Curt Casali

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Curtis Michael Casali

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Biographical Information[edit]

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 on June 13, not starting regularly until after the All-Star break. He hit his first 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 victimized former Rays ace David Price twice, driving in three more in a 10-2 win.

Curt and Price had been friends since the two had attended Vanderbilt simultaneously, 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 2013, when the Tigers traded him 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 in mid-July 2014, but Price was traded to Detroit two weeks later.

On August 25­, 2015, 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 trip around the bases but had to come out of the game immediately after crossing home plate and did not play again. He finished with 10 homers in only 101 at-bats, along with 6 doubles, for a .238 average and a .594 slugging percentage in 38 games. The following year, 2016, he only hit .186 in 84 games, forcing him back to the Triple A Durham Bulls for the majority of 2017, batting .263 with 5 homers and 48 RBI in 85 games. He played 9 games in the bigs at the end of the year, slugging his first and only homer on October 1st off Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles in a 6-0 win. In May 2018, he was sold to the Cincinnati Reds, batting .293 with 4 home runs that year and .251 with 8 home runs in 2019, both years backing up Tucker Barnhart. Then during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he hit .224 in 31 games. He also made his first postseason appearance, going 0 for 2 as the Reds were swept in two games by the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card Series.

After his three seasons with the Reds, he joined the San Francisco Giants as a free agent before the 2021 season. On April 22nd, he caught his fifth consecutive shutout as the Giants blanked the Miami Marlins, 3-0. He as only the fifth catcher since 1900 to have such a long streak; the most recent had been Francisco Cervelli in 2015 and it was one short of the record of 6 set by Ed Phelps in 1903. Casali was the first of the group to achieve this with five different starting pitchers.

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