Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Casilla out, Tolbert in

After last night's game, the Twins put Alexi Casilla (pictured) on the disabled list and recalled Matt Tolbert.

Tolbert figures to play the same role as Casilla, which is to say not much of one at all. Pinch-running, occasional defensive work when one of the regular infielders is out — which is the case today, with Orlando Hudson's immediate status uncertain.

At this point, I'd rather not see Brendan Harris playing at all, although I expect he'll get a start today, as Seattle's got a left-hander scheduled to start. Harris is in the major leagues largely because his career batting average vs. LHP is .289. But he's just 2 for 22 over the past two weeks, and he's hit lefties worse than righties so far this season.

That shouldn't continue forever, but he looks like a mess at the plate right now. Still, if he doesn't play against Jason Vargas, I don't know how the Twins justify his roster spot.

Harris' slump makes this a particularly bad time for Casilla to go on the shelf. He's actually looked fairly competent at the plate so far in his limited opportunities — his OPB is .370 — and I was struck by his three-walk performance May 22 against Milwaukee. Three walks in a game isn't something that just happens.

A healthy Casilla might have gotten more opportunities.

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