Trevor Plouffe was recalled from Triple-A Rochester Wednesday and he probably would have started against the White Sox had his plane not been delayed. Instead, he made his 2011 debut Friday night against the Boston Red Sox and it was quite the impressive debut at that. Ron Gardenhire seems intent on letting Plouffe take over as the everyday shortstop for the time being and he threw him right into the number two hole in the lineup and Plouffe delivered. He went 2-4, hitting a home run in his first at bat. He ended up scoring three runs, drawing a walk and stealing a base. That is the kind of production the Twins have been dying for from their middle infielders. I have a good feeling about Plouffe this time around, and feel like he could really be the spark the Twins need. It was just one game, but I really do think he could make a difference in the lineup. Let’s face it, the middle infield hasn’t exactly been spectacular so far and if Plouffe could even come close to his Triple-A stats it would be a monumental upgrade for the Twins.
With Plouffe’s arrival it seems like Gardy is going to sqaush the Michael Cuddyer-second base operation. Alexi Casilla made it clear he feels more comforatable at second base and with Jim Thome on the disabled list there is really no reason for Gardy to keep running Cuddyer out at second because Jason Kubel can DH without stealing at bats from Thome. Perhaps the switch can get Casilla feeling comfortable and even light a fire under him. If he could start getting on base and making things happen it could be a huge lift for the lineup. And let’s face it, Cuddyer is better suited for right field, even though I liked him at second when he was there this season. Then again, I, for some reason, have always been a big proponent of Cuddyer at second.
Regardless of who ends up playing the middle infield spots, one thing is certain, someone needs to step up and be consistent, both on offense and defense, because this carousel middle infield thing just isn’t going to cut it. Oh, and did I mention that Scott Baker is awesome? Is it too early to toot my own horn? Haha.