Almost two weeks ago New York Mets second baseman Luis Castillo made it known to the NY Post that he should be a starter and he wanted to get out of the Big Apple. Well after last night’s game, Castillo made his intentions known again, telling the NY Daily News that he’ll be talking with his agents about his current situation.
“I think we will talk to them about that,” Castillo said. “I need to be in a different kind of situation. I don’t know what they want to do. I want an opportunity to play, and if it is here, then I am happy. If it is somewhere else, then that’s what it is.” (per NY Daily News)
Last night’s outburst was due to the fact that he wasn’t in the starting lineup after having the game winning hit the night before against the Florida Marlins. It’s common practice amongst most teams to reward players for such moments but even more so with the Mets, manager Jerry Manuel is known for rewarding players for good performances.
“I thought I would be playing tonight but I am not making the lineup. What is going on here? I don’t know what he’s doing,” Castillo said of Manuel. “All I can do is the best I can. That’s how you try to play more. … but I am disappointed.” (per NY Daily News)
I have no problems with Castillo being upset over last night’s lineup, especially if that is truly what Manuel has done all year long. What I do have a problem with is his season long performance.
Castillo has been dreadful this year, he’s currently batting ..237 (50 hits over 211 at-bats) with 20 runs scored, four doubles, two triples and seven steals. What concerns me more then his average is his inability to make things happen on the base paths. That’s what Luis’ game has always been and it’s just not happening this year.
Throughout his career he’s scored 37% of the time he’s reached base, in 2010 that number has dropped to 24%. Those numbers can partly be blamed on anemic Mets offense but a lot of that also has to fall on Castillo as that is a significant drop, in fact it’s the lowest percentage of his career.
In my opinion, that says one thing and one thing only, father time is catching up to Luis Castillo. With that being the case Manuel has to move forward and see what the Mets have in the system as a replacement, which is the reason why Ruben Tejada is the starting second baseman. Now if the kid continues flopping like he is (1-34 since August 7th) then Castillo could end up back in the lineup and attempt to prove he still has it.
I’d say the best thing for Castillo and his $6 million contract for 2011 should do in this situation is shut his mouth. I know its hard for him but it’s the best thing he could do. Show you’re a team player and give the Mets a chance to test out the youngster, when your number gets called go out and do the damn thing. If he does that the Mets may just be able to just move that bloated salary.
But again the best thing to do is suck it up and be a man about it.
“It may not be a situation he likes, but it’s a situation he’ll have to adjust to,” Manuel said of Castillo. “(Tejada) is a good defensive second baseman. I think he’s going to be a good offensive player, but it would be difficult to sit here and say, ‘He’s a better offensive player than Louie is so far.’ You have to weigh what you like better: the defense or the offense. You go with the lineup that can win.” (per NY Daily News)