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Curt Casali

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Curtis Michael Casali

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Catcher Curt Casali had back-to-back two-homer games as a rookie for the Tampa Bay Rays on July 27-28, 2015. He had started the year in the minors and was only brought up to Tampa on June 13th and did not begin to start regularly behind the plate until after the All-Star break. He hit his first career long ball on June 17th, against Jordan Zimmermann of the Washington Nationals; he had not hit a long ball in 30 games for the Rays in 2014. In the first of the two-homer games, he connected off Anibal Sanchez and Bruce Rondon of the Detroit Tigers, driving in 3 runs in a 5-2 win while batting ninth, and the next day he victimized former Rays ace David Price twice, driving in three more in a 10-2 win.

He and Price had been friends since the two had attended Vanderbilt University at the same time, Price being a senior when Casali was a freshman, and the friendship continued after Curt was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the 2011 amateur draft. He joined the Rays organization in spring training in 2013, when the Tigers traded him to Tampa Bay in order to be allowed to keep Kyle Lobstein, obtained through the 2012 Rule V Draft. The two were briefly teammates when Curt was curt called up to the majors by the rays in mid-July of 2014, but Price was traded to Detroit two weeks later. On August 25­th, Curt suffered an uncommon injury when he pulled his hamstring running to first base after connecting for his 10th homer of the year; he was able to complete the circuit around the bases but had to come out of the game immediately after crossing home plate and did not play again that season. He ended up with 10 homers in only 101 at-bats, along with 6 doubles, for a .238 average and a .594 slugging percentage in 38 games.

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