Monday, July 13, 2009

Alexi Casilla, Take 3

... third try this year, at least. More like five for his career.

This is a crucial move for the Twins,and for Casilla.

They've divvied up the middle infield four ways this season — Nick Punto, Brendan Harris, Casilla and Matt Tolbert. None of them are complete players — and none of them have taken a job and made it his.

Casilla, athletically, is the least limited of the four. But he has a penchant for screwups, which is why he has twice been demoted. But if there is anybody on hand capable of cementing a middle infield position, it's him. But at some point, one has to figure he's not capable of holding his focus long enough to do so.

The Star Tribune story on the move takes note of Casilla's .340 batting average in Rochester and the .191 batting average of the Twins No.2 hitters other than Joe Mauer.

The No.2 problem is easily solved: Make Mauer the No. 2 hitter, slide Morneau up to third, etc. I went through this once before: The kind of lineup Ron Gardenhire obviously prefers — like Sunday's — has these four hitters in front of Mauer:

8) outfielder (Carlos Gomez)
9) middle infielder (Punto)
1) Denard Span
2) middle infielder (Harris)

Make Mauer the No.2 hitter, and it becomes

7) Harris
8) Gomez
9) Punto
1) Span

Same guys, just more at-bats over the course of time for Mauer & Morneau, since they'd be one spot higher each, and a lot fewer AB for the middle infielder.

Casilla's stats for the season, majors and minors, here.


  1. Replace Punto in your nine hole with Lexi, and I'm on board. We know what Punto can't do. Let's see what Lexi can do over an uninterrupted and extended period, using Punto as the defensive utility guy. 20/20 is easy, but I think it makes sense to figure out what we have in Lexi.

  2. What do you think? Make a run at Matt Herges?