Tag: Luis Castillo

Philadelphia Phillies and Luis Castillo: Pros and Cons

Well, it looks like it may be a reality: Luis Castillo is reported close to signing a deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Quite frankly, I am not sure how I feel about this. One would assume that there are some pros and some cons so let’s take a look at some of them

One major pro is that he is most likely going to be very, very cheap. He is already guaranteed $6M from the NY Mets, so the Phillies would be able to sign him for his qualifying league minimum, approximately $485,000. Cheap labor of this caliber is always a good thing and of course it makes it a very low risk/high reward proposition for the Phillies. Added Bonus: how great would it be to watch Castillo play against the Mets while they are paying him? Does it get any better than that?

Another pro would be that Castillo was, at one point, a very good hitter. His last full uninjured season was as recent as 2009 and he managed a very respectable .302 avg, .387 OBP and 77 runs scored. He has a very low strike out rate which would help what is currently a very K-prone lineup. His ability to put the ball in play could come in handy on a team like the Phillies who put a lot of runners on base and often only need a ground ball out or sacrifice fly to score a run. Also, he can still run, swiping 23 bags in 2009. Whether or not he can regain that form remains to be seen, but for $485K, don’t you almost have to take that shot?

He was hurt most of 2010 so any numbers from that year may be skewed but I assure you they are not good. Also, you have to take into account he was a Met and quite frankly it really seems as though most of those guys, especially the veterans, just flat out gave up.  

Let’s throw in a con: Wilson Valdez won’t get the much-deserved shot he has earned at second base. Valdez has been on fire this spring playing nearly every day and hitting over .400. He is playing several positions defensively and has been really impressive at all of them. He has even played some outfield this spring and done a very fine job at it. I personally would be slightly upset if Valdez didn’t at least get the opportunity at the job. The only thing that scares me about Valdez is his propensity to hit into the double play.

Another con is no one really knows his clubhouse attitude. The Phillies are known to have one of the best clubhouses in all of baseball; just ask Cliff Lee. They have taken tremendous care in achieving this chemistry. When Pat Gillick took over the team in 2005 he made it a point of contention to trade away great talents that were disruptive clubhouse members and it’s a philosophy that appears to have really worked. There is a rumor that the Phillies grade clubhouse attitude in their scouting reports and very seriously consider that grade when deciding on a player. There are many who believe, myself among them, that this is the reason the Philles are as successful as they are, despite injuries, despite slumps, despite poor outings–the Phillies always endure.

How about a pro: he hits from both sides of the plate. He could offer a right-handed bat in what is considered a very heavily weighted left handed lineup. Similar to Shane Victorino, he hits about equally from both sides; with a career .298 as a right-handed batter and .294 as a left-handed batter. Given the fact that most of the teams in the NL East have adjusted their bullpens to deal with the Phillies left-handed attack, this could prove extremely valuable.

All in all I would have to say it’s a good move for the Phillies however it is totally dependent on what they will pay him. As Ruben Amaro has recently been quoted as saying the team is completely tapped out financially, my guess would be the only way he becomes a Phillie is at the bare minimum price. I would further assume that Castillo would take that. He is, after all, still earning his $6M from the Mets this season and he would be playing for a contender. So if it happens: Good for you Luis Castillo, and welcome to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Let me know what you think. Is signing Luis Castillo a good move? Do you have another pro or con? Leave a comment and let me know.

UPDATE:  It’s a done deal.  Minor league contract which minimizes financial damage if t doesn’t  work out.  Good move by Ruben Amaro as he has managed to put the team in a win/win situation.

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New York Mets Finally Cut Ties with Luis Castillo

One down and one to go for the New York Mets.

The Mets did the inevitable on Friday and cut second baseman Luis Castillo. New York will eat the remaining $6 million on Castillo’s contract.

Now if the Mets can just get rid of Oliver Perez, they will be really cooking.

Castillo signed a four-year, $25 million contract with the Mets in 2007 and why then GM Omar Minaya gave him that many years was beyond anyone. It was never how much Castillo was making per season that drove Met fans crazy—it was the length of his contract.

Four years for Castillo was waaaaaaaaaaay too much. Especially since no other team at the time was willing to give more than a one-year deal. Nonsense.

During his time with the Mets, Castillo raised the ire of Mets fans with his lackluster play and propensity to get injured. In his three full seasons with New York, Castillo appeared in only 315 out of a possible 486 games and hit only .270 with four HRs and 45 steals.

Now that the Mets have moved on from the Castillo era in New York, let’s look at where both parties go from here.

For the Mets, it appears that Luis Hernandez, and his career .286 OBP, is the leading candidate to replace Castillo. Hernandez is 26 and has played parts of fours seasons with the Mets, Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.

He is your classic good-glove/no-hit middle infielder. Hernandez is hitting .294 with a .368 OBP this spring however.

Brad Emaus is also a candidate for the second base job as well. Emaus hit .298 with 10 HRs and a .398 OBP with Triple-A Las Vegas (Toronto Blue Jays minor league affiliate). He was selected by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft from the Blue Jays.

