Thursday, March 22, 2007

Middle Infield preview

The main question with the middle infielders is can Bartlett. Can he keep playing at the same level he played at for ½ of a season last year. His numbers will probably drop of some but mix in the fact that plays good defense, he doesn’t have to be platooned and there are no players behind him at his position he will probably get a lot of playing time again.

I hope he gets some days off this year. Last season he played in the Twins last 99 games after being called up. He seemed to tire dramatically dropping off to .228/.259/.267 in September.

He played good defense, displaying great range and had a Zone Rating of .865, among the league leaders. His FRAA was low but should improve. His fielding percentage was slightly below average, but it should improve. At least it was better than that slug, Juan Castro.

This is probably Castillo’s last season with the Twins with Casilla waiting in the wings. Castillo had a down year last year with the glove and the bat. His OBP dropped over 30 points from the previous season and his great fielding dropped dramatically. He had a FRAA against average of +7 the previous 2 seasons but with the Twins last season it was -7. I know I felt like he lost a step in the field and running the bases.

He had a nagging injury most of the season so an improvement is probably this season.

The backups are probably Punto at short and Luis Rodriguez at second. Casilla will probably start the season in the minors.


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