Twins Demote Casilla

This afternoon, the Twins decided they’d seen enough of Alexi Casilla, who entered the day as their starting second baseman. A 24-year-old switch hitter who fits the athletic, groundball/contact skillset that the Twins prefer, Ron Gardenhire just got tired of the mental mistakes. Casilla has driven Minnesota’s management nuts with his sloppy plays, his lack of fundamentals, and his general underachievement.

Then, of course, there’s this.

May, 2008: .340/.417/.520
June, 2008: .304/.330/.412
July, 2008: .308/.333/.385
August, 2008: .234/.260/.362
September, 2008: .221/.321/.253
April, 2009: .174/.231/.202
May, 2009: .135/.233/.135

I’m not a big believer in trend analysis, but you rarely see that kind of direct line with no variation. His OPS by month has declined every single month since last May (he began the season in the minors, so there’s no April data for ’08), where he went from great to good to okay to bad to really bad to miserable to holy crap we’ve seen enough.

At this point, I think we probably have to assume that Casilla is not going to make it in Minnesota. He showed some promise last year, but for a guy with no power and an aggressive approach at the plate, his margin for error is very small. When he gets into funks like this offensively, he’s going to be really bad, and he’s not exactly making up for it with gold glove defense at second base either.

The Twins are going to look at Matt Tolbert and Brendan Harris to fill the void, but they’re going to need to make a move to bring in a new second baseman if they want to try to get back in the AL Central race. At this point, Casilla’s probably out of the picture for good, and they don’t have a quality option for the long term available.

It will be interesting to see how long Casilla stays in Triple-A before he gets the change-of-scenery trade.

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Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Casilla is (was) incredibly hard to watch play second base. I watch every Twins game and more Mariners’ games than any non-Twins team, and the numbers don’t support him being THIS bad, but as between Casilla and Yuni, I honestly couldn’t choose who I’d want to watch less.

Ray Durham? Mark Grudzielanek? So many uninspiring possibilities…