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Updated: August 8th, 2011 5:39pm
Notebook: Casilla likely back Friday; Gardenhire nearly blew up Sunday

Notebook: Casilla likely back Friday; Gardenhire nearly blew up Sunday

by Phil Mackey
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MINNEAPOLIS -- It might be too little too late, but the Minnesota Twins will likely welcome second baseman Alexi Casilla back to the lineup on Friday.

Manager Ron Gardenhire said Casilla's pulled hamstring has reacted well to ramped-up workouts, and Casilla will fly with the team to Cleveland on Thursday night barring a last-minute setback.

"We need him back," Gardenhire said. "The middle of the infield, he was playing really well, batting in the two-hole and swinging the bat good, on the base. All those things you want out of a second-hole hitter, he was doing. And playing great defense."

After a miserably slow start, Casilla turned into one of the Twins' most consistent players, posting a .288/.352/.408 batting line with 12 stolen bases in 274 plate appearances since May 15.

Gardy almost blows up

After dropping 12 games under .500 following a 7-0 thrashing and a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago White Sox on Sunday, Gardenhire said he nearly snapped while walking into the clubhouse.

"I honestly went in there in mind that I was going to scream and yell, but as I went in there I realized that there were some guys pretty frustrated, that they took that loss pretty hard too," he said. "So I decided I didn't need to kick them and I backed away from it."

It wouldn't have been the first time Gardenhire, or someone else, made some noise in the clubhouse after a game this season.

"Maybe a couple times, just walking through. Start off yelling and then calm down. Get their attention is the first thing you have to do, and then you calm down. (Sunday) night would have been a really close one."

He added, "Sometimes there's a time for yelling, and there's a time not to. You can try to kick people when they're down. That doesn't always work. I think if they're sloppy, and you get real sloppy and it looks like guys aren't really getting after it and working, that's the time that maybe some yelling will work. Or just a meeting. A calm meeting, to kind of explain things out.

"But to have another player come in and scream and yell? That gets the attention. We've seen that a couple of times. I've seen it happen a couple of times this year. Players like that. Players respond to each other pretty good."

Nishioka welcomes baby girl

Shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka was out of the lineup Monday and away from the ballpark, but he had a good reason.

Nishioka and his wife, Naoko, welcomed a baby girl, Sena, to the family.

"He'll come off the bench if I need him," Gardenhire said. "Give him a chance to sit back and relax a little bit. A lot going on today. ...

"He wants to be here for the game though. And that's if everything's OK with the wife."

Phil Mackey is a columnist for He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
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