The Minnesota Twins have placed third baseman Trevor Plouffe on the disabled list due to a broken left rib that will likely keep him out at least a month.
Plouffe was hit by a pitch Wednesday at Chicago and played the next two games, even going 3 for 4 with a home run Friday against Texas. The pain flared up over the weekend, though, and he was scratched from the lineup Sunday.
The move was made Monday before the Twins hosted Oakland, and first baseman Kennys Vargas was recalled from Triple-A Rochester to fill in.
”Another tough blow for Trevor,” manager Paul Molitor said. ”He’s had a frustrating year in terms of getting hurt, getting healthy, getting hurt.”
Plouffe had a DL stint earlier this season for a strained muscle on his right side. He missed two games last week because of a strained right groin muscle.
”Just kind of battling throughout the year, playing at 65 to 70 percent, just trying to get through it,” Plouffe said. ”And I would love to continue to do that, man, but this is a little bit too much.”
Plouffe was told he’ll probably need four weeks before he can swing again.
”I feel like I could probably beat that,” Plouffe said. ”I typically come back quicker than they predict, so we’ll see.”
At least the rest of his body ought to be able to fully heal while he’s resting the rib.
”Got to find a silver lining, man,” he said.
The silver lining for the Twins is making it easy for Molitor to put Miguel Sano at third base every day, rather than move him to designated hitter when Plouffe was in the field. Vargas, who hit .235 with 14 home runs and 53 RBIs in 82 games for the Red Wings, will see some action at DH in the meantime.
The Twins kept the arbitration-eligible Plouffe for $7.25 million, after he batted .244 with 22 home runs, 35 doubles and a career-high 86 RBIs last season. That prompted them to play Sano out of position in right field, an experiment that recently ended when he returned from the DL.
Given their majors-worst 27-54 record at the 81-game midpoint of the schedule, the Twins are certain to try to trade some of their veterans this month before the non-waiver deadline. The injury to Plouffe has reduced his value, though.
”I don’t know what’s going to happen with that now,” Plouffe said. ”I guess I never knew.”