Trevor Plouffe arrived at camp today, looking fit and ready to work. He joked with one reporter that he was headed outside to hit in the cages, so don't be concerned if he suddenly hears explosions.
Thank you. Some humor. This clubhouse has been kind of dull the first few days of camp. Most of the jocularity in the clubhouse has come from the old heads, Eddie Guardado and LaTroy Hawkins. Guardado wasn't in the clubhouse five minutes on reporting day when he saw Nick Burdi and greeted him with, ``Keep the ball down!''
Torii Hunter should arrive here in a couple days, as the first full squad workout nears. Things will pick up then. But that's a question going forward. Who takes over as the spiritual leader of this club? Hunter told the audience at the annual Diamond Awards that Brian Dozier should be the man. Not sure how No. 2 feels about that.
Carlos Quentin arrived yesterday. I checked with a Twins official who told me that Quentin does not have an out clause in his contract, so he could be sent to the minors if he doesn't make the team (and it's a very long shot that he does). This is a curious camp addition. The Rochester outfield should consist of Max Kepler, Joe Benson and Darin Mastroianni (barring shenanigans on the major league level). Not sure where Quentin will play, as he attempts a comeback. But there are Quentins on rosters all over spring training.
Yesterday, several of us at the Strib were asked to write out the Twins lineup card. Mine looked like this:
1. Brian Dozier
2. Joe Mauer
3. Miguel Sano
4. Trevor Plouffe
5. Eddie Rosario
6. Byung Ho Park
7. Eduardo Escobar
8. Kurt Suzuki
9. Byron Buxton
I forgot to list my comment. An editor inserted "drops mike" but that's not how I roll.
I decided to put the three best on base guys at the top of the lineup. Dozier has walked 150 times over the last two seasons. His issue is hitting for average. If batted .280 last season he would have had a .350 on base percentage, which is acceptable. Mauer had the second best on base percentage on the team last season. All you people who want him dropped in the order have to realize what he does in relation to the team. Sano is going to strike out 160 times but walk 110. Plus he has a chance to put the Twins up 1-0 in the first inning.
That leaves Plouffe in the clean up spot. I put Rosario behind him because I wasn't comfortable putting Sano Plouffe and Byung Ho Park together. So Park is six here, although I expect Oswaldo Arcia to make the team and get some at bats at DH. Eddie the Stick is next, followed by Kurt Suzuki. I'm convinced, after speaking with Twins officials, that Suzuki is the No. 1 catcher - I wrote about that today - with John Ryan Murphy getting at least 50 starts.
Byron Buxton starts the season in the nine hole, but could hit his way into the leadoff spot. That would at give the Twins at least one player at his prototypical spot in the order.