When the Twins called up Alexi Casilla, I was enthusiastic but I didn't think he would produce especially after his horrible line in Rochester: .219 AVG and only 2 RBI in 32 G. Nonetheless, I was expecting him to fill in the "temporary" role as fill-in until Nick Punto and/or Matt Tolbert should return.
Alexi Casilla has played a total of 36 Games at the Major League level this season, and he has turned in one of the most spectacular performances. As a matter of fact, Casilla has won the second base job and number 2 slot in the Twins lineup.
36 G 133 AB 21 R 40 H 7 2B 3 HR 27 RBI 11 BB 16 SO 4 SB 1 CS .301 AVG .349 OBP .421 SLG
Casilla, in half the games that Gomez has played, has 1 more RBI, 2 less HR, and 1 less BB. This is not to say that Gomez has not been producing. As a matter of fact, I really like the way Gomez has been playing but this is to show how supremely incredible Alexi Casilla has been.
Then, with Mike Lamb struggling, the Twins called up Brian Buscher. I have always liked Buscher and I was hoping that the Twins would go with him as their opening day starter. But then the Twins signed Mike Lamb, which at the time I didn't think was such a bad move. Brian Buscher has played a total of 11 Games since his callup and has provided the Twins with spectacular plays at third base and a solid bat to go with it.
Buscher has now beat out Mike Lamb as the everyday thirdbaseman for the Twins and has slotted himself into (as Howard Sinker says) the Bottom Feeders slots.
11 G 38 AB 7 R 14 H 2 2B 1 HR 13 RBI 1 BB 2 SO 0 SB 1 CS .368 AVG .366 OBP (2 SF) .500 SLG
Buscher has struck out only 2 times in 38 AB!! This is the sign that Buscher is putting wood on cow-hide and driving them. Buscher has been robbed of hits more than once too. I see Mike Lamb being traded and Buscher taking the third base job. If they do trade Lamb, will they call up Macri to take AB against especially tough left handed pitchers or will they let Buscher work it out for himself?
Let us review how the Twins acquired these young studs:
In December of 2005, Terry Ryan and the Twins front office traded away one-time star pitcher, J. C. Romero, for projected star second base/shortstop, Alexi Casilla. Has that trade ever worked out! Romero went on to get hammered by the AL hitters before he moved to the NL where he found a little more success. Casilla arrived at Spring Training but with a poor performance was sent down to AAA quickly.
In December of 2006, Terry Ryan selected in the Rule 5 Draft, a third baseman/first baseman by the name of Brian Buscher. Twins purchased his contract in July of 2007 and Buscher made his Major-League Debut on July 27, 2007. Buscher was long thought of as a power type hitter but a below average defensive third baseman. Buscher worked on his defense in the offseason of 07-08 and arrived at spring training and acquired the award for the Overall Most-Improved Player. Buscher was beat out by utility player, Matt Tolbert, for the 25th roster spot out of spring training.