Plouffe will get his playing time; what will he do with it?

He has pop in his bat, but the Twins want to see fewer errors on his throws.

hide

Twins infielder Trevor Plouffe

Photo: Renee Jones Schneider, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

CLEVELAND - There wasn't a flight available that would have gotten Trevor Plouffe from Rochester, N.Y., to Cleveland in time for Sunday's game. So the Twins arranged for Plouffe to be driven into town.

"Four hours in the back of a limo van and just hung out," Plouffe said. "Had a nice dinner with the driver at Burger King, and I was ready to go."

Hopefully Plouffe is ready to drive some baseballs out of the park -- because he's going to get his chance.

Plouffe was called up to replace injured infielder Alexi Casilla, so it makes sense for Plouffe to get some starts at second base. But Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said Plouffe also could play shortstop or one of the corner outfield spots over the next few weeks.

The key is that Plouffe, 25, is not back in the majors to come off the Twins bench.

Those of you clamoring to see him in the lineup for stretches at a time are about to be satisfied. Gardenhire wants to see what Plouffe can do, and said before and after Sunday's rainout he is committed to putting the prospect with pop in the lineup.

"The reason we sent him down was to get at-bats out there every day and play defense every day," Gardenhire said. "With Lexi down, we are going to need him back up here. Good for him. I didn't want to send him down in the first place. I wanted to see his bat. This works out for him. He'll get a little more playing time a little more consistently for sure."

Plouffe started at second base Sunday and struck out in his only at-bat before rain washed out the game. He is batting .202 with five homers and 16 RBI in 38 games with the Twins. He can drive a baseball, with three doubles and two homers among his past 11 hits in the majors. The problem has been getting more hits, and Plouffe should benefit from more consistent playing time.

Defense has kept Plouffe off the field. He has been charged with three errors at short and one at second. Most of the problems have been with his throws. A May 29 game stands out in which he was charged with one error, but actually made three poor throws.

The Twins aren't in the business of having players drive in runs only to give them back with their defense, so his playing time has some conditions.

"I'm committed [to playing him] unless he misses the ball," Gardenhire said. "I'm joking. Will you guys relax?"

Seriously, the Twins have been working with Plouffe on his throws.

"When we were at home, we were doing a little work with him getting on top of the ball rather than getting off to the side of the ball," Gardenhire said. "The ball was coming out of his hand really well."

The Twins should give Plouffe as much playing time as he deserves to see if he can hit as he did for Class AAA Rochester, where his .313 average, 15 homers and 33 RBI in 51 games stood out. Former Twins slugger Chili Davis, the hitting coach at Pawtucket, told Gardenhire that Plouffe was one of the best hitters in the International League this year.

So Plouffe should be on the field -- unless his throws land in the camera well behind first base. He should play at second, where he is more of an offensive threat than Matt Tolbert. He should play some at short, where Tsuyoshi Nishioka has been a disappointment. He should play some at third if Gardenhire isn't satisfied with Danny Valencia.

The team isn't making the playoffs, giving the manager the opportunity to evaluate other players such as Plouffe. And there are going to be more injuries. The title sponsor for the Twins' season should have been "General Hospital" because it's been a soap opera at times and an infirmary all year long.

So Plouffe is set to get more at-bats. It's up to him to make the most of them.

"It's encouraging to have Gardy say stuff like that," Plouffe said. "Obviously, it's nice to have a manager who supports you and he does. Whatever opportunities arise, I look to capitalize on them."

La Velle E. Neal III • lneal@startribune.com

  • TWINS AT CLEVELAND, PPD., RAIN Up next: Three-game series at Detroit • Game 1: 6:05 p.m. today • TV: FSN

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Bottom 7th123456789RHE
Minnesota0000101  2100
Baltimore0001010  271
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: MIN- None BAL- J.Paredes (1)

ADVERTISEMENT

NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 3
Minnesota 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Baltimore 2
Philadelphia 6 Top 9th Inning
NY Mets 2
Miami 4 Top 9th Inning
Atlanta 0
Boston 0 Top 8th Inning
Tampa Bay 7
Cleveland 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 0
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado 1 Top 7th Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 5th Inning
St. Louis 1
Los Angeles 0 Bottom 4th Inning
San Diego 1
Milwaukee 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Francisco 0
Oakland 0 Top 3rd Inning
LA Angels 0
Washington 2 Bottom 2nd Inning
Seattle 0
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 3 3rd Qtr 2:12
(4) Oklahoma 41
Stephen F Austin 16 3rd Qtr 1:21
(20) Kansas State 42
Fresno State 13 3rd Qtr 8:56
(15) USC 37
Southern Miss 0 3rd Qtr 10:52
Miss State 35
Texas-El Paso 24 3rd Qtr
New Mexico 7
North Texas 0 3rd Qtr
Texas 21
(1) Florida State 17 3rd Qtr
Oklahoma State 10
(14) Wisconsin 10 1st Qtr 5:07
(13) LSU 0
Idaho 0 Delayed
Florida 0
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 2nd Half 44:55
Chicago 0
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How sure are you that the Twins are on the road to improving?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close