Third baseman returns from paternity list, triples and scores in win
By Betsy Helfand
MINNEAPOLIS -- It might be some time before Teddy Plouffe makes his Target Field debut, but his father, Twins third baseman Trevor Plouffe, was happy to be back at work in Saturday's 3-2 walk-off win vs. the Mariners after spending the past three days on the paternity list.
Plouffe went 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored in his return on Saturday.
"It's been amazing. It's such a surreal experience," Plouffe said of his and wife Olivia's first child. "You hear from all these people about what to expect and we planned as best we could, but it's something you have to experience to really get. Everything is good with [Olivia] and our baby. It definitely feels good to get back to work, too. A little bit of normalcy."
Plouffe was back at third base, batting fifth for the Twins vs. the Mariners in the third of their four-game series. He said he would have a Red Bull or some coffee to help fend off any tiredness that might come with caring for a newborn.
"I feel good. I have a little bit of adrenaline in, just trying to get through the first night at home," Plouffe said. "We had some fun with him last night."
Plouffe watched the Twins when he was in the hospital and watched a bit of Friday night's game with his son.
"It was kind of a fun thing there," Plouffe said. "It was tough to be away from the game, but if you're going to be anywhere, it's good to be there with Olivia and Teddy."
To make room for Plouffe and newly acquired reliever Kevin Jepsen, the Twins optioned two shortstops: Danny Santana and Jorge Polanco, who went to Triple-A Rochester and Double-A Chattanooga, respectively.
"I don't really want them to feel like they have to go out there and earn the right to play," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "It's been one of those years where that position's been in flux most of the year."
Molitor said he plans to use them both and thinks they can both contribute, and he said he would talk to both of them Saturday about the situation.
"Obviously if one of them gets hot, you're going to have a tendency to ride it, but I want them to just recognize when they get a chance to play, take the pressure off, go out there and do your thing and help us try to win," Molitor said.
Molitor said that center fielder Byron Buxton would head to Fort Myers, Fla., on Sunday to continue his rehab from a left thumb strain. He said Buxton would probably get a couple days of live batting practice before playing for the Fort Myers Miracle for a game or two. After that, Buxton will go out on a rehab assignment, likely to Triple-A Rochester, Molitor said.
Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.