Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Welcome Back, Alexi!

I'm sure all Twins fans are thrilled that Alexi Casilla is on his way back to the Twins, having been activated after today's win over the A's. Somewhat surprising is the fact that the Twins outrighted Brian Bass to Rochester to make room for Casilla. This is surprising not because Bass has been particularly good or particularly useful (I'd argue that he wasn't as bad as many fans thought, but he wasn't exactly good either), but because with all of the Twins bullpen woes of late its a bit odd to see the team respond by cutting the number of pitchers from 12 to 11.

Still, this move makes sense -- the Twins are a bit banged up, and they obviously didn't want to cut Adam Everett or option Randy Ruiz to Rochester. I hope that the team is able to make it with a 6-man bullpen (this is my preferred roster arrangement, incidentally), but I am somewhat doubtful. I think there's a good chance that the Twins could end up calling up a pitcher at some point on the road trip -- probably someone like Bobby Korecky.

This move also means that Bass is off the 40-man roster, and that gives the Twins yet another open spot on the 40-man roster to add players if they so desire. It's not the most pressing issue -- they already had several open spots on the roster (they're up to 4, I believe), but it's an interesting thing to keep in mind.

Bass earned his spot in the bullpen this spring, and at times this season he looked like a decent pitcher. The Twins probably stuck with him for longer than they should have simply out of necessity, however. I don't know if he'll accept the assignment to Rochester (if I were his agent, I'd probably recommend leaving -- why use up your arm with a team that's not likely to keep you around for long anyway?). If he accepts the assignment, it's probably in the hope that he's re-added to the roster in September -- which is more than likely his only chance of getting on a big league roster again in 2008. It's an interesting call for Bass and his agent, and I'm very curious to see what he chooses.

Either way, the Twins will be better off tomorrow than they were today. Casilla is a valuable piece to have in the lineup, and thankfully this will stop the "why is Nick Punto hitting second" refrain that has been a relative constant over the last few weeks. The Road Trip From Hell is daunting, but it seems slightly more manageable with a key component like Casilla back in the fold.

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