Does Alexi Casilla have a chance to be the Orioles’ starting second baseman?
If Brian Roberts comes back for the fourth year of his contract, no.
If Robert Andino is around, it’s doubtful.
But, if neither Roberts nor Andino is on the team, Casilla could start.
One major league scout said that he rates Andino far over Casilla. He thinks of Casilla, who was claimed on waivers from the Minnesota Twins on Friday as strictly insurance.
There are good things about Casilla. He’s a switch-hitter, plays good defense and can run. The Orioles need a basestealer, and if Roberts isn’t back, it may be Casilla.
He stole 21 bases in 22 attempts, and in his career, has been thrown out just nine times in 80 tries.
The 28-year-old Casilla has played with the Twins since 2006. In 2012, the switch-hitter played a career-high 106 games, batting .241 with a home run and 30 RBIs.
Casilla made $1.368 million last season and will make more in 2013.
Andino made $1 million and after a poor season offensively will still get a raise. He could be non-tendered.
Roberts, Casilla, Andino. Ryan Flaherty and Omar Quintanilla are all currently on the 40-man roster though Quintanilla is expected to be removed soon.
That’s a lot of second base candidates. If a free agent makes economic sense, Dan Duquette could make an offer even if he does think the team has enough second basemen now.
ESPNBoston.com reported that Rick Peterson, the Orioles director of pitching development, is the leading candidate to be Red Sox pitching coach.
Peterson, who received high marks in his season with the Orioles for innovative work, is not expected to be directly replaced if he leaves.