ST. PAUL -- He may not have been a star during his four seasons in Minnesota, but Willians “La Tortuga” Astudillo used his big personality to endear himself inside the clubhouse and to a legion of fans, becoming a fan favorite during his Twins tenure.
Astudillo, who was designated for assignment and then cleared release waivers, is now a free agent, ending an era filled with flying helmets and 46-mph pitches in mop-up duty for a player who had unique traits both on — Astudillo rarely walked or struck out — and off the field.
“I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to wear the Twins uniform these past years. It was an honor. I take with me many wonderful memories and friendships,” Astudillo wrote on Instagram. “I hope that I was also able to give you guys moments of joy. Hope I was able to make you smile.”
The utilityman wrote that he was disappointed at the lack of opportunity by the end of the 2021 season — he appeared in 72 games for the 2021 Twins, hitting .236 and moving around the field — but leaves Minnesota with “no hard feelings.”
Astudillo also appeared in four games on the mound, posting a 2.25 earned-run average. After his first outing, he jokingly declared his candidacy for the Cy Young Award.
“Remember me, Minnesota,” he wrote. “Whether it be hitting, pitching or running around the bases (demonstrating that chubby guys can run too) … remember me with a smile.”