Results tagged ‘ Alexi Casilla ’

Twins, Casilla avoid arbitration

MINNNEAPOLIS — The Twins agreed to terms with Alexi Casilla on a one-year contract worth $1,382,500 to avoid arbitration, the club announced today.

Casilla, 27, filed his arbitration figure at $1.75 million, while the Twins offered $1.065 million, meaning Casilla settled $25,000 below the midpoint to avoid an arbitration hearing.

Casilla, who batted .260 with a .322 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage in 97 games in 2011, made $865,000 last year. He missed 57 of the Twins’ final 58 games because of a strained right hamstring

After the season, Casilla also hit .336 with an .831 OPS during 31 regular season games for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League before hitting .397 with a .946 OPS in 17 playoff games.

Casilla was the last of the club’s three arbitration-eligible players to avoid arbitration. The Twins avoided arbitration with left-handers Francisco Liriano and Glen Perkins by signing them to one-year deals worth $5.5 million and $1.55 million, respectively, on Jan. 17.

The Twins have avoided arbitration hearings in recent years, as they haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since 2006, with Kyle Lohse.

Twins, Perkins avoid arbitration

WAHPETON, N.D. — The Twins and left-hander Glen Perkins avoided arbitration today, as they agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.55 million, according to a Major League source familiar with the negotiations.

Perkins, 28, had a career year in 2011, posting a 2.48 ERA with 65 strikeouts, 21 walks and just two homers allowed in 61 2/3 innings. He made $700,000 last season.

Left-hander Francisco Liriano and second baseman Alexi Casilla are also eligible for arbitration, with the deadline for exchanging contracts today at noon CT.

Liriano, who posted a 5.09 ERA with 112 strikeouts, 75 walks and 14 homers allowed in 134 1/3 innings in ‘11, avoided arbitration last season by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $4.3 million. And Casilla also avoided arbitration last year, signing a one-year, $865,000 contract. He batted .260 with a .322 on-base percentage and .368 slugging percentage in 97 games in ’11.

The Twins have avoided arbitration hearings in recent years, as they haven’t gone to an arbitration hearing with a player since going to arbitration in 2005 and 2006 with Kyle Lohse.

Twins make first offseason roster moves

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins announced today they outrighted catcher Rene Rivera, infielder Matt Tolbert, outfielder Jason Repko, and right-hander Anthony Slama to Triple-A Rochester.

Additionally, the Twins reinstated right-hander Nick Blackburn (forearm surgery) and second baseman Alexi Casilla (right hamstring strain) from the 60-day disabled list. As a result of their roster moves, the Twins now have 38 players on their 40-man roster.

Rivera, 28, appeared in 45 games with the Twins, hitting .144 with a .211 on-base percentage and .202 slugging percentage with one homer and five RBIs.

Tolbert, 29, hit .198/.252/.266 with five RBIs and three stolen bases in 87 games while seeing time at second base, shortstop and third base.

Repko, 30, battled various injuries during the regular season, playing in 67 games and batting .226/.270/.286 with two homers and 11 RBIs.

Slama, meanwhile, made just two relief appearances with the Twins, tossing 2 1/3 scoreless innings. The 27-year-old, who saw his season end in early July with a strained muscle in his right elbow, posted a 2.92 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 16 walks in 37 innings with Triple-A Rochester.

Morneau, Casilla to rejoin Twins on Friday

MINNEAPOLIS — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire announced today that first baseman Justin Morneau and second baseman Alexi Casilla will be activated from the disabled list prior to Friday’s game in Cleveland.

Morneau, who underwent surgery to remove a herniated disk fragment in his neck on June 29, wasn’t expected to rejoin the team until Monday at the earliest.

But the slugger has looked impressive so far in five games with Triple-A Rochester, hitting .409 with four doubles and five RBIs. He’s expected to play with the Red Wings tonight and tomorrow before being activated in time for Friday’s game against the Indians.

