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Fanfare for the Journeyman

Posted by MileHighTwinsFan , 19 April 2015 · 1,511 views

trevor plouffe twins
Fanfare for the Journeyman Def. jour·ney·man \-mən\
: a worker, performer, or athlete who is experienced and good but not excellent

In the nomenclature of the game we have many names for the journeyman. On competitive teams we typically use the more endearing terms: role player, utility man, pinch hitter, defensive replacement. But on a losing team we tend to describe them in less complementary ways: placeholder, seat warmer, has been.

A journeyman’s value is not typically described with season stats or career slash lines, but in single moments; when they get a key hit, make an outstanding defensive play or simply move a runner over to allow the franchise player a chance to hit with a player in scoring position.

With a team like the Twins that is filled with players that meet the definition of journeyman, fans are quick to dismiss their value and instead pine for the brilliant prospect filled with promise and potential who is waiting in the wings.

Trevor Plouffe must have a clock ticking in his head. Intellectually he knows that his days as the Twins starting third baseman are numbered. Conversely, his competitive instincts keep pushing him to keep his job and show the world that he is not simply a placeholder for super prospect Miguel Sano.

Spring training and the first two weeks of the season were a struggle for Trevor. Despite coming off his best major league season, he had to overcome a late season freak injury, his average was firmly planted below .200 and the team had not started strong out of the gate. Anyone in his shoes would start to look in the rear view mirror to see if Mr. Sano was gaining on him.

Because of all he was up against, Plouffe’s walk-off homer in extra innings on Friday must have been particularly sweet.

The cathartic reaction from Plouffe as he screamed at his teammates in the dugout during his homerun trot was a message to us fans. He is saying, I too was once a hot prospect, a player with potential. While it hasn’t worked out for me just yet – I am still here. I have worked my ass off and I don’t intend to go quietly into the night.

So today I take my hat off to Trevor Plouffe, Shane Robinson, and Jordon Schaefer and the other journeyman who may never make an All-Star game or get the long term multi-million dollar deal. Get after it fellas, I respect your commitment. Hang in there, celebrate every success and know that when you do yield to that young super prospect, there is one fan out there who respects what you bring to the game.

  • Hosken Bombo Disco likes this



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stringer bell
Apr 19 2015 04:57 PM

Trevor Plouffe is a major league regular.He will make enough money to be comfortable for the rest of his life and probably will never play in the minor leagues again.Schafer and Robinson are not guaranteed to be in the major leagues for the remainder of this season or any time after that.Quite a difference IMHO.

 

No, Trevor won't stand in the way of Sano for long, but he could well be a starter in the majors for another five or more years.

    • gil4 and gbg like this

 

Trevor Plouffe is a major league regular.He will make enough money to be comfortable for the rest of his life and probably will never play in the minor leagues again. 

No, Trevor won't stand in the way of Sano for long, but he could well be a starter in the majors for another five or more years.

 

I agree.The journeymen are usually good enough to keep getting MLB jobs, but not good enough for anyone to put a real priority on retaining them.Plouffe has turned out to be a pretty good 3B and the Twins would definitely want to keep him long-term if not for Sano.

 

 

Schafer and Robinson are not guaranteed to be in the major leagues for the remainder of this season or any time after that.Quite a difference IMHO.

Again, I agree. If at least one of the two doesn't get his last MLB AB this year, I will be surprised.I think Plouffe is a notch above journeyman while these two are a notch below. 

At least Trevor can take solace in the fact that Sano may be gaining on him, but with a .200 batting average in AA ball he is doing so, not at the speed of light, or even at the speed of sound, but at the speed of smell.Not excactly the start Twins fans were hoping for but probably one that lends credence to the decision to start him out in Chattanooga.

The Twins have two choices for Plouffe gong into 2016. Make him a super Cuddyer sub playing outfield and backup first base (and third) or trading him. When he becomes a free agent he will definitely walk. He may walk if his arbitration wishes become too high, i.e. he has a great 2015. But if he does have a great 2015, he will also be highly tradeable. Otherwise, he will become a very expensive utility guy.

 

He might become the next Graig Nettles, or perhaps the future Brian Buscher,