Trevor Plouffe tied a Twins record Sunday, added a couple of points to his batting average and started what seemed at the time to be a critical double play.
Remind him to smile about it in a decade or two. He couldn’t be any less interested now.
“I don’t care,” he said about his 37th double, a shot to deep right field that equaled Corey Koskie’s record for most ever by a Twins third baseman, set in both 2001 and 2002. “Personal stuff, that’s for later in life, I guess.”
Matter of fact, don’t bother asking Plouffe to help hunt for positives out of another disappointing Twins season, either. Asked whether he is encouraged by the presence, and early success, of a handful of young players on the roster, the 28-year-old Californian shrugged.
“Not really. We’re not where we want to be. We’re not playing meaningful games,” Plouffe said after the Twins lost to Detroit 13-4 at Target Field. “We’ve played some good baseball here and there, but not consistent enough. ... And we’re not happy about it.”
Hunter’s still got it
Torii Hunter made a heck of a play in the third inning, Ron Gardenhire said, when he slid into shortstop Eduardo Escobar to break up a potential double play.
That’s not the opinion the Twins manager gave at the time.
Gardenhire rushed to second base umpire Greg Gibson after the play, insisting that Hunter should be called out on the play.
“He’s got to reach for the bag, that’s all,” Gardenhire said. “My argument was that he never really went for the bag, he tried to go for the player.”
Hunter actually did stick his arm out enough to touch second base, and the ball bounced away due to an error on an inaccurate toss from Brian Dozier; a potential inning-ending double play turned into a run-scoring play.
And Gardenhire admitted he respects the effort by a player he managed for six years. “Torii plays the game hard. He’s sliding to do a job,” Gardenhire said. “I tried to talk the umpire into [calling him out], but it didn’t work out too well.”
Pino’s season over?
Yohan Pino was sent back to Class AAA Rochester, as required under the rule that dictates the designated “26th man” in a doubleheader be returned to the minors. But the righthander won’t actually be traveling to upstate New York. In fact, he probably won’t pitch again this season.
Pino, 30, experienced discomfort in his right elbow during the third inning of his Game 1 start Saturday, and the Twins sent him for a magnetic resonance imaging exam. It uncovered inflammation in his ulnar collateral ligament, a relatively minor injury, but one that will prevent him from throwing a baseball for two to four weeks, according to Rob Antony.
“There’s no reason to send him back to Rochester when he can’t pitch. So he’ll rehab here,” said Antony, the Twins assistant general manager. The minor league regular season ends next Monday.
Pino went 2-5 with a 5.07 ERA in 11 starts for the Twins and 10-2 with a 2.47 ERA for the Red Wings. “He was terrific in the minor leagues and he handled himself pretty well here,” Antony said. “He doesn’t blow you away with a fastball, but all four pitches could be plus pitches.”
Kennys Vargas had three hits Sunday and Danny Santana two, making them the third pair of Twins rookies to collect 30 hits in the same month. Lyman Bostock and Dan Ford did it in August 1975, and Bernie Allen and Rich Rollins both reached 40 hits in August 1962.
Santana, who has a nine-game hitting streak, has 36 hits in August. Vargas, who has hits in 19 of his 23 career games, has 32.