“He’s killing the ball,” Gardenhire said. “He’s swinging really good, and feels great. He basically said, “Get me out of here, please. It’s really hot in Durham.’”

Morneau was originally placed on the disabled list, retroactive to June 10, with a sprained left wrist, before electing to undergo neck surgery later in the month. He was hitting .225 with a .619 OPS along with four homers and 21 RBIs in 55 games before hitting the DL.

He was bothered by problems with his neck and left wrist all season before his trip to the disabled list.

It’s been a tough year and a half for the first baseman, as he missed the second half of last year with a concussion suffered on July 7 in Toronto. He was putting up MVP-type numbers before the season-ending injury, as he was hitting .345 with a 1.055 OPS and 18 homers in 81 games.

Gardenhire said he’s hopeful that now that Morneau is fully healthy again, he can get back to his old ways.

“If we get the guy back who is driving the ball the other now, and the guy who we’ve seen hit and be healthy, then I think it’ll be real entertaining to watch him,” Gardenhire said. “We’ve seen how he can carry a ballclub. If we can get him back and keep him on the field, it will be really entertaining not only for the rest of this year, but maybe having a guy healthy for the start of next year, and we’ll go from there.”

Casilla, meanwhile, made quick progress with his strained right hamstring, and will be activated on the first day he’s eligible to return.

Casilla has been taking batting and fielding practice, as well as participating in running drills, this week at Target Field, and is ready to make his return, according to Gardenhire.

“Casilla feels fantastic,” Gardenhire said. “He’ll be activated for Friday night’s game in Cleveland. His legs feel good. He’s running. The whole package.”

Casilla was hitting .259/.322/.369 with 15 stolen bases and 21 doubles in 96 games this season before injuring his hamstring while running the bases against the Rangers in Texas on July 27.

He bounced back after a rough start, as he hit just .167 in April, but hit .281 with a .751 OPS over the next three months before his injury.

“I think we saw him starting off scuffling a little bit, but as the season has gone along, he’s been one of our better players,” Gardenhire said. “We all know about the athleticism and the plays this guy can make. But we’re seeing that consistency we saw a few years ago, and that’s all it’s ever been about with Alexi.”

Outfielder Jason Repko and infielders Trevor Plouffe and Matt Tolbert are candidates to be optioned on Triple-A Rochster when Morneau and Casilla return.

Casilla to the DL (Game 105 vs. Texas)

ARLINGTON — The Twins received a blow to their middle infield today, as second baseman Alexi Casilla was diagnosed with a Grade 1 hamstring strain, and is expected to be out for two to three weeks, according to head trainer Rick McWane.

Casilla, who injured himself while legging out a double in the ninth inning of Wednesday’s 7-2 win against the Rangers, is scheduled to be placed on the disabled list after tonight’s game. Infielder Luke Hughes is expected to be recalled in his place.

Additionally, to bolster their middle infield depth, the Twins recalled second baseman Matt Tolbert from Triple-A Rochester, and optioned left-hander Chuck James to Rochester to give the Twins 12 pitchers on their active roster.

“He’s our second-hole hitter and was swinging great and playing great defense,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said of Casilla. “He’s doing all the things you’d like to see, and his head has been in the game. And then all of a sudden this happens. Our depth in the middle infield isn’t the greatest, so you can’t afford too many injuries like that. Some people will have to step up.”

Casilla, who was hitting .259/.322/.369 with 15 stolen bases and a team-high 21 doubles in 96 games this season, said he’s hopeful that he can return to action as soon as he’s eligible to be activated from the disabled list on Aug. 12.

“It’s pretty much the same as yesterday,” Casilla said. “I kind of pulled it a little bit, so I’m going on the DL and going back to Minnesota to take care of it over there. I don’t think I’ll need a [rehab] assignment. I’ll be ready in 15 days. … I hope they don’t send me on an assignment. I’ll say no because it’s too much time.”

In the meantime, the Twins will have to rely on a combination of Tolbert, Hughes and Trevor Plouffe at second base with Casilla out of action.

