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Thread: Plouffe's Throwing

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    Plouffe's Throwing

    Is it just me or does anyone else detect a hint of Steve Sax disease with Plouffe? He seems to really make some bad throws under pressure and it has been that way ever since he was brought up at short.

    He seems to get the yips with his throws and can make some bad ones just out of nowhere, while making perfectly good and strong throws on other occasions.

    I was listening on the radio and didn't see it, but it sounds like the throw he made to the plate yesterday was another example. While he didn't have a great outing, I hate to see people blame that one on Perk. He could have gotten out of it if Plouffe makes that simple throw.

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    Senior Member All-Star Sconnie's Avatar
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    He had a couple bad throws yesterday. He had one to first that Mauer had to jump to get as well. Neither throw really impacted the play since I think both plays would have been safe regardless of how good Plouffe's throws were, but man that's disappointing.

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    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Plouffe's arm makes Jacque Jones blush. And at least Jones was an outfielder so he couldn't do as much damage with it.

    I wonder how it was that Plouffe stuck at shortstop in the minors for so long. Was it just less pressure?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
    Plouffe's arm makes Jacque Jones blush. And at least Jones was an outfielder so he couldn't do as much damage with it.

    I wonder how it was that Plouffe stuck at shortstop in the minors for so long. Was it just less pressure?
    I was wondering the same thing - and I do think pressure is part of the equation. His arm is strong and he has generally good mechanics. That leads me to the pressure aspect - like I mentioned, he seems to get the yips. I really don't think he has a future in the infield - he's really turned into somebody that looks like a DH (assuming he hits).

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    Senior Member All-Star Winston Smith's Avatar
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    It's more likely he just isn't as good as people want him to be.
    This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

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    Senior Member All-Star Boom Boom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
    It's more likely he just isn't as good as people want him to be.
    Yeah, I mean, obvy.

    I'm just at a loss to explain how his defensive problems weren't a big enough issue in the minors to move him off shortstop at that time. We mentioned his arm - his ability to get to ground balls ain't very good either. Could be bad footwork, or bad instincts, or just plain bad range.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Reider's Avatar
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    Speaking from my experience of playing SS most of my life, players who are normally accurate, but throw wild under pressure situations, are showing signs of mental weakness, not physical. Plouffe needs to just relax, breathe, and not panic.

    It's a mental thing that can be fixed to some degree. Perhaps not fixed completely, but at least limited or reduced. He needs to to be consciously aware of what's going on in his mind in these situations. He needs to be mentally prepared for these situations every pitch the same way he has to know in his mind what he's going to do with the ball each play if it's hit to him. It's difficult to explain, but it's almost like your fight or flight response kicks in (spiked heart rate) and your body just doesn't respond the way it normally does. It's a result of being human.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
    Speaking from my experience of playing SS most of my life, players who are normally accurate, but throw wild under pressure situations, are showing signs of mental weakness, not physical. Plouffe needs to just relax, breathe, and not panic.

    It's a mental thing that can be fixed to some degree. Perhaps not fixed completely, but at least limited or reduced. He needs to to be consciously aware of what's going on in his mind in these situations. He needs to be mentally prepared for these situations every pitch the same way he has to know in his mind what he's going to do with the ball each play if it's hit to him. It's difficult to explain, but it's almost like your fight or flight response kicks in (spiked heart rate) and your body just doesn't respond the way it normally does. It's a result of being human.
    I get it - I double clutched plenty of throws in my shortstop days. I also wasn't being paid to be a professional player. He's been at the big league level long enough that this is not some blip on the radar or something that is going to go away with time. If he hits, they could try him in left field but my guess is that he is not on the club two years from now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Reider View Post
    Speaking from my experience of playing SS most of my life, players who are normally accurate, but throw wild under pressure situations, are showing signs of mental weakness, not physical. Plouffe needs to just relax, breathe, and not panic.

    It's a mental thing that can be fixed to some degree. Perhaps not fixed completely, but at least limited or reduced. He needs to to be consciously aware of what's going on in his mind in these situations. He needs to be mentally prepared for these situations every pitch the same way he has to know in his mind what he's going to do with the ball each play if it's hit to him. It's difficult to explain, but it's almost like your fight or flight response kicks in (spiked heart rate) and your body just doesn't respond the way it normally does. It's a result of being human.
    Seems a bit premature here. 2 games in. The guy has 41 career errors in 260 games, mostly at 3B. Those are fielding and throwing errors too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tobi0040 View Post
    Seems a bit premature here. 2 games in. The guy has 41 career errors in 260 games, mostly at 3B. Those are fielding and throwing errors too.
    The throwing issue has been consistent throughout his time in the big leagues. Most of his errors are throwing errors and that doesn't count the number of times he doesn't make the play but doesn't get an error, like yesterday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Linus View Post
    The throwing issue has been consistent throughout his time in the big leagues. Most of his errors are throwing errors and that doesn't count the number of times he doesn't make the play but doesn't get an error, like yesterday.
    I can't find the split between fielding and throwing errors. But if it is 50/50, he has 20 errors on 378 assists. I don't know what a typical ratio is.

