Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
The same great Twins Daily coverage, now for the Vikings.

The Store

Recent Blogs

From MinnCentric


Photo

Plouffe's Throwing

  • Please log in to reply
23 replies to this topic

#1 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:10 AM

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.

#2 Sconnie

Sconnie

    King of his Castle

  • Members
  • 1,255 posts
  • LocationNW Wisconsin

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:09 AM

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.

#3 Boom Boom

Boom Boom

    Hydraulic Choppers

  • Members
  • 1,120 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:46 AM

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?

#4 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:52 AM

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).

#5 Winston Smith

Winston Smith

    Old Geezer

  • Members
  • 1,379 posts
  • LocationOceania

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:57 AM

It's more likely he just isn't as good as people want him to be.

May all our prospects be All Stars and the beer be free.


#6 Boom Boom

Boom Boom

    Hydraulic Choppers

  • Members
  • 1,120 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:05 AM

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.

#7 Reider

Reider

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 378 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:36 AM

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.

#8 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:41 AM

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.

#9 tobi0040

tobi0040

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,321 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:42 AM

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.

#10 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:46 AM

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.

#11 tobi0040

tobi0040

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,321 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:57 AM

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.

#12 Badsmerf

Badsmerf

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 1,665 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 11:37 AM

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.
Do or do not. There is no try.

#13 kab21

kab21

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 2,423 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:03 PM

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.

#14 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    jamshots, blue darters, and humpback singles

  • Members
  • 1,215 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:31 PM

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.

#15 Jdosen

Jdosen

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 119 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 07:59 PM

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.
I just started the blog Troy Williamson's Hands which is about MN sports and whatever else I want to write--you can find it at http://troywilliamso...s.blogspot.com/
twitter: @dose17

#16 BHtwins

BHtwins

    Member

  • Members
  • 79 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:33 PM

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.

#17 DuluthFan

DuluthFan

    Member

  • Members
  • 103 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 08:42 PM

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.

#18 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

Don't Feed the Greed Guy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 437 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 09:04 PM

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.startribu.../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.

Edited by Don't Feed the Greed Guy, 03 April 2014 - 09:08 PM.
Changed spacing, per Reusse's column


#19 Seth Stohs

Seth Stohs

    Owner

  • Administrators
  • 7,476 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:11 PM

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.

Edited by Seth Stohs, 03 April 2014 - 10:16 PM.
Added Sano bit


#20 Don't Feed the Greed Guy

Don't Feed the Greed Guy

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 437 posts

Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:22 PM

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...

#21 Hosken Bombo Disco

Hosken Bombo Disco

    jamshots, blue darters, and humpback singles

  • Members
  • 1,215 posts

Posted 04 April 2014 - 12:14 AM

Reusse's article talks about Plouffe's bat, not his glove or throwing, which is what I thought we were discussing. I'm perfectly fine letting Plouffe play full time to see if he can find his swing and come back as a bench bat next year - so agree with Greed guy and Seth on that.

There was also the range issue you mentioned on the two run double in the second game. It was a well hit ground ball but not a bullet by any means. Many or most third baseman make that play, or at least get dirty trying. That said, I am actually okay with chalking up early season blunders to the cold weather. It's not something you ever want to tell the media though :)

#22 Thegrin

Thegrin

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 554 posts
  • LocationMinneapolis

Posted 04 April 2014 - 01:43 AM

Plouffe clearly rushed the throw to home, instead of relying on the strength of his arm. If he hadn't rushed it and made a good throw, it might have been a bang bang play anyway.

#23 Linus

Linus

    Senior Member

  • Members
  • 268 posts

Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:16 AM

It appears that he has a chance to be an above average hitter with some power - that's valuable. If he hits they will find a spot for him. However, the premise of the original post is that he has issues throwing that are not typical of major league infielders - its more than the "occasional bad throw everybody makes". The Twins don't have any other option right now, so yea, we live with it.

#24 TheLeviathan

TheLeviathan

    Twins News Team

  • Twins News Team
  • 5,052 posts

Posted 04 April 2014 - 07:49 AM

I have a hard time relying on fielding percentage anymore. The way rulings happen around the league they might as well just do away with errors.

The Twins shouldn't give up on Plouffe, his floor is a valuable lefty-mashing platoon option. His problem is that people focus on the two extremes he so frequently shows us. Some are hyper-focused on a 5 week binge that he'll never repeat in his life and some others focus too much on the horrible ruts he gets himself into. Truth lies in the middle.

(All that said - the guy is a subpar fielder. But you can live with that when he gets slotted into the role that fits him better - bench)