Tolbert, who hit .181 in 55 games with the Twins before being optioned on July 18, started at second base against the Rangers on Thursday.

And shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka is expected to bat second in Casilla’s absence, as Gardenhire said he’s hopeful he can handle the bat the way Casilla did in the two-hole.

“I’m hoping Nishi handles it very well,” Gardenhire said. “When we signed him, we were hoping he’d be at the top of the lineup. So maybe this will get his confidence going a little bit.”

Twins shake up lineup (Game 59 vs. Indians)

CLEVELAND — With Ben Revere and Alexi Casilla swinging hot bats, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire went with an unconventional lineup for Monday night’s game against the Indians, as Denard Span is batting third after Revere and Casilla.

It marks the first time Span, who usually bats leadoff, gets a start as the club’s third hitter in his professional career. In fact, Span said he hadn’t batted third since his days at Tampa Catholic High School.

“It definitely caught me off-guard when he told me that,” Span said. “I hadn’t hit third since I was a senior in high school.”

Gardenhire said he simply wanted to change things up and see if the club can utilize its speed at the top of the lineup against Indians right-hander Josh Tomlin, who is making his first-ever start against the Twins.

“We just mixed it up a little bit,” Gardenhire said. “We’re trying to balance our lineup up and down. It looks like entertainment. Span-man is feeling pretty good and he’s been one of our best hitters, so he’s hitting third.”

Full lineups for the 6:05 p.m. CT start at Progressive Field

Twins (21-37)

1. Ben Revere, RF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Denard Span, CF
4. Michael Cuddyer, 1B
5. Justin Morneau, DH
6. Delmon Young, LF
7. Luke Hughes, 3B
8. Matt Tolbert, 2B
9. Drew Butera, C

RHP Scott Baker (2-4, 3.86 ERA, 2.87 K/BB, 4.06 FIP)

Cleveland (33-24)

1. Michael Brantley, LF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Grady Sizemore, CF
4, Carlos Santana, C
5. Shinn-Soo Choo, RF
6. Matt LaPorta, 1B
7. Travis Buck, DH
8. Orlando Cabrera, 2B
9. Jack Hannahan, 3B

RHP Josh Tomlin (7-2, 3.27 ERA, 3.73 K/BB, 4.33 FIP)

Memorial Day: Twins vs. Tigers (Game 52)

Designated hitter Jim Thome, who had a cortisone shot in his left shoulder after Saturday’s game, returns to the lineup today against the Tigers and is batting sixth after sitting out on Sunday.

With Thome back in there, Michael Cuddyer moves to second base and Alexi Casilla goes back to shortstop with Trevor Plouffe on the bench after airmailing two throws in Sunday’s 6-5 loss to the Angels. The Twins are hoping Casilla continues to swing a hot bat — he’s hitting .529 (9-for-17) with three doubles and a triple over his last five games — and that it carries over on the road, as he’s hitting just .160/.232/.240 away from Target Field this year.

Here are the lineups for the 12:10 p.m. CT start against the Tigers at Comerica Park:

Twins (17-34)

1. Denard Span, CF
2. Alexi Casilla, SS
3. Jason Kubel, RF
4. Justin Morneau, 1B
5. Michael Cuddyer, 2B
6. Jim Thome, DH
7. Delmon Young, LF
8. Danny Valencia, 3B
9. Rene Rivera, C

RHP Nick Blackburn (4-4, 3.20 ERA, 1.75 K/BB, 4.41 FIP)

Tigers (26-26)

1. Austin Jackson, CF
2. Andy Dirks, LF
3. Brennan Boesch, RF
4. Miguel Cabrera, 1B
5. Victor Martinez, DH
6. Jhonny Perlata, SS
7. Alex Avila, C
8. Ryan Raburn, 2B
9. Brandon Inge, 3B

RHP Brad Penny (4-4, 4.45 ERA, 1.23 K/BB, 4.49 FIP)

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