Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Will the real Casilla please stand up?

Have the Twins seen everything from Casilla?
The Twins entered the 2011 season with a clear plan for their middle infield. That plan included Tsuyoshi Nishioka being the second baseman and Alexi Casilla occupying shortstop role. That plan has gone through some significant changes throughout the first half of the season. Nishioka's injury and poor play by Casilla in the early portion of the season caused the Twins to rethink the infield situation.

Alexi Casilla is in the middle of his sixth season at the major league level and his fifth season of getting decent playing time with the Twins. The major theme during the career of Alexi Casilla has been inconsistency out of a player that seems to have a wealth of talent at his disposal. The Twins have given Casilla multiple opportunities to be a starter during his career. Casilla has yet to take full advantage of those opportunities.
Career Stats for Casilla
BA: .250
OBP: .308
SLG: .332
OPS: .640
oWAR: 2.1
dWAR: -3.1

The 2011 season has been a microcosm of the entire career for Casilla. He has shown flashes of brilliance on offense and defense but the consistency has been lacking over the entire season. The first month of the season was full of rough appearances at the plate and he ended the April with a .167 BA. The months of May and June have been a little more kind to Casilla at the plate and he has been a spark plug at the front of the Twins line-up. The month of May saw Casilla finish with a .288 BA and in the current month of June he is sitting at a .281 BA.

2011 Stats Summary
BA: .251
OBP: .318
SLG: .353
OPS: .671
oWAR: 0.9
dWAR: -0.2

Casilla has found comfort in batting at Target Field during the 2011 season. Looking just at his numbers at home, a person would think that the player is an All-Star. His stat line in the friendly confines of Target Field looks like this: .359 BA, .400 OBP, .487 SLG, .887 OPS. Casilla's play on the road has been a horror show with a stat line that adds to the horror: .190 BA, .273 OBP, .277 SLG, .550 OPS. Another example of his spotty play during the 2011 campaign. 

Casilla was given one last chance this season to prove to the Twins that he could stand up and be a starter for them into the future. The problem is the real Casilla has been with the Twins for the last six seasons. His flashes of brilliance do not balance out with the his overall play on the field. Luckily for Casilla, his recent hot streak will keep him in the line-up for the foreseeable future. If Casilla wants to stay with the Twins, he will need to show the team he can be a different player than the one that has graced the field for the Twins over his career. 

But the real Casilla might already be right in front of them...

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

I agree... this IS the "real" Lexi. I've always liked the guy, personally, but he is what he is... inconsistent. That makes him better than a consistently bad infielder, but worse than a consistently good one. Unfortunately, the Twins don't have a consistently good one to replace him with and until they do, I'd keep him around and hope to ride his hot streaks when they happen. Glancing at what's available in the Twins system, that could mean keeping Casilla around for a while unless Bill Smith goes shopping.