MINNEAPOLIS – Alexi Casilla got a start on Friday night against a right-handed pitcher. For the switch-hitting Casilla that’s a rarity. He’s been playing against left-handers only, but with Ryan Flaherty batting just .122, manager Buck Showalter wants an extended look at Casilla.
Coincidentally, Casilla returned to the city where he played since 2006.
During an interview Casilla said he was considering abandoning switch-hitting. The natural right-hander has been switching since he was 16.
“Maybe I’ll stary from the right side, hitting against righties, too,” Casilla said.
“They think I can hit better from my right side and I stay on top of the ball better. I don’t know I’ll bring it into a game when I get ready to play against righties, and I’ll see how I feel. But tonight, I think I’m going to hit from the left side.”
Casilla is 6-for-26 from the right side, and just 1-for-9 from the left side this season. In his career, he hits .256 from the right and .246 from the left.
"In the past years, they say I hit too many fly balls from my left side, fly outs," Casilla said. "They see I stay on top of the ball better from my right side, so they came up with the idea, 'What if you hit only from your right side?' I said, 'I can try.'
Showalter said he would play Casilla twice in the three-game series, and he’ll still be switch-hitting.
“It’s something were, like every guy you kick things around, but I don’t think we know him well enough to say for sure,” Showalter said.
“I’m not there yet. I’m hoping he has three hits tonight left-handed…He asked me about it, and I said, ‘We’ll support you any way you want to go,’” Showalter said.