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View Full Version : Article: Career of lost opportunities for Alexi Casilla



Cody Christie
09-20-2012, 07:28 AM
You can view the page at http://www.twinsdaily.com/content.php?1051-Career-of-lost-opportunities-for-Alexi-Casilla

gunnarthor
09-20-2012, 08:45 AM
Yeah, I've always liked Casilla and after 2010, I really thought he'd play well at TF but it hasn't happened. He'll be non-tendered.

Thegrin
09-20-2012, 09:17 AM
I remember his clutch hits fondly. That is the only thing about him I think of fondly.

stringer bell
09-20-2012, 09:29 AM
I will be sad if Casilla is non-tendered, but he hasn't justified a million+ dollar contract with his performance at the plate. However, Casilla has had his best season in the field (a few too many errors but great range and a number of web gems plus an excellent turn of the DP) and if he could get on more he would be a real force on the bases (17-18 in stolen bases this year) so it is disappointing that he just hasn't hit enough to merit playing time.

Willihammer
09-20-2012, 10:05 AM
Brian Dozier, come on down! Jamie Carroll, come on down! Pedro Florimon, come on down! Eduardo Escobar, come on down! You are the first 4 contestants of the 22nd season of Stop Gap at Short Stop!

Rosterman
09-20-2012, 10:15 AM
I would say Luis Rivas II...steals bases, has some pop when plays a lot, but totally inconsistent at the plate. You could make an argument about why you pay Carroll $2.5 million to do pretty much the same (yes, there are subtle positive differences with Carroll). Casilla will grab on with someone at a reduced salary, probably bounce between the majors and minors. I doubt that he'll ever start fulltime...unless he sets his sights on say Houston for 2013. Major leagues rules and such priced him out of the Twins marketplace for next season. So, who is going to be the translator now for Florimon?

Rosterman
09-20-2012, 10:49 AM
Oh, we could bring Jason Bartlett (and probably Orlando Hudson) back into the mix, too. And maybe a Mr. Guzman is getting hungry again!

notoriousgod71
09-20-2012, 12:33 PM
While completely inconsistent, I will at least have good memories of Casilla. He has come up with two of the bigger hits in Twins history and despite all his other flaws those were two exciting times. There's not too many players left that I can remember getting big hits in big games.

ltwedt
09-20-2012, 03:11 PM
Yeah - I know I'll be in the minority here, but I believe that a share of Casilla's problems can be laid at the feet of the manager. Gardy did pretty much everything to insure that Casilla would never play the same position more than 3 times in a row, and if Alexi screwed up (as Alexi does) Gardy would bench him for and extended time. No consistency in either Alexi's play OR in Gardy's handling of him. What's the quickest way to insure that a young player develops no confidence in his abilities??? Jerk him around like Casilla has been jerked around by the manager.

Now - having said that, do I think he belongs on the Twins 40 man roster??? No - But does he belong as much as about 1/3 of the players that ARE on teh 40 man? Yup

nokomismod
09-20-2012, 03:22 PM
I think Casilla played best when he had a mentor in OCab (think that was 2010). I've always rooted for him (my kids too). He's a goofball and usually wears his emotions on his sleeve. He also comes up with some slick fielding plays more than any current infielder. But yeah, he has never been consistent/confident/comfortable enough to pull it off.

stringer bell
09-20-2012, 04:56 PM
Yeah - I know I'll be in the minority here, but I believe that a share of Casilla's problems can be laid at the feet of the manager. Gardy did pretty much everything to insure that Casilla would never play the same position more than 3 times in a row, and if Alexi screwed up (as Alexi does) Gardy would bench him for and extended time. No consistency in either Alexi's play OR in Gardy's handling of him. What's the quickest way to insure that a young player develops no confidence in his abilities??? Jerk him around like Casilla has been jerked around by the manager.

Now - having said that, do I think he belongs on the Twins 40 man roster??? No - But does he belong as much as about 1/3 of the players that ARE on teh 40 man? YupI'm a pretty big Casilla fan too, but I can't blame the manager. Gardy stuck with Alexi a long time and he didn't progress. The thing that I am lamenting is that as the seasons have gone along, Casilla has matured. The mental errors have diminished and he has made quite a number of hustle or heads-up plays. He just hasn't been able to produce the amount of offense necessary to be a regular player and by choice has limited his versatility.

If the Twins had a competent SS both offensively and defensively, I think Casilla could fit in fine as the ninth starter, hitting 9th, playing good defense, stealing bases and having his contribution with the bat considered a bonus.

Montecore
09-20-2012, 06:45 PM
Yeah - I know I'll be in the minority here, but I believe that a share of Casilla's problems can be laid at the feet of the manager. Gardy did pretty much everything to insure that Casilla would never play the same position more than 3 times in a row, and if Alexi screwed up (as Alexi does) Gardy would bench him for and extended time. No consistency in either Alexi's play OR in Gardy's handling of him. What's the quickest way to insure that a young player develops no confidence in his abilities??? Jerk him around like Casilla has been jerked around by the manager.

Now - having said that, do I think he belongs on the Twins 40 man roster??? No - But does he belong as much as about 1/3 of the players that ARE on teh 40 man? YupI'm a pretty big Casilla fan too, but I can't blame the manager. Gardy stuck with Alexi a long time and he didn't progress. The thing that I am lamenting is that as the seasons have gone along, Casilla has matured. The mental errors have diminished and he has made quite a number of hustle or heads-up plays. He just hasn't been able to produce the amount of offense necessary to be a regular player and by choice has limited his versatility.

