2004 first-round pick Trevor Plouffe, long considered a disappointment by Twins fans, hit three homers and walked four times in a doubleheader for Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday.
Despite spending almost all of May in the majors, he now has 15 homers in his 45 games for the Red Wings. Overall, he’s hitting .308/.385/.663 in 169 at-bats.
Which makes it baffling that he’s still in the minors with the Twins’ need for offense. Plouffe more than held his own in his May callup. He batted just .200, but that came with three homers and eight walks in 60 at-bats. He drove in 10 runs despite starting only 15 games.
Unfortunately, manager Ron Gardenhire soured on his defense after watching him make three errors in just a handful of games at shortstop and pretty much refused to play him there any longer. Since getting sent down, Plouffe has been used all over the place. He’s started games at all four infield spots and both outfielder corners for Rochester. Yesterday, Gardenhire made the call himself, telling the Red Wings to shift him to first base.
From the sound of things, Plouffe will stay at first base for now. If he gets comfortable there quickly, then he could join the Twins right after the All-Star break and take over as Justin Morneau’s primary replacement.
Still, the Twins can’t be looking at Plouffe as a long-term option there. He does have the range to handle shortstop in the majors, and ideally, he still might end up at the position next year. Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Alexi Casilla both seem better equipped to play second.
Rick Morissey of the Chicago Sun-Times published an article on Sunday giving a bit of insight into Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein. When Epsten was younger, he dabbled in sportswriting, but quickly realized the trade wasn’t for him.
As Morissey details, when Epstein was 19 years old writing for Yale’s student newspaper, he wrote an article suggesting the school’s football coach should be fired during what would become a 3-7 season. Epstein was told during the meeting that one writer would defend the coach and one would call for his job. “It was a lesson in the way that the world of journalism sometimes works. It was an eye-opener for me. I regret it, and I’ve happily moved on.”
Epstein continued, “I realized I didn’t want to be a sportswriter when I was interning with the Orioles back in ’92, ’93, ’94. I did do a lot of media-relations stuff, and I saw that the life of a sportswriter is pretty lonely. You kind of work by yourself, sit there by yourself in the press box, go back to the hotel bar. Not to generalize.” He added, “But I really respect writing and respect sportswriters.”
He’s not wrong, and he seems to have found his calling as a front office executive. His Cubs are back in the World Series for the first time since 1945.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.