MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 23: Alexi Casilla #12 of the Minnesota Twins slides in safely to third base on a single by teammate Denard Span #2 off starting pitcher Fausto Carmona #55 of the Cleveland Indians during the third inning of their game on April 23, 2011 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
As Kevin Slowey continues to stretch himself out in preparation for his return to the Twins from his rehab assignment, the club continues to play mix-n-match with personnel in an attempt to provide necessary bench depth (a two-man bench is better than a one-man bench, right?) and an in attempt to make sure they have at least one relief pitcher who can go on any given night.
That was a long sentence for everyone to be starting out their Saturday mornings on. Sorry about that. Let me start over.
After Casilla's performance last night, in which he was nearly single-handedly responsible for the Twins losing the game late, I'm sure I'm not alone in how I feel about him right now. Coming into the season I was happy to give him his opportunity, the benefit of a doubt to prove that he could handle a starting job on an everyday basis. While this certainly isn't his fault (you have to blame the front office for what's been a stunning lack of vision heading in terms of personnel heading into the season), you can't continue to play the guy simply because it was the decision the team made.
Not every game for Alexi will be as gut-wrenching as it was last night. But as far as I'm concerned, I've seen enough. I don't think he'll ever be able to handle an everyday role, and so I'm ready to move on. Read my solution after the jump.
In: Trevor Plouffe
Out: Alexi Casilla
First thing's first: Casilla is out of options. If the Twins want to assign him to Rochester, they'll have to stamp him with a DFA and then hope he passes through waivers. With his .167/.227/.200 triple slash, negative WAR, and an assortment of negative defensive metrics (UZR/150, range runs, even fielding percentage, they're all bad in our existing sample), I have to believe that he'll pass through waivers with ease.
Which, of course, only matters if you're concerned about losing Casilla. I suspect many people won't be.
Plouffe, meanwhile, has been Rochester's best hitter this year. Yes, even better than Rene Tosoni. In 66 spring at-bats he's hit five homers (and nine extra-base hits total) en route to a .273/.338/.576 line. He's 24 now, turns 25 in June, and it's hard to say that more time with the Red Wings will help him mature any further. Because while I'd agree with anyone who said he's definitely hitting over his head right now, he's also been at triple-A since his last 66 games of 2008. He's now played 304 games at this level.
With Plouffe's return you can plug him in at short along with Matt Tolbert, who himself will still be on the roster to fill in at third and second. Both of those players, and all of the positions mentioned, we know they can play. Casilla, on the other hand, well...it's becoming increasingly obvious that he either doesn't have the ability or concentration to play short everyday.
Do the means justify the ends? Or am I over-reacting? Let's hear how you feel about Casilla going forward.