If the Twins had a competent SS both offensively and defensively, I think Casilla could fit in fine as the ninth starter, hitting 9th, playing good defense, stealing bases and having his contribution with the bat considered a bonus.

No, Iwedt had it right. Recall when Gardenhire denigrated Casilla and Carlos Gomez as "The Loose Cannons"? Does anyone think Jim Leyland just for instance would use that kind of "humor" as a motivating tool?
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But, I'm sure a decent mgr. would have gotten more out of him.

Snortwood
09-20-2012, 08:49 PM
What are the splits on Casilla? Looks to me like he was one of those guys who hit okay right-handed but was real fast so they said, you know you ought to try switch hitting. He's never looked good enough long enough batting left-handed to see why that should have continued for so long. From the right side of the plate he swings with some evil intentions - left-handed he's just trying to not strikeout. My take is, he would have been better served in the field and at the plate as a straight-up right-handed hitter. Now we'll never know, but he wouldn't have been the first and won't be the last (Florimon?) forced down the same path.

snepp
09-20-2012, 08:58 PM
He's been equally putrid from both sides of the plate, .640 OPS left-handed, .620 OPS right. (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/split.cgi?id=casilal01&year=Career&t=b)

USAFChief
09-20-2012, 09:40 PM
No, Iwedt had it right. Recall when Gardenhire denigrated Casilla and Carlos Gomez as "The Loose Cannons"? Does anyone think Jim Leyland just for instance would use that kind of "humor" as a motivating tool? Gardenhire has always been too stupid and too classless to manage a major league team. What percentage of Casilla's failures are attributable to the moron mgr? Who knows? But, I'm sure a decent mgr. would have gotten more out of him.

The "moron mgr" gave Casilla something along the lines of a half dozen opportunities to keep a starting position.

If Gardy's a moron, it's because he gave Casilla too MANY chances, not that he didn't give him enough.

Sheesh.

joeboo_22
09-20-2012, 10:26 PM
Its not that Gardy is a moron for giving Casilla way too many opportunities its how they developed him. They called him up early, then sat him, then never let him struggle and play through it. Then he hurt his thumb and they rushed him back. Its not that Casilla has deserved more, or that he doesn't have some blame, its not like he was making it hard for Gardy to bench him. But its that Gardy seemed like he would rather put a Nick Punto at 2B then a Casilla. And that would be one thing if Punto was batting .280 but he wasn't. Put your self in that position, where any mistake you make, any slump you have, and Nick Punto and his .218 .ba as just taken over your position.

And that goes with damn near all middle infielders the Twins have had, Gardy (and Terry Ryan) would rather go out on the market and get a .230 (decent obp and good club house guy) and block the middle infielder. That just doesn't work.

CDog
09-20-2012, 11:53 PM
But its that Gardy seemed like he would rather put a Nick Punto at 2B then a Casilla. And that would be one thing if Punto was batting .280 but he wasn't. Put your self in that position, where any mistake you make, any slump you have, and Nick Punto and his .218 .ba as just taken over your position.

Nick Punto's batting average with the Twins was .248. His OBP .323. Which are all of one point off his career numbers. As an aside, Alexi Casilla's career batting average is .248. His OBP is .303.

70charger
09-21-2012, 12:31 AM
You could make an argument about why you pay Carroll $2.5 million to do pretty much the same (yes, there are subtle positive differences with Carroll).

Let's talk about this for a second. What are the positive differences? Carroll hits about the same, is usually in the .650-.700 OPS range, and while generally more consistent than Casilla, is certainly not so much better that we think of him as much of an offensive upgrade. Then there's the defensive side. Casilla's got better range, isn't 93 years old, and makes the slick play. Give me a choice, and I think I might take Casilla.

Alternate opinions welcome.

stringer bell
09-21-2012, 06:21 AM
You could make an argument about why you pay Carroll $2.5 million to do pretty much the same (yes, there are subtle positive differences with Carroll).

Let's talk about this for a second. What are the positive differences? Carroll hits about the same, is usually in the .650-.700 OPS range, and while generally more consistent than Casilla, is certainly not so much better that we think of him as much of an offensive upgrade. Then there's the defensive side. Casilla's got better range, isn't 93 years old, and makes the slick play. Give me a choice, and I think I might take Casilla.

Alternate opinions welcome.Carroll has been a late-bloomer and with a bat in his hand, he has undoubtedly been better than Casilla. Carroll at 38 has been versatile and a good defender, not great. Casilla has played almost exclusively at second, where I believe he is the best middle infield defender the Twins have. Casilla will be 29 at midseason next year while Carroll will play 2013 at age 39. Casilla can be a threat on the bases, Carroll not so much. Carroll has never had a disabling injury, Casilla has spent at least four stints on the DL. If I had to pick one to start 140 games at second base in 2013, I would pick Casilla, but if the Twins are looking at those two as utility options, Carroll is the better choice despite his age.

Wolfy
09-21-2012, 08:39 AM
Good luck to Casilla, but this team won't miss him. This organization already has 45 Casilla's and will likely draft 20 more over the next 4 years.