Casilla sent down, called back up, still sucks

Please don’t make me watch this dude anymore.

Alexi Casilla came into Friday “hitting” .180/.242/.225 in 31 Major League games this season. That’s good for a 28 OPS+. 28% of an average major league hitter. For comparison’s sake, the first no-name National League pitcher who popped into my head (and I’ll never even be able to guess why) is the Pads’ Kevin Correia. Correia, this season, has a 32 OPS+.

Which would be fine if he were the best defensive second baseman in the history of the world (that’s a total lie — there’s nothing that can make a 28 OPS+ okay). But the sad truth is, he’s also a terrible second baseman. UZR thinks that he’s cost them 5 runs out there in his limited work this season, and from watching him, that seems low to me. All in all, FanGraphs has him at just over one win below replacement, which is something like saying if you had put pictures of random AAA second baseman on a board and threw a dart at it, then played the guy that dart hit for 31 games instead of Casilla, the Twins could expect to be a game closer to the Tigers right now. Just gross, all the way around.

Unfortunately, Matt Tolbert isn’t noticeably better, with a 37 OPS+ (and -0.9 wins below replacement, meaning that if you’d played Random AAA Guy at 2B every day, they could be two whole games better), and Casilla was tearing it up, relatively speaking, in the minors ( .340/.379/.449). So, contrary to my hopes and expectations, the Alexi Casilla Era began anew last night.

Ian Kinsler reached leading off the Rangers’ first, and then attempted to steal second. Mauer uncorks an absolutely perfect throw, coming right up to Casilla on the short hop, and Kinsler’s out by a good six feet. Except Casilla doesn’t even touch the ball. Just skips on past him; Kinsler ends up on third, and somehow Mauer gets stuck with the error. Later in the game, the Rangers double steal, and Mauer has the guy at second dead to rights…except Casilla doesn’t even cover the base.

And that’s the thing that gets me. I have a certain tolerance for terrible players, especially if they’re 24 years old and were considered decent prospects not so long ago. I also have patience for good players who sometimes make mental mistakes. But if you’re a terrible player and you have no idea how to play the game or where you’re supposed to be in a given situation? GTHO.

The Twins would be doing both themselves and the Pirates a big favor to go out and make a really solid offer for Freddy Sanchez before the deadline. The Twins get an automatic 3-win-or-so expected improvement over the last 70 games, while the Pirates are spared from their GM’s apparent inexplicable desire to sign two 30-something middle infielders to multi-year deals. C’mon Freddy!

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