Twins' Florimon ahead of the learning curve

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 8, 2013 - 12:05 AM

The Twins shortstop makes some spectacular stops but also shows he’s learning from his mistakes.

hide

Twins shortstop Pedro Florimon watches his throw to first to compete the double play on Kansas City Royals' Chris Getz after forcing out David Lough at second

 

– To a pitcher trying to escape a rally without any more damage, Pedro Florimon’s spectacular glovework was the most impressive part of his day Thursday.

“Florimon made a pretty good play on [Billy] Butler, a couple of times,” said an appreciative Mike Pelfrey. “He really helped bail me out.”

But to a manager, the best skill that Florimon displayed probably wasn’t with his glove, his feet or his throwing arm. It was his brain.

Florimon learned from his mistakes Wednesday, and displayed that knowledge a day later, just a few hours after Ron Gardenhire explained how Florimon was learning situational thinking.

“It’s just knowing the runner,” Gardenhire said.

The day before, on a similar play also against Butler, “he tried to do a little bit too much.”

Butler, the Royals’ designated hitter, is the slowest runner in Kansas City’s lineup, yet Florimon resorted to a barehanded grab-and-throw to try to retire him in the fifth inning Tuesday. He couldn’t make the pickup cleanly, and Butler was awarded a hit.

“He didn’t have to barehand that ball,” Gardenhire said of the teaching moment. Butler is so slow, Florimon “should have gloved the ball. He probably would have got the runner out.”

A day later, after his usual give-and-take with his manager during batting practice, the 26-year-old Dominican shortstop was ready. Butler hit a sharp ground ball past Pelfrey in the fourth inning, and Florimon grabbed it as he ran toward right field, took the time to spin completely around, and retired him with an accurate throw.

Two innings later, after Pelfrey gave up the tying run, Florimon helped avoid further damage when Butler again drove a hot grounder up the middle. This time, Florimon stretched out and dived for the ball, then bounced up and made a strong throw to get him by a step.

“He’s been right on,” Gardenhire said. “He’s been in the right spots on relays. He’s made the plays he’s supposed to, with some spectacular ones also.”

Gardenhire wasn’t certain about Florimon when he made the Dominican the Twins’ seventh consecutive different Opening Day shortstop, and Florimon didn’t help matters by committing three throwing errors in his first eight games. But after committing his fourth error April 26, Florimon appeared in 40 consecutive error-free games, until bobbling a ground ball Wednesday that led to three unearned runs.

“He babalooied a ball, but that doesn’t happen very much,” Gardenhire said. “He’s been great. He’s been fantastic.”

Gardenhire, himself a middle infielder during his playing career, has made the Twins’ double-play combination a daily focus this season, hitting ground balls each day during batting practice to Florimon.

“He works really hard,” Gardenhire said, “and that’s half the battle.”

The manager has worked with the shortstop on improving his footwork, especially on balls to his left.

“He’s always been comfortable going into the hole toward third base. But up the middle, I thought he didn’t get his body turned just right — he would start trying to shuffle rather than just go ahead and make the play,” Gardenhire said. “And he’s gotten better at that. [When] he starts trying to shuffle too much, his hands get jammed up a little. But he’s really worked on that. Using one hand [on plays] up the middle, it’s gotten a little bit easier.”





 

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Team Irvin 7:15 PM
Team Carter
Miami 96 FINAL
Chicago 84
Oklahoma City 91 4th Qtr 3:09
Cleveland 101
Dallas 5:00 PM
New Orleans
Indiana 5:00 PM
Orlando
LA Clippers 5:00 PM
Phoenix
Minnesota 5:00 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 6:00 PM
Toronto
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
San Antonio
Boston 7:00 PM
Golden State
Washington 7:00 PM
Denver
Houston 8:30 PM
LA Lakers
Team Toews 3 1st Prd 5:12
Team Foligno 3
South Florida 53 FINAL
Connecticut 66
Boston College 64 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Virginia 50 FINAL
Virginia Tech 47
Indiana 70 FINAL
Ohio State 82
Stony Brook 61 FINAL
Binghamton 54
Cincinnati 56 FINAL
UCF 46
Maine 70 FINAL
Hartford 61
Monmouth 64 FINAL
Manhattan 71
Fairfield 67 FINAL
Marist 73
Rowan 48 FINAL
Princeton 96
St Bonaventure 48 FINAL
Rhode Island 53
Duke 77 FINAL
St Johns 68
Saint Peters 69 FINAL
Siena 55
Drake 40 FINAL
Wichita State 74
Vermont 61 FINAL
UMass Lowell 50
Seton Hall 57 FINAL
Butler 77
NJIT 72 FINAL
South Alabama 55
Northern Iowa 46 2nd Half 3:17
Illinois State 48
Louisville 66 2nd Half 4:15
Pittsburgh 54
UMBC 26 2nd Half 19:15
Albany 35
Niagara 30 1st Half 0:35
Iona 45
Notre Dame 5:30 PM
NC State
Belmont 5:30 PM
Tennessee St
Creighton 6:00 PM
Villanova
Northwestern 6:30 PM
Maryland
Washington 7:30 PM
Utah
Senior-North 34 FINAL
Senior-South 13
Seton Hall 99 FINAL
Georgetown 85
St Johns 69 FINAL
Villanova 81
Arkansas 58 FINAL
Florida 72
Maine 56 FINAL
UMBC 42
Vanderbilt 55 FINAL
Alabama 52
Lafayette 60 FINAL
Lehigh 65
UCF 61 FINAL
SMU 57
Utah 51 FINAL
Washington 63
James Madison 73 FINAL
Coll of Charleston 53
Delaware 56 FINAL
Drexel 61
Hofstra 56 FINAL
William & Mary 57
Hartford 58 FINAL
Albany 82
Binghamton 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 67
Towson 63 FINAL
UNC-Wilmington 71
Wake Forest 80 FINAL
(17) Florida State 110
Georgia Tech 68 FINAL
Virginia 62
(22) Georgia 51 FINAL
(5) Tennessee 59
Drake 79 FINAL
Evansville 62
Iona 80 FINAL
Canisius 62
Fairfield 33 FINAL
Monmouth 59
Northwestern 75 FINAL
Penn State 76
Wisconsin 71 FINAL
Michigan State 77
Ohio State 79 FINAL
Purdue 71
Northern Iowa 57 FINAL
Indiana State 55
Butler 58 FINAL
Xavier 54
Creighton 93 FINAL
Marquette 75
Providence 42 FINAL
DePaul 90
Northeastern 77 FINAL
Elon 80
(2) Connecticut 96 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Oregon 78 FINAL
Arizona 81
Bradley 46 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 45
NC State 49 FINAL
(23) Syracuse 66
(7) Maryland 84 FINAL
Indiana 74
Illinois State 35 FINAL
Missouri State 58
Tulane 45 FINAL
South Florida 64
Colorado 59 2nd Half 6:51
Washington St 54
(14) Kentucky 69 2nd Half 7:36
Missouri 56
(9) Oregon State 63 2nd Half 2:25
(13) Arizona State 49
Vermont 42 2nd Half 13:26
UMass Lowell 53
Iowa State 29 2nd Half
(8) Texas 36
Southern Ill 29 2nd Half
Wichita State 43
(15) Duke 23 1st Half 3:50
(12) North Carolina 32
Miami-Florida 29 1st Half 2:51
(4) Louisville 25
(21) Minnesota 9 1st Half 7:59
(25) Rutgers 25
California 6:00 PM
UCLA
(11) Stanford 7:00 PM
USC

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close