    His defensive WAR has improved every year. -2.1, to -.8, to +.2 from 2011 to 2013.

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    Senior Member All-Star Badsmerf's Avatar
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    Plouffe isn't a gold glove 3b. He will always be a little inconsistent. What is important is how he handles it, and going 3-5 with 3 RBI tells me is handling it ok. Let the guy play it out, its early.
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    The reason that Plouffe stuck at short through the minors is that his defensive tools were fine and the team probably thought the problem was correctable. That probably isn't the case at this point but I will take him over a guy like Eduardo Escobar as long as he's hitting some (.725ish OPS or higher). At the end of the day he's just a placeholder until something better (like Sano) come along.

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    Senior Member All-Star Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
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    Plouffe has been hard to watch at every position the Twins have tried him in. I am more than happy scholarshipping Sano into the starting lineup beginning opening day 2015.

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    I honestly think what I'm noticing is that he doesn't make the throws well when he thinks he has plenty of time. Seems like when it's a speedy guy he just throws the ball hard, but when he doesn't have to rush he doesn't throw as hard and seems to lob the ball. I could be completely wrong and I have no data to back that up, but that's what I'm seeing.
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  17. #16
    It never ceases to amaze me the amount of virtual ink is spilled over Plouffe.

    The Twins lost 90 not because of Plouffe. He is an averagish to slightly above average 3rd baseman. With how poor other pieces of this roster are you ought to be thrilled.

    He is cheap, under team control, and an asset. Maybe not perfect but there are so many other things to complain about.

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  19. #17
    The Twins have had issues filling the shortstop position with a player who can hit for years. When they come across a shortstop prospect who shows an ability to hit, they might move him along quicker than other players due to their major league need. The defensive repetition and learning at the minor league levels were cut short. Could he have learned more by being left down longer? Possibly. Could he continue to learn at the major league level? Sure. But the point of the minor leagues is to teach players to play fundamentally sound baseball. When you rush the players through the system, you can sometimes hurt their development. Hopefully Pinto, Sano & Buxton do not suffer the same fate.

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    I really liked Patrick Reusse's take on Plouffe: "Blame it on spring, but I see hope with Plouffe" Here's an extended quote. for more check the link below:
    http://www.startribune.com/sports/blogs/252603621.html

    "I do think the manager and his coaching staff finally reached the conclusion last season that Plouffe’s flaws were not due to a lack of work by him on his fielding. He’s gifted with neither quick reactions nor soft hands.

    So be it.

    Two or three head shakers a week are not the Twins’ issue at the moment. It would help if Plouffe could improve his timing, and not have the bad plays show up at the worst possible moment for his pitcher, but hey, it’s third base …

    Harmon Killebrew started 718 big-league games there. A full-figured Miggy Cabrera played there the past two seasons, risking life, limb and winning back-to-back MVPs.

    If he hits, Plouffe as the third baseman becomes part of the solution, not one of the Twins’ problems."

    A .462 AVG and an 1.072 OPS over three games isn't sustainable. But it begins to underscore Reusse's point.
    Last edited by Don't Feed the Greed Guy; 04-03-2014 at 10:08 PM. Reason: Changed spacing, per Reusse's column

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    Owner MVP Seth Stohs's Avatar
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    Yeah, call it seeing him in spring training and some of the behind the scenes stuff, and I'm a big Plouffe believer. Is he a gold glover at 3B? No. But he's fine. The play yesterday was bad. He knows it. But it happens. We've all been there on that play. He had a .956 fielding percentage last year. Tha'ts right around league average for a 3B in the big leagues. (his issue defensively in the past at 3B wasn't errors, it was range. Too small a sample size so far to see how or if that's improved).

    And again, offensively, I am a big believer. He came to camp ready to go. Obviously we're see what happens, but I think he'll have a very good year.

    Regarding Sano, his fielding percentage last year between FM and NB was .932. A year earlier at Beloit, it was .884. A little perspective.
    Last edited by Seth Stohs; 04-03-2014 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Added Sano bit

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    Senior Member Triple-A Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seth Stohs View Post
    Yeah, call it seeing him in spring training and some of the behind the scenes stuff, and I'm a big Plouffe believer.

    Too small a sample size so far to see how or if that's improved).
    Thanks, Seth. This seems to be the prevailing sentiment of those who saw Plouff-ee show up in shape this spring. The key to life is showing up, especially when young, fit, and trim. I wish him well.

    BTW: Is anyone else just a little tired of the oft-repeated caveat regarding size of the sample? I just want to remind everyone that Bucky Dent's performance in the fall of 1978 is just too small of a sample size to judge an historic performance...

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