Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Twins Players Dropping Like Flies: UPDATED

For the last few days, Nick Punto has been nursing a hamstring issue and has been unable to play. Now, we find out from Joe Christensen at the Strib that Punto is headed to the DL since the injury isn't getting any better. With Brendan Harris also nursing a leg injury, the Twins will be rather short-handed again tonight.

I know that many Twins fans completely gave up on Punto after last year's debacle. As has almost certainly been apparent to those of you who read this blog on a semi-regular occasion, I am not amongst that group. While I long ago conceded that he shouldn't be starting every day, I think his versatility and strength defensively is an asset to the team, as is his speed and (as unquantifiable as this is) his energy and heart. In my mind, he belongs on the roster to fill exactly the role that he has filled this season, and I'm disappointed to see him get hurt.

The Twins have not yet announced who will be called up from Rochester to replace Punto on the roster, but it seems pretty likely that it will be Brian Buscher, who of course was just with the team during Adam Everett's stint on the DL. If the Twins didn't have Matt Tolbert on the roster, they might have to consider calling up a player who could more naturally play at shortstop. Tolbert obviates that need, however, and Buscher seems like the logical choice because of relative big league experience and his success in AAA so far this season. As much as some fans might like to see Alexi Casilla at the big league level again, he's having a terrible year at the plate, and it seems to make a lot more sense to keep him playing every day in AAA. We should find out during or after the game what move the Twins have actually made. If it's in any way surprising, I'll comment further.

UPDATE: Joe C. is reporting that Alexi Casilla was scratched from his scheduled start for the Red Wings tonight, making him the likely callup. I confess to being a bit underwhelmed by this decision -- as I mentioned earlier, Casilla has not played well for the Red Wings. On the other hand, Casilla is more like Nick Punto than Brian Buscher is, and Buscher hasn't been playing so well that he had to be called up in this kind of situation. Best case scenario, I suppose, is that Casilla gets some playing time and plays well enough to get his confidence up and to regain his status as a top prospect in the organization. It felt throughout the spring like he kept taking steps backward, and for the most part that seems to have continued in Rochester. Maybe this will be a chance to turn things around.

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