OAKLAND -- It was expected that this Twins lineup full of power potential and free swingers would struggle to string together hits at times.That has indeed been the case this season: Consider the fact that Miguel Sano's .235 batting average ranks third among the Twins' qualified hitters.But outfielder Robbie Grossman,
OAKLAND -- It was expected that this Twins lineup full of power potential and free swingers would struggle to string together hits at times.
That has indeed been the case this season: Consider the fact that Miguel Sano's .235 batting average ranks third among the Twins' qualified hitters.
But outfielder Robbie Grossman, one of the Twins' newest additions, has provided pop from the heart of the order without sacrificing his average, and has quickly become one of the most reliable hitters. He again flashed that consistency in Minnesota's 7-4 loss to the Athletics on Tuesday, finishing 3-for-4 with a career-high three doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.
Grossman has reached base in 10 of the 11 games since he was promoted on May 20 and has also notched four multi-hit games in that span. He became the first Twin to hit three doubles in a game since Eddie Rosario did it against the Yankees on July 24, 2015, and the first to do so on the road since 2009.
"I'm just putting up competitive at-bats and going in with a solid approach," Grossman said. "I barreled some balls and they found the grass."
For Grossman, that approach has involved meticulous study of opposing pitchers, making sure that he knows their tendencies so that he never feels surprised by anything they throw at him.
"He takes the information that he's given, and he does his homework to give himself a good chance in terms of approach on a given pitcher," said Twins manager Paul Molitor. "He fought off a couple of balls tonight, but it was a way to get the ball in play, and it fell in."
In 11 games this season as the Twins' primary left fielder, Grossman has hit .361 with two home runs, nine RBIs and eight runs scored. Most significantly, he has drawn six walks to go with just six strikeouts, reliably putting the ball in play and getting on base in the middle of a strikeout-heavy lineup.
"He's finding ways to get on base and he's doing a good job," Molitor said.
Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in Minneapolis.