Casilla day-to-day with finger issue

Casilla day-to-day with finger issue

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla was scratched from the Twins' lineup Friday with soreness in his left middle finger.

Casilla's finger was stiff and swollen when he arrived at the Metrodome on Friday afternoon following the team's off-day Thursday. He tried to take ground balls during batting practice but found it painful -- so painful that he didn't even try to swing a bat.

"[Casilla] came out here today and was sore," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "The ground balls were killing him. He has a sore finger again, so he's out."

Casilla injured his finger in last Friday's game against the Brewers when he dove head first into first base. He missed Saturday's contest due to the injury, but was able to play the next four games without a problem.

That changed after Thursday's off-day. Casilla said he iced the finger "five or six" times Thursday, but with no game, he never had a chance to get the finger loose. When Casilla woke up Friday morning, the finger was swollen and he wasn't able to get it loose -- even when he got to the ballpark.

With Casilla out, Nick Punto shifted from shortstop to second base and Brendan Harris was inserted into the lineup at shortstop.

Casilla said that he expects to be ready to play Saturday, but the team intends to take it as a day-to-day situation.

"He was going about it the last couple days fine," Gardenhire said. "We just have to keep adjusting. That's all we've got to do."

The injury did more than affect the team's plans for Friday. Gardenhire had planned for Harris to take ground balls at third base during batting practice and then use the right-handed hitter at the position over the next two days with the Twins facing two left-handed Cleveland starters Saturday and Sunday.

"That went out quick," Gardenhire said. "I was talking to [Harris] about it when the trainer came out. So I told him, 'Forget it. I was just kidding.'"

Gardenhire said Harris was receptive of the idea of playing third base on occasion. It's an option that the team is still likely to pursue now that Punto is back in the mix for the middle infield.

"He'll do whatever it takes to get in the lineup and keep playing," Gardenhire said of Harris. "He's done well at shortstop, and we'll see if he can do well at third base some, too. That way we know that we've got guys that can go just about everywhere."

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.