03-03-2012, 09:32 AM #1
Plouffe to start in RF? Revere to the bench?
In this article, Jim Souhan suggests that sources are telling him that Trevor Plouffe could win the Twins starting RF job. Josh Willingham would then move to left field, and Ben Revere would be the team's fourth outfielder. Terry Ryan says that Ben Revere is the front-runner to start, but that Plouffe certainly will be given an opportunity to win a starting job. Souhan opines that Plouffe's two advantages over Revere are his ability to hit the ball with authority and to throw the ball with authority. Going back to last year, when Revere was creating excitement for Twins fans, Paul Molitor was on his weekly 1500espn interview. He was asked about Revere and, without straight-out saying it, he inferred that the organization viewed Revere as a 4th outfielder.
What do you think?
03-03-2012, 09:43 AM #2
Let's state the obvious:
1) You lose defensive value from starting Plouffe over Revere;
2) You (likely) gain offensive value from starting Plouffe over Revere.
The problem is, it's probably a bit easier to quantify #1 over #2 to some extent. Gardy and Terry will be making this decision based on Plouffe in March and I guess some factor of how he hit between Rochester and Minnesota last year. You definitely saw some 'pop' out of Plouffe's bat last year, and I'm personally somewhat excited to see what kind of season he can put together playing close to full-time. I think we're a better team if Plouffe can CLEARLY win the spot over Revere; in order to do so he probably has to be a .800+ OPS guy. Benny can then pinch-run and come in in late innings and take CF and slide Span to a corner OF spot.
I'm just doubtful that Plouffe can definitively win the job this spring. We'll see. This decision may not be fully made until June.
03-03-2012, 09:55 AM #3
I only have one concern with Plouffe moving to RF and Willingham back to LF in this scenario. Willingham and Span will play most days and so when Revere plays for Plouffe, he'll most likely be in RF, and that is a bad thing with his arm. I guess I'd keep Plouffe in LF and treat it more like a platoon, even if Plouffe gets more ABs against RHP.
03-03-2012, 10:03 AM #4
I think Souhan is making an assumption that you don't see the Twins making. Willingham is in RF today and Plouffe is in LF. RF in Target Field is a lot easier to cover so, despite Willingham not playing much RF in the past, I'd love to see him there for the Twins. I absolutely agree with you that Plouffe/Revere in LF (if Revere isn't going to play CF) is preferable to any other scenario.
03-03-2012, 10:06 AM #5
From the way my gut dropped when I read this thread, I think I value defense a lot this year.
03-03-2012, 10:26 AM #6
I agree that Souhan is leaping to a conclusion (shocking, isn't it?) by assuming Plouffe would be in RF and Willingham in LF, just because that's where Willingham has played in the past. I'd think that would happen only if they discover in ST that he simply can not play RF.
In that case, the obvious adjustment I'd make in those situations where Revere plays and Plouffe sits would be to put Revere in CF and shift Span ro RF. Then again, what's obvious to me isn't necessarily what Gardy would do.
In reality, those situations would probably be fairly rare. If Revere enters as a late inning defensive replacement, it's more likely he'd take Willingham's spot (unless Plouffe turns out to be an awful outfielder), so he could just play LF. Otherwise, your 4th OF is most likely going to be used to give each of the OFs a day off once in a while and occasionally pinch run or pinch hit. In any event, Ben Revere should never play RF.I post regularly on our Knuckleballs blog (http://knuckleballsblog.com/)
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03-03-2012, 11:09 AM #7
We shouldn't forget that not only did Revere spend almost all of what should have been his AAA season with the Twins, but also had his 2010 AA season cut short with a face injury. After he returned, he was called up and didn't play much. If Plouffe wins a job (which would be great, in my opinion) that would allow Revere to get those much needed AAA ABs. (He's only had 132.) He could try his hand at "Twins Small Ball" at Rochester and would be ready for a call up if Plouffe falters. There are other guys on the roster better suited to be 4th OFs than Ben Revere. He needs to play everyday.
03-03-2012, 11:45 AM #8
I don't see Souhan's take very likely. Revere is likely the everyday LF. Plouffe could move Willingham to DH, assuming Morneau can play first everday. It also looks like Doumit could get time in RF. I don't see any straight platoons. I do see Plouffe getting some time in both right and left field. Revere will likely be the CF backup unless Mastrionni somehow makes the team. Willingham will likely see time at RF, 1B and DH. Doumit at RF, C and DH. Morneau !B and DH. Mauer C, !B and DH.
I just don't think they will platoon Revere. It would be more likely to move him to AAA for awhile if the Twins don't want to play him everyday in the majors. While Souham might be right that the some in the Twins organization that feel Revere is a likely 4th OF, I doubt if Ryan or Gardenhire are ready to do that to someone as young as Revere.
