Alexi Casilla pulled up lame while heading into second base with a double last night and an MRI exam revealed a hamstring strain, so he’s bound for the disabled list.
Casilla’s overall numbers are nothing special, but he’s hit reasonably well while playing solid defense since moving from shortstop to second base and as usual the Twins’ lack of infield depth makes losing him especially tough.
Matt Tolbert was called up from Triple-A and is starting in Casilla’s place tonight despite being a career .229 hitter with zero power, but presumably manager Ron Gardenhire will eventually see that giving Trevor Plouffe a chance at second base is the much, much higher-upside option.
Casilla is the one-millionth Twins player to spend time on the DL this year. Or maybe it just seems that way.
Clayton Kershaw had nothing left to prove when he exited the mound during his last Cactus League start on Friday. He finished camp with a 0.00 ERA, made all the more impressive after he extended his scoreless streak to 21 1/3 innings following 6 2/3 frames of one-hit ball against the Royals.
In six spring training starts this year, the Dodgers southpaw racked up 12 hits, four walks and 23 strikeouts. His velocity appeared to fluctuate between the high-80s and low-90s from start to start, but manager Dave Roberts told reporters that he expects Kershaw to get back up to the 93 m.p.h. range next week. Kershaw is tabbed for his eighth consecutive Opening Day start on Thursday.
The 30-year-old lefty is poised to enter his 11th season with the club in 2018. He went 18-4 in 27 starts last year and turned in a 2.31 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 10.4 SO/9 over 175 innings. He suffered his fair share of bumps and bruises along the way, including a lower back strain that required a five-week stay on the disabled list.
The Dodgers will open their season against the Giants on Thursday, March 29 at 7:08 PM ET. Given the sudden rash of injuries that hit the Giants’ rotation earlier today, Kershaw’s Opening Day opponent has not yet been announced.