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Twins’ Rocco Baldelli takes gamesmanship with Rays’ Kevin Cash to another level

The former Rays player, coach and executive had a clever way of getting back at Cash.
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Kash talk before the game on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. (ALLIE GOULDING  |  Times)
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Kash talk before the game on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. (ALLIE GOULDING | Times)
Published Jun. 26
Updated Jun. 26

MINNEAPOLIS — Before Tuesday’s series opener against the Rays as Target Field, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli insisted he had no retaliation planned for the prank his former team played on him last month when Minnesota visited Tropicana Field.

Then Baldelli — the former longtime Rays player, coach and executive now in his rookie year managing the Twins — took his gamesmanship with Rays manager Kevin Cash and video coordinator Chico Fernandez to the big screen.

When Baldelli visited Tropicana Field for the first time as a visiting manager, Fernandez delivered a box of clothes that included old cargo shorts and used sandals as a playful jab at Baldelli’s fashion sense.

"I made a nice video for them, and it was of me throwing all of those clothes in the garbage," Baldelli said Tuesday. "And if I thought they were still good quality clothes that someone else could use, I wouldn't have done that. But I actually think they intentionally gave me some stuff that no person would actually wear."

Rays manager Kevin Cash denied any involvement, deadpanning, “I had nothing to do with the Goodwill clothes. I think Rocco is an exquisite dresser, he does such a good job.”

When Cash and the Rays came to Target Field on Tuesday, Baldelli said he didn't have any counter for the Rays.

"I don't have anything for them," Baldelli said. "They were really wanting some sort of funny video to really get them going, but I don't want to get those guys going in a good direction. I don't want them laughing and having fun, so I didn't get them anything."

But during Rays pregame introductions, the giant video board above leftfield showed a pair of unflattering photos of Cash, as well as one of Fernandez.

Castillo could resume throwing soon

The team initially said that struggling right-handed reliever Diego Castillo would be shut down for two weeks with right shoulder impingement, but Cash said that Castillo could resume throwing after three or four days of rest.

"If his arm feels good with that rest, we’ll start throwing again and get him built back up," Cash said.

Castillo landed on the IL after an 11-outing stretch in which he had a 9.58 ERA and had more walks (nine) than strikeouts (seven).

Miscellany

— There’s still no definitive return date for right-handed reliever Jose Alvarado from the restricted list. Cash said that he is expected to return during the team’s final homestand before the all-star break.

— Infielder Yandy Diaz is still expected to be activated from the injured list when he’s eligible on Thursday. Diaz was the team’s top hitter this month ― posting a .361/.426/.508 line before landing on the IL with right hamstring discomfort.

— While infielder Daniel Robertson is slated to miss 4-6 weeks after having his knee scoped on Monday, Cash said it won’t be until four weeks in until the team has a better idea when he could return.

Contact Eduardo A. Encina at eencina@tampabay.com. Follow @EddieInTheYard.

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