August 9, 2008

Good news, bad news

The Twins beat the Royals last night, but before the game they received some good news and some bad news...

The good news is that Alexi Casilla's injury appears to be improving enough to believe that the 24-year-old infielder may be back with the Twins at some point later this month. What was once believed to be a season-ending injury, this is very encouraging news for the Twins.

Casilla started the season in Triple-A Rochester where he posted a meager .219/.350/.250 line in 96 AB's before being promoted after an injury to Nick Punto. After his promotion to the Twins, Ron Gardenhire gave him a shot at starting and Casilla took that opportunity and made the Twins keep him in the lineup as an everyday player by hitting .313/.351/.424 in 243 AB's as the Twins starting second baseman.

Casilla has always been a high-potential player with raw skills both at the plate and on defense, however he's always lacked motivation. Manager Ron Gardenhire showed confidence in him and he payed him back dearly. Casilla has been a catalyst to our offense and really helped make the Twins' top of the lineup very tough on pitchers due to the fact that he can drop down a bunt, hit a line drive, all while he worked the count each and every time. He was a multi-threat for the Twins and his presence in the lineup has been missed since his injury.

The bad news...

The Twins received crushing news last night that Michael Cuddyer may miss the remainder of the season with a fractured bone in his left foot, which generally needs 4 weeks to heal. After drawing a walk, Cuddyer was struck in the foot off of a Garrett Jones line drive which may in fact end his season. Cuddyer was on a rehab stint in Rochester after being out since June 27th with a strained tendon in his left index finger.

Cuddyer was playing in his 4th game of his rehab and was scheduled to hopefully join the Twins on Monday when the Twins face the New York Yankees to begin a 10-day home stand. He hasn't played a big role this season, however he was a big reason why the Twins didn't make a move for a right-handed bat at the trade deadline because he was due back within the next week or so.

The Twins may look to see who is available on the waiver wire, however it's likely that they'll just keep the team that they have and ride it out the rest of the way. The good news is that Luke Hughes is now in Rochester and he's hit left-handers very well this season and he is a very good possibility to be recalled when rosters expand in September.

Game Ball (8/8)
Denard Span - Right Field

Line: 2-4, 2 runs, walk, stolen base