03-03-2012, 12:11 PM #9
I am afraid we will find out that Revere's defense is not as good as people seem to think. We could see, from last year, that he often got poor jumps on the ball. He dropped a few too. His arm is legendarily bad. He makes up for a lot with his speed and fearlessness though. Let's hope he improves his deficiencies faster than his speed deteriorates. On offense... I don't think there is any disagreement... he needs to fight off tough pitches, improve his eye and patience, bunt and run like hell. And fewer somersaults. And take the triple instead of the inside the park homer.
03-03-2012, 01:37 PM #10
I wouldn't make too much of anything Souhan writes, but I do kind of see Revere as more of a defensive specialist / 4th outfielder. With no power and an unproven ability to get on base a lot in the majors (so far), I think it's very likely that that's where he ends up, especially with Benson, Arcia, and Hicks coming up behind him. I'd like to see both Plouffe and Revere get a lot of chances at least of the beginning of the season. A platoon sounds like the most ideal situation. Also, if Willingham can adjust to RF, I see no reason why he couldn't play RF with Revere in left and LF with Plouffe in right.
03-03-2012, 02:57 PM #11
If Gardy was ever going to platoon someone, it would be Plouffe. They don't even need to find a platoon partner. They can just give one of Span, Mauer, Morneau and Doumit a day off against lefties. If he is on the roster, his bat should be in the line up against every lefty.
03-03-2012, 03:36 PM #12
I still think we will probably see a platoon with Revere/Plouffe. Probably won't be a straight platoon, as jorganswest mentions, we will probably see Plouffe as a fill-in for other guys when Gardner gives him a day off. Question remains whether he will be able to hit as a ML OF should. At least he showed signs of power last year. Where was it in previous years? I think Revere will be starting ML OF, but only for few years. He is going to have to hit well over .300 to contribute offensively. Pitchers are NOT going to be afraid to throw strikes, so even with a decent eye, he'll won't be walking much. We do know he can cover a LOT of ground in the OF, and with pitchers like Pavano and Baker anchoring the rotation, there is a lot value in having OFs that can track down balls hit in the air. March performance will probably be a bigger factor than normal when the Twins decide which way to go with this 3rd OF slot.
03-03-2012, 03:50 PM #13
It appears to me that Terry Ryan likes Plouffe a lot more than Revere, and Gardenhire likes Revere a lot more than Plouffe. Might be interesting to see how this difference of opinion plays out.
03-03-2012, 03:52 PM #14
I'm a little confused about the whole "right field" thing and agree that Souhan is likely reading too much into that. He seems to really value defense out there. I can't quite figure out what he's saying most time he talks about that.
I'll be very surprised if Plouffe is the every day left fielder. I won't be surprised if he platoons with Revere, though that would make Plouffe the short side guy.
03-03-2012, 05:56 PM #15
Look at the source:
Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
03-03-2012, 08:08 PM #16
It will be very interesting on how the opening day outfield lineup will be. I like Plouffe and Revere equally well for what they each bring to the table. In the long run I think Plouffe's bat will be needed in the lineup as the Twins will struggle getting the long ball. Makes sense to bring in Revere for defense and spot starts, which could easily give him 300 AB's, valuable experience in the field, much better than send him to minors.
03-04-2012, 10:32 AM #17
Gardy has never shown the propensity to platoon. Maybe he's changed, but we certainly have not seen that in the past. LaVelle also said on the radio that he thinks it is possible that Revere is the 4th outfielder, and not a starter, so this isn't just Souhan being Souhan. I think this is one of those rare times when spring training will really make the difference between these two guys. Until Revere learns how to take a walk, he's just not very valuable relative to other corner OFers. His OBP has to be very high for him to have any value. I always thought they should have traded him out of the low minors when he looked awesome, but they didn't. Let's hope he learns how to get on base at a super high rate.Win Twins.
03-05-2012, 04:23 PM #18
03-05-2012, 04:54 PM #19
I'm a little confused as to why everyone who talks about the Twins or writes about them seems to think that Ben Revere is the best option we have in the outfield. I love the fact that he can make electrifying plays in the outfield, but it loses some steam with me right after he makes that play, the runners on base advance anyway because he 4 hops the cut-off man to the infield. I'm not that excited about Plouffe's adventure to the outfield either, but it is less "stress" than playing SS in the majors. Bottom line... The Twins need the offense from the right side that Plouffe brings more than the glove from the left side that Revere brings. We already have a left-handed lead-off hitter under contract, Span. We need the offense like a fat kid needs cake baby! I say have an open try-out, just rig it so Plouffe wins it. If he fails, your conscience is clear on the whole Revere thing.