The Twins have placed third baseman Trevor Plouffe on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Wednesday, with a left oblique strain, the team announced. It’s unknown if Plouffe will return this year, but given the limited amount of games left, the Twins’ last-place status, and the length of time it takes to recover from oblique injuries, a 2016 comeback seems unlikely.
If Plouffe’s season is over, it’s possible his tenure with the Twins is, too. As MLBTR’s Steve Adams wrote Wednesday, the Twins have a glut of other options in the infield and outfield, which could make Plouffe a non-tender or trade candidate during the offseason.
Plouffe, 30, has endured his worst season since he started garnering significant playing time in 2011, having batted .260/.303/.420 in 344 plate appearances and accounted for one of the majors’ worst fWAR totals (minus-0.4). Nevertheless, he’ll still receive a raise over this year’s $7.25MM salary in his first trip through arbitration during the winter. It’s conceivable neither Minnesota nor anyone else will want to pay Plouffe in the neighborhood of $8MM off such a poor season, which could lead the Twins to cut bait.
Regardless of what the future holds for Plouffe, this has been a year to forget for a player who had been a steady contributor in recent seasons. Aside from his subpar numbers and current oblique issue, he was on the shelf for nearly three weeks from April to May with an intercostal strain – something he’s also dealing with now – and missed time in July with a cracked rib.