Archive for Alexi Casilla

Minor League Recap: April 7-April 13

Posted in Minor Leagues, Offense, Pitching, Prospects with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2014 by oriolesprovingground

First, apologies for the minor league update coming to you a day late. No excuses from me, so I won’t tell you some intricate story how the cat knocked over a glass of cranberry juice (no, it was beer, yeah that’s what it was!) just as I was about to hit the post button. Better late than never, right? Also, as an FYI, I can already tell you that it’s going to be AT LEAST a day late next week too.

Other than it being a pretty tough week for all 3 affiliates, I don’t have much more to say, so let’s get right to it.

Weekly Summary

Norfolk (AAA): 2-4 (W-L), 25 RS, 32 RA

Bowie (AA): 3-4, 25 RS, 27 RA

Frederick (High-A): 1-5, 18 RS, 35 RA

The Good:


Norfolk (AAA): OF Julio Borbon – 7/21 (H/AB), 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 7 BB’s, 5 SO’s

Borbon was picked up by the Orioles in the minor league portion of this past winter’s Rule 5 draft, giving them some much needed outfield depth in AAA after losing Xavier Avery and L.J. Hoes in two separate trades.  Probably the most impressive line from Borbon’s week is the fact that he walked 7 times (career 5.7% walk rate in more than 850 major league PA’s). Continue reading

Declining Options: Potential Hitting Fits for Baltimore

Posted in Offense, Offseason with tags , , , , , on November 10, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

The offseason is a week old, and one of the very first orders of business for teams (or players) is to do decide whether or not they should pick up their contract options or cut bait and become free agents.  On Friday we took a look at the pitchers, so today we’ll look at some bats.  If I state that I think the team should make an offer, it doesn’t mean that they should do whatever it takes to sign them.  Due to the larger number of players, I’ll try to keep the explanations brief.


Alexi Casilla ($3 million team option declined by Orioles)

As expected, Casilla did nothing with the bat in 2013, but made up for the lack of being able to hit a baseball by doing a good job of fielding it at 2B, and was essentially the definition of a replacement player.

Verdict: Make a minor league offer with an invite to spring training Continue reading

Alexi Casilla to Stop Switch Hitting?

Posted in Glossary, Offense with tags , , , , on May 14, 2013 by oriolesprovingground

Late last week, the Orioles announced that Alexi Casilla may stop switch hitting in favor of solely batting from the right side.  The move seemed like a curious decision to me, and my initial reaction was that the Orioles were looking to exploit some sort of platoon advantage at second base, especially considering their other second baseman, Ryan Flaherty, bats left handed.

It’s no secret that the second base position is something of an offensive black hole for the Orioles since Brian Roberts went down with a hamstring injury 3 games into the season (and even Roberts was not a sure bet to be productive at the plate this year).  In the absence of Roberts, the Orioles have been sending out Casilla and Flaherty to man the keystone, and it has not been pretty.  Orioles’ second basemen possess a combined .221 wOBA and a 30 wRC+*, both ranking 28th in the league.  For anyone too lazy to click on the link below, a wRC+ of 30 corresponds to a batter who is 70% worse than league average.

*click on the link for a definition of wRC+

Individually in 2013, Casilla, a switch hitter, has a .209/.244/.256 line (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 46 PA’s, with roughly two-thirds of his plate appearances against LHP’s (batting right handed).  Flaherty, a left handed hitter, has a .131/.223/.202 line in 95 PA’s (facing a RHP in all but 5 of them).  Just looking at those two lines makes me think that the Orioles are desperate to suggest Casilla give up switch hitting to focus on batting right handed, but maybe he has hit much better batting right handed against left handed pitching over the course of his career.

It turns out to be the opposite. The table below shows career numbers, and Casilla is a worse hitter when batting right handed in every offensive statistic except for batting average. He walks less, strikes out more, gets on base less, hits for less power, etc.  You get the picture.


I can’t comment on whether the Orioles coaches see something better in his right handed swing than his left handed swing based on some sort of scouting or mechanical characteristics (because I don’t know), but the numbers indicate that this will not do anything to improve Casilla’s offensive production, and may even make it worse.  In any event, as long as the Orioles keep playing any combination of Casilla and Flaherty at second base, you can expect little offensive production from them, regardless of what side of the plate Casilla bats on.