toronto Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro (30) slides at Rogers Centre. The Twins beat the Blue Jays 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Dozier exits game early as result of back issue

The 2014 Major League Baseball season has been an incredibly positive one for the Minnesota Twins, and more specifically, for second baseman Brian Dozier. Dozier has emerged as one the best middle infielders in all of baseball, but unfortunately, he was forced to leave Minnesota’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday, as a result of a back issue. Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com brings the latest on Dozier’s early exit:

As noted above, the initial diagnosis on Dozier’s back is one of “tightness”, and that is a reprieve for any bigger concerns from the side of the Twins. Minnesota has been an unexpected contender for the American League Wild Card this season, and with the recent signing of slugger Kendrys Morales for a substantial sum of money, the Twins are apparently in “win now” mode earlier than anyone would have projected.

For the season, the 27-year-old Dozier has put together an impressive .245/.356/.458 slash line with 14 home runs in less than 300 plate appearances, and in addition to that, the versatile second baseman has swiped 14 stolen bases while playing solid defense at an up-the-middle position. The biggest change in Dozier’s game this season has been a spike in his walk rate, as he is currently walking nearly 14% of the time against a career clip of just 8.6%, and if he can continue that bump, this new performance could be his baseline moving forward.

Fans of the Twins can breathe a bit easier now, but until Brian Dozier returns to the field at full health, there will be a bit of uneasiness in Minnesota.

Tags: Brian Dozier Minnesota Twins Toronto Blue Jays