Minnesota Twins: Trevor Plouffe Returns Knowing That the Time to Perform Is Now

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Minnesota Twins: Trevor Plouffe Returns Knowing That the Time to Perform Is Now
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

So you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it's sinking/
Racing around to come up behind you again.

Time – Pink Floyd

***

The sun hung over Target Field on Monday, warming the diamond.

Beneath it Trevor Plouffe stood on the grass in front of the Twins dugout, only inches away from the sand that separates the railing and the playing surface.

He tossed a ball back and forth with Jamey Carroll, the player that had replaced him at third base in his absence.

Plouffe threw two separate ways:

In the first movement he dropped the ball on the ground immediately after catching it, picked it up shortly after and threw it to Carroll.

In the second movement he double-clutched the ball before tossing it.

Plouffe has eight errors at third base this season and it feels that the majority of those came when he was double-clutching the ball.

It was almost like he had too much time to throw it.

***

Before this season, time was running out on Plouffe.

The 2004 first-round draft pick out of Crespi Carmelite High School in West Hills, Calif. made his debut in 2010 and only played in 22 games.

Despite raking it in Rochester, he hit 40 home runs from 2009-11 for the Red Wings; the Southern Californian only mustered 10 jacks in the bigs during that time frame.

But this year he hit 19 home runs in 74 games, earning him the moniker Babe Plouffe.

Then he injured his thumb.

***

In the second inning, former Twin Delmon Young hit a ball directly at Plouffe.

He picked it up off the ground, just as he had while throwing to Carroll, and whipped it directly at the No. 7 on first baseman Joe Mauer’s uniform.

***

The thumb injury lingered.

It started off day-to-day, but resulted in a trip to the 15-day disabled list.

The length of time it took the injury to heal drew criticism from many people in Twins Territory.

***

Batting seventh, the third baseman, Trevor Plouffe.

“Ploooouuuuuffffeee!” cheered the crowd.

His walk-up song was, as always, When the Levee Breaks by Led Zeppelin.

With Doumit on first and a man out, Babe Plouffe flew out to center.

***

Plouffe didn’t have time for an injury.

We’re in mid-August.

The Twins season is going to end in September this year.

And Plouffe is 26 years old —in the prime of his career.

If he’s going to become a star, it’s now or never.

***

In between the second and third innings, Joe Mauer threw a ball towards Plouffe.

It skipped across the grass before he swooped it up.

He quickly picked it up and threw it back to Mauer.

The ball sailed over the first baseman’s head.

***

Plouffe had all the time in the world to throw that ball.

***

In the third inning Andy Dirks popped a ball deep into foul territory on the third base side.

Plouffe scampered from the sand in the diamond, across the grass in foul territory, into the sand near the ad.

He snagged the ball underhanded in stride.

***

Had Plouffe taken any more time in getting there, the ball would have landed in foul territory, extending the at-bat.

***

In the fourth inning, Plouffe came to the plate with no outs and nobody on.

In the previous inning, Doumit had struck out, leaving men on first and second.

He grounded to short.

***

Sixteen of Plouffe’s 19 homers have come without men on base.

He is batting .308/.373/.685 with the bases empty.

Two of Plouffe’s home runs came with a man on first.

He is batting .174/.255/.348 with a man on first.

The other came with a man on second.

***

In the top of the sixth, Miguel Cabrera hit a soft ground ball.

Plouffe swept it up and zipped it to Mauer.

In the bottom, he came to bat with Doumit on first.

Doumit advanced on a wild pitch.

With a man on second, Plouffe struck out looking.

***

Plouffe’s walk-up song, When the Levee Breaks, is sort of a harbinger.

He could extend his time in the majors if he could hit with men on.

After all, wasn’t is Roger Angell who wrote that if you keep the rally alive, you have defeated time?

***

In the seventh inning, Plouffe came to up to bat following a Doumit bomb that had scored three runs.

He swung at the first pitch and popped out to short.

That would be his last at-bat of the night.

***

Plouffe’s stat line: 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He left two men on base.

The game ended at 10:16 p.m., meaning it took three hours and five minutes.

The sun had left the sky long ago. The stadium lights now illuminated the diamond.

Plouffe will stand underneath the same sun regardless if he’s in a baseball diamond or not.

But those bright lights are why they call it the Show and nobody stands underneath those forever.

The sun is the same in a relative way but you're older.

 

All quotes were obtained first-hand.

Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.

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