Q&A with Twins Shortstop Trevor Plouffe

Trevor Plouffe could be used as a metaphor for the Twins season so far. The rookie shortstop has shown flashes of brilliance, but they’ve been overshadowed by lapses of concentration and boneheaded mistakes. Overall he’s likeable, but seems to be in way over his head.

After seeing regular action during mid-May, Plouffe has become persona non grata recently. The former 1st round pick figures to be sent back to Triple A when Tsuyoshi Nishioka returns later this month (UPDATE: PLOUFFE WAS SENT DOWN AFTER THURSDAY’S GAME). The 24-year-old and I hooked up for a quick chat last week during the Seattle series.

DZ: You’ve been up here a little over two weeks now, how’s it been going for you?

PLOUFFE: Everything has been - you know - going all right. Obviously we’d like to win more games as a team and that’s kind of always the main focus, but it’s definitely good to be here and be able to help contribute in some games. Some games obviously, haven’t gone our way or my way, but good - pretty good.

DZ: How much different is it this year, having the experience of last year under your belt?

PLOUFFE: It’s a lot different. You kind of understand that the game isn’t any different. Obviously, there’s better players, but everything (else) stays the same. Once you get that into your head, it’s definitely helpful. Coming up this year was a little bit different. I came up because I was playing well and they needed me. I felt like last year I was coming up because someone got hurt and in that sense it’s a little bit different for me this year too.

DZ: Going back to spring training, obviously your goal is to make the team going in. How did you deal with the disappointment of having to start at Triple A?

PLOUFFE: I realized that what I was doing in spring training wasn’t working. I worked really hard and I was pressing. I was trying to do things that I really couldn’t do. Going back to Triple A, I was able to reevaluate my situation and kind of see where I was at. I took the mindset of “I want to work hard and I want to prepare for the game, but once the game starts I just go out an play.” I did that and played pretty well for the first month or so down there and then got called up.

DZ: When you are down at Triple A, how closely do the guys follow the major league team - their injuries and that kind of stuff?

PLOUFFE: Of course we follow the games because you know everybody up here, but as far as the injuries and what not, you definitely want to try to stay away from that because any time you start thinking, “Hey maybe I’ll get called up” - that’s not the mindset you want to take, you just want to go out there and play and if you get the call, you get the call. Obviously, there’s a lot of injuries this year so a lot of guys are going up and down - even within the first week, we had Luke (Hughes) come up. So, it’s definitely a little bit different this year with all of the injuries, but - like I said - you try not to focus on it.

DZ: Does it make the transition easier having all of these guys up here from the minor leagues that you’ve played with?

PLOUFFE: Yeah, it definitely makes it a little bit easier. I think that in an organization like the Twins where a lot of the guys are home grown, you would know guys whether it was just you getting called up from Triple A or a lot of us like are here now. That’s one thing that is special about the Twins organization - everyone has come up together, we’ve been in spring training for three or four years together and we have guys like Morny, Cuddy and Joe that have been here their whole careers, so I’ve gotten to know them pretty well.

DZ: Last year, the infield was a lot more veteran with guys like (Orlando) Hudson and (J.J.) Hardy. Now, it’s a lot of young guys…is it harder to not have a veteran infielder to kind of bounce things off of?

PLOUFFE: Um (pauses), I wouldn’t say it’s harder. It was nice to have a guy like Hardy. I learned a lot from him last year, just the way he prepared for the game and went about his business. As far as playing middle infield, it’s nice to be able to comfortable with someone. I’ve played with Lex (Alexi Casilla), I’ve played with (Matt) Tolbert and Danny (Valencia), so we are all pretty comfortable with each other.

DZ: You kind of addressed this, but do you feel like you belong this year where as last year you were more wide eyed?

PLOUFFE: Absolutely, I feel like I do belong here. I think there’s a lot things I still need to work on obviously, but I know that I belong. I’ve been able to be up for a while now and you start to realize that all you have to do is start to be yourself and that’s the biggest thing. When you are trying to be Jim Thome at the plate, it’s not going to work. That’s main thing I realize this year is that if you stay within yourself and work hard, I do belong here and that’s helped.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

May 31: Phil Dumatrait
May 28: Justin Morneau
May 24: Denard Span
May 1: Jim Hoey
April 28: Jason Kubel
April 19: Jeff Manship
April 15: Dusty Hughes

2 Responses to “Q&A with Twins Shortstop Trevor Plouffe”

  1. MinnesotaSCORE » Q&A with Twins Starter Nick Blackburn Says:

    […] 2: Trevor Plouffe May 31: Phil Dumatrait May 28: Justin Morneau May 24: Denard Span May 1: Jim Hoey April 28: Jason […]

  2. MinnesotaSCORE » Jason Kubel Unfiltered Says:

    […] July 17: Ben Revere July 3: Scott Baker June 13: Rene Rivera June 10: Nick Blackburn June 2: Trevor Plouffe May 31: Phil Dumatrait May 28: Justin Morneau May 24: Denard Span May 1: Jim Hoey April 28: Jason […]

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