After last night’s game winning RBI (just his 2nd in his past 73 at-bats) Luis Castillo look more defeated than ever. It’s funny because when I initially saw his reaction I sort of brushed it off. I have never been a big Castillo fan, though there was a time when the former gold glover could certainly get the job done and was a perfect ‘small ball’ type player. That time, however, is long gone and his inability to field this season has aggravated me to no end. I won’t even get into his overall performance at the plate.
With all that said, I don’t think Castillo is a bad guy or teammate. All indications are that he works incredibly hard and he has done his best to play hurt when asked. And that’s something I had to constantly remind myself of when I would see him hobbling to the hole and barely bend for a ball that most second basemen would shuffle over to and field routinely. He was on the field because his manager asked him to be. He was batting second because his manager put him there. Maybe he was even being asked to play hurt because Alex Cora was getting too close to a guaranteed 2011 contract. The poor performance is on him, but the role he was given is on team management.
Now we are at a point where the higher ups feel the defensive upgrade presented by Ruben Tejada, along with getting the youngster some experience at the big league level, is worth the automatic out he represents at the plate (the 20-year-old is currently in the midst of a 1-38 skid). I’m not sure I can say I disagree with that given the fact that Castillo hasn’t fared much better at the dish (he was 1 for his last 13 entering last night’s contest), though I do worry about what type of long term effect this type of failure might have on Ruben down the road.
So Luis was replaced in the starting line-up, a decision he was not happy about. After 14-years of starting, why would he be happy about being relegated to bench duty? Kudos to a player who WANTS to play and is even willing to do so when hurt, but let’s not be delusional about the situation here, Mr. Castillo is no longer a capable starter. According to Dan Martin of the New York Post, however, that realization has not set in for the 3-time gold glove winner. Over a week ago...TO READ THE REST OF THIS POST AND OTHERS LIKE IT HEAD TO METSZILLA.COM BY CLICKING HERE: