Plouffe was literally handed a major league job because the Twins were afraid they would lose him if optioned. Probably so. They carried this guy (just like they did with Butera in '11) with a disgusting BAVG (wasn't it in the 110's) before he had his miracle. We know that if Plouffe gets lazy in his throwing motion the ball will sail away, his range (and well as his experience at 3B) is rather limited, and he hits in STREAKS (Caps intended). Since there are team needs far higher than 3B whatever competition he sees will be limited. Consider how long of a leash Valencia received at 3B before he was spat out--Plouffe will receive an even longer leash--but Ryan put him (and Gardenhire) on notice that Plouffe's name is not engraved in the lineup.
This is one of those "read between the lines" messages to Plouffe, similar to signing Sean Burroughs to push Danny Valencia (boy that worked out great, huh?).
TR's telling Plouffe to shape up or be replaced, indirectly through the media. Maybe he said it to Plouffe behind the scenes as well.
Plouffe had less than 100 games at 3b. Opinions on his defense there are pretty premature. He wasn't as bad as some of you are making it sound, and he has the physical tools to play the position. He made it all the way to the big leagues as a SS, which tells me he should be able to learn 3b, and probably fairly quickly.
IMO Plouffe's future will be determined by his bat, not by his defense, and that holds true whether he stays at third or they move him to second. My guess is he will be the Twins everyday third baseman in 2013. He wasn't that bad in 2012, and as others have said there are too many higher priorities to worry about Plouffe.
Are you kidding me? Plouffe had one of the best 2 month stretches a Twins 3rd baseman has ever had. Now don't pull out your stupid sabre metric junk and tell me he got lucky and all of this stuff. The dude was mashing the ball out of the park. Then he hurt his wrist. He came back and his power was gone...because of a lingering wrist injury. By watching his footwork and arm, he could still be an average defensive 3b. Would you sacrafice a little defense for 20-30 hr's a season and a .300 BA. The dude can mash. I don't see any problem in him holding the for down until Sano is ready.
In my estimation this is the order of needs for the Twins this offseason: Starting pitcher, starting pitcher, SS, starting pitcher, 2b, starting pitcher, middle reliever, 3b. This is what we need, in my estimation. I only put third base down to make a point that we need so many more things than a starting third baseman.
To recap, give Plouffe another year for 3 reasons: 1. He is cheap and under team control until Sano is up;
2. We don't know if his short burst of power could be legit, or was a steroid induced mirage.
3. We have so many other needs, the idea that a new third basemen is even a top 10 need, is crazytalk.
4. (I just thought of)- We gave Danny Valencia 2+ years for crying out loud and the guy was the biggest ass in Twins history. I heard a first hand account, from one of his Beloit teammates, that he refused to play anywhere other than 3rd base. He would actually tell managers and other players that he was "a thirdbasemen only." It took the twins years to ship him out.
Give Plouffe another year. Let him play. Worry about starting pitching and SS and leave 3B for next year.
I really think Mauer is the man they're looking for. Stick him there against righthanders, slot Plouffe to 2nd. Against lefties, put Plouffe at 3B and Dozier/Florimon at the open spot in MI. Problem solved.
They could have solid pop against righthanded starters that way.
'I think he can be the best 3rd baseman we have had since Corey Coskie.'
that's hardly a big deal...considering who has manned that spot since Koskie was gone :-)
And I'm fine with continuing to give him a shot, all I was trying to say is, let's be realistic in what he's shown us so far...
There's no way 3rd base is even a top 5 priority for Ryan. Plouffe is still learning the position and has a pretty good chance to be one of the five best hitters on the team next season. This is just Ryan telling Plouffe they expect more from him next season.
On the other hand, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world to add a low rent Hannahan-ish lefty for a platoon at third. Kind of like the Leius/Pagliarulo platoon in '91. Leius was a converted shortstop who ended up a plus defender at third after some polishing, and he had some pop against lefties while being pretty useless against righties. Pags was the steadier defender, and had traded most of his power for a decent average by that point in his career.
It worked then, and could work again if they'd let it. Of course to make room on the roster, they might have to give up carrying a little of their customary bench baggage, like a third catcher, 13th pitcher, or the ever-present injured and unavailable guy who should've been on the DL a week ago.
Does the fact that he can't play any position at even an average level factor in? Just because Gardy decides to move him all over the place, doesn't mean he can actually play all those positions.
And what teams are you talking about dying to make him their 3B if they had the chance. I mean, yeah, you can say that...but based on what? All those rumored traded offers for him? His great defense? His one month of great hitting? The fact he took forever to make the show and keeps getting bounced around cause he can't field well at any of them? I mean, what makes you think that?[/QUOTE]
The guy has played fewer than 100 games at 3B in the majors and fewer than 80 games at third in the minors. His fielding percentage at 3B in the minors is actually much better than Corey Koskie's was in the minors (although neither is great - .943 to .924). Obviously Koskie became a much better fielder with practice. Give the guy a chance, his injury also contributed to some of his errors as well as his batting after. He took a while to come up because he was drafted out of high school.
I never said that any teams were 'dying to make him their 3B', but I'd wager that teams including the A's, Astros, Braves, Indians, Marlins, Cubs, Rockies, and Angels would all give Plouffe a try over their current options at 3B. Plouffe is not so horrendous at 3B that he shouldn't be given a legitimate trial of a full season - his bat alone says he deserves a shot. Remember in the minors we have Sano who just committed 42 errors at 3B. He's being given a shot because of his bat, the same case can be made for Plouffe. Wouldn't it be a wiser option to let Plouffe get acclimated at 3B for a full season, while the Twins stink, and spend money where we have glaring holes at shortstop and on four starting pitchers instead of wasting money on another starting 3B.
They need to quit messing with his head.
I realize that Plouffe isn't the greatest contact guy. He chases way too much.... Poor discipline and that's correctable. It's often not corrected but correctable.
However, his power is legit. 24 dingers last year in 422 at bats. That's a 30 homer guy with a full season of at bats. And you can say the same thing about 2011 between AAA and the majors. Yes... He has room to improve but is this really the guy to worry about right now? I'd say no.
As for the hot streak... That streak was freeky... However... I keep reading posts that he was lucky... Almost like the posters are using the streak against him. Luck is certainly a factor but let's not use the streak against him. Anybody who can get that hot is worth trotting out there in case he does it again.
Turn your attention to pitching..,. Provide competition for everyone... Mauer... Revere... Plouffe... Everyone... But to list Plouffe as an immediate concern is crazy...
Pitching please... Please... Please...