08/27/12 8:35 PM ET
Plouffe finding his timing at the plate
By Rhett Bollinger and Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
The Twins third baseman has mostly struggled offensively since returning on Aug. 13 from a bruised right thumb suffered on July 20. Plouffe only collected two hits in his first 33 at-bats after coming back.
But more recently, Plouffe has seemingly found an answer, breaking out during Minnesota's series in Texas last week. He went 5-for-16 with an RBI in the four-game series. Plouffe also saved the Twins from falling victim to a second no-hitter this season, singling to end Matt Harrison's no-hit bid in the seventh inning on Friday.
"He's swinging better, no doubt," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He's putting some nice swings on some balls and hitting some balls hard."
Plouffe is hitting .240 on the season, but his 11 home runs tied for the second-most hit in baseball during June. He was also hitting .259 before injuring his thumb.
"He's just gotta get a little bit better luck," Gardenhire said. "But he's actually had a lot better at-bats, especially lately."
The 26-year-old Plouffe's defense is also still a work in progress. He spent extra time before batting practice on Monday fielding ground balls.
Plouffe has committed 10 errors in 65 games at third base this season.
"It's his own idea," Gardenhire said of the extra field work. "We want them to take the initiative. We talked about getting home now and getting a little bit more work, so he's doing it -- reading the ball, staying a little bit lower."
Mauer sets franchise mark for games caught
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins catcher Joe Mauer made history on Monday night at Target Field, as he passed Earl Battey for Minnesota's franchise record for most games caught.
Mauer started behind the plate against the Mariners to mark his 832nd game caught, which passed Battey's 831 games behind the plate, set during this time with Minnesota from 1961-67.
"I just found out about a few days ago," Mauer said. "It's pretty neat to think about. He was a great player for this organization. So to pass a player like Earl Battey is special to me. But having said that, it's something I'll probably look at more in the offseason. We're in a little bit of a funk right now."
Mauer already passed Battey for first in Twins history in starts at backstop with his 795th start on Aug. 18 in Seattle.
But Mauer has also been seeing plenty of time at designated hitter and first base this season, and it's helped keep him on the field after playing in just 82 games last year due to various injuries. Mauer ranks second on the team in games played with 119 -- 61 games at catcher, 32 at DH and 25 at first base.
"He's healthy now," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I think we've handled it pretty well with him being able to play first base and DH. He's stayed healthy, and on the baseball field."
Ryan preparing for September callups
MINNEAPOLIS -- While the Twins were on the road for a 10-game road trip through Seattle, Oakland and Texas, general manager Terry Ryan scouted his players at Triple-A Rochester and Double-A New Britain in preparation for rosters expanding on Saturday.
Starting Saturday, all teams can expand their active rosters to 40 players, but the Twins are expected to call up only a few players.
Ryan said he expects to meet with Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sometime during Minnesota's four-game homestand against the Mariners to talk about who will be their September callups.
"We're going to have a session in the next couple of days," Ryan said. "I have a fair idea of who I'm going to talk to him about that people are recommending and people I saw that I would recommend. There has to be a fit."
Candidates to be called up from Triple-A include first baseman Chris Parmelee, shortstop Brian Dozier and starting pitchers Esmerling Vasquez and P.J. Walters. Ryan also wouldn't rule out calling up a player from Double-A, so outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is a strong possibility.
"There will be some new faces," Ryan said. "The types of guys we're talking about are guys who have earned the promotion from what they've done at Triple-A or Double-A. We want an opportunity to get plenty of a look here, because we don't want to bring up a guy just to have the experience. I don't buy into that."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.