Gardy to Casilla: 'You're the utility guy right now'

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 15, 2012 - 6:47 AM

Twins infielder Alexi Casilla went to manager Ron Gardenhire's office after Sunday's game to get an explanation about his recent lack of playing time.

hide

Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla

Photo: Marlin Levison, Star Tribune file

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Twins infielder Alexi Casilla went to manager Ron Gardenhire's office after Sunday's game to get an explanation about his recent lack of playing time.

After starting 24 of the season's first 27 games at second base and batting .247, Casilla has started just once in the past eight games.

When the Twins promoted shortstop Brian Dozier from Class AAA Rochester last week, Gardenhire met with veteran Jamey Carroll to explain things and began starting Carroll at second base. With Trevor Plouffe replacing Danny Valencia at third, Casilla had been on the bench wondering about his role.

There was speculation in the clubhouse Monday that Casilla told Gardenhire "play me or trade me," but Casilla said that wasn't the case. He wanted an explanation and felt better after talking to the manager.

"We're trying to win games," Casilla said. "I learned from my family that things like this make me stronger, make me work harder. Maybe what I'm doing is not enough, so I've got to work harder to get back to the lineup. And I'll be available whenever they need me."

Gardenhire said Casilla likely will start Tuesday's series finale against Cleveland.

"I'm just trying to mix it up and look at Plouffey over there a little bit," Gardenhire said. "Jamey's playing the heck out of second base. And my shortstop [Dozier] -- I don't think he's ready for a day off yet. As I told Lexi, 'You're the utility guy right now, and we're going to move you around a little bit.' "

Morneau nears return

Justin Morneau took batting practice on the field for the first time since going on the disabled list with a sore left wrist. He is eligible to return Wednesday, when the Twins begin a two-game series in Detroit.

"I think we're in discussions -- negotiations, I'll call it," Morneau said. "Hopefully it's sooner rather than later. We've got [Doug] Fister and [Rick] Porcello in Detroit. I've already been look ahead to who we're facing, so I'm optimistic that I'll be able to get in there soon."

Draft class is lacking

The Twins hold the No. 2 pick and five of the first 72 picks in this year's draft, which starts June 4, but there is growing sentiment that there's less talent available than in recent years, especially last year.

Mike Radcliff, the Twins vice president of player personnel, said there are always players who outperform draft day expectations, "but at this moment in time, this crop of talent is not very good," he said. "Last year, there was about seven or eight guys that were high end. We had eight guys with an 8 [grade on a 2-8 scale] -- the highest value you can give a guy -- and this year we have zero. ...

"That being said, there's going to be some good major league players [drafted], and we've gotta find them, gotta pick the right ones."

The Astros hold the No. 1 pick. At No. 2, all signs point to the Twins either taking Georgia high school outfielder Byron Buxton or one of two college pitchers -- Stanford's Mark Appel or San Francisco's Kyle Zimmer.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Miami - LP: M. Dunn 1 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 3
Arizona - WP: T. Cahill 7 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: P. Strop 5
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 12 FINAL
Colorado - LP: C. Bettis 10
Texas - WP: M. Perez 3 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 0
Houston - LP: J. Fields 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: F. Rodney 5
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 5 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: C. Morton 2
LA Angels - LP: E. Frieri 4 FINAL
Washington - WP: D. Storen 5
Kansas City - LP: K. Herrera 3 FINAL
Cleveland - WP: B. Shaw 5
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 10 FINAL
Toronto - LP: T. Redmond 8
Chicago WSox - WP: A. Rienzo 6 FINAL
Detroit - LP: E. Reed 4
St. Louis - LP: M. Wacha 2 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. Niese 3
Minnesota - WP: C. Fien 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Lueke 4
NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 1 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Lackey 5
San Diego - LP: T. Ross 2 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: K. Lohse 5
Philadelphia - LP: C. Hamels 2 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: Z. Greinke 5
Charlotte 97 FINAL
Miami 101
Dallas 113 FINAL
San Antonio 92
Portland 112 FINAL
Houston 105
Pittsburgh 3 FINAL(OT)
Columbus 4
Anaheim 2 FINAL
Dallas 4
St. Louis 3 FINAL(OT)
Chicago 4
Houston 0 FINAL
Red Bull New York 4
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How much optimism do you have in the Twins today?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close