He is hitting just .231 with zero HRs in 45 ABs this spring.

Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner are also two guys vying for the job as well, but are seen as outsiders. It would shock me if anyone but Hernandez was the Mets’ Opening Day starting second baseman.

As for Castillo, believe it or not, he does have some options.

I think the Philadelphia Phillies are a real possibility. I am a believer that Chase Utley won’t be playing anytime soon and the Phillies lack infield depth. Castillo would be a good fit for them.

Even though they said they had little interest, I think the Florida Marlins could still be a possibility as well. Matt Dominguez is hitting .219 this spring and if they don’t feel he is ready to be their starting third baseman in 2011, the Marlins could move Omar Infante over to third and slot in Castillo into second.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Baltimore Orioles could be potential destinations for Castillo as well.

And one more thought on this. Wouldn’t it be in classic Mets fashion that wherever Castillo goes, he is going to blossom? It’s guaranteed to happen.


You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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St. Louis Cardinals: Is Luis Castillo Worth a Look at Second Base?

On Friday, the New York Mets released second baseman Luis Castillo with a year remaining on the four-year, $25 million deal he signed after the 2007 season.

To be fair, the marriage between Castillo and New York was doomed from the get-go. Mets fans never really took to Castillo, booing him on Opening Day despite a strong 2009 season, and poor performance egged on by injury killed his career as a Met.

Here’s the great part for the rest of the league: The Mets still have to pay Castillo his entire $6 million salary for 2011.

Besides proving that the Mets don’t have any chance of competing in 2011, this also means any team can sign Castillo to the major league minimum.

Recently I wrote a piece on why the Cardinals should consider Barry Zito, who at the time looked to be on his way out of San Francisco. I noted that with Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals’ best pitcher, out for the season, they’d have to scrap for wins any way they could.

That said, I disagree with anyone who says the Cardinals should go out and sign Castillo.

Obviously this isn’t about a monetary risk. The Cardinals would have to give up next to nothing for Castillo.

This is a question of youth versus experience.

While Castillo is adequate on defense, lacks pop at the plate and is a strong veteran presence, there’s only one spot left on the Cardinals roster for a position player.

Right now, that spot is up for grabs between Daniel Descalso and Matt Carpenter, although Carpenter is the heavy favorite.

So while signing Castillo would give the Cardinals a player who put up a .387 on-base percentage as recently as two years ago, it takes up a spot that could be used on a budding young starter.

As long as Tony LaRussa’s fondness for veterans continues, these sorts of deals will always be linked to the Cardinals. In this case, St. Louis should pass.

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Florida Marlins: Luis Castillo is Another Player Available for a Dollar

A few years ago, the Florida Marlins acquired infielder Wes Helms from the Philadelphia Phillies, who absorbed the remainder of his salary.

The Marlins only had to pay one dollar. 

Now there is another player that the Marlins can pick up for the equivalent of the Dollar Menu item at McDonald’s.

Just recently, the New York Mets released second baseman Luis Castillo. Whether or not he plays this season is irrelevant for the Mets, because they still have to pay him the remaining $6 million of his four-year, $25 million contract. This would be the perfect time to bring back an old friend.

The Florida Marlins seemed set on having Omar Infante at second base and rookie third baseman Matt Dominguez at third.

If that’s the case, they can sign Castillo as a reserve infielder to improve their bench. Dominguez already has the glove for the major leagues, but his bat is still the issue. His current batting average in spring training is .219. Castillo’s spring average is .286, and if the Marlins do sign him, they can have him as their second baseman and shift Infante to third base.

The lineup with Castillo could look like this:

1: Chris Coghlan, CF 

2: Omar Infante, 3B 

3: Hanley Ramirez, SS 

4: Mike Stanton, RF 

5: Gaby Sanchez, 1B 

6: Logan Morrison, LF 

7: John Buck, C 

8: Luis Castillo, 2B 

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New York Mets: Cutting Luis Castillo Is the Right Move

This morning when I woke up and went online I did not expect to see any major news regarding the Mets.  However, I was stunned when the headline on Metsblog read, “Mets release Luis Castillo.”  I thought this day would never come.  And then the thought hit me: Maybe this new front office does have a clue. 

Now to start off, it is not Castillo’s fault that Minaya gave him an awful contract back before the 2008 season—I mean more power to the guy for securing the best possible future for himself.  And when he was healthy, he actually managed respectable numbers, including a nice 2009 season where he hit .302 and stole 20 bases.

However, Castillo is an injury-prone player and as he ages the risk of injury increases even more.  In 2008 and 2010 Castillo was hampered by injuries and his numbers were just awful. 

To make matters worse, he seemed nonchalant about his performance, as his overall play was uninspired.  Last season he was clearly out of shape and appeared completely uninterested in the game and his numbers reflected this. 

Met fans don’t like when a player does not produce, but they can usually let it slide if the player looks like he is doing everything he can to win.  Castillo simply did not seem to care and so Met fans responded with animosity. 

Over time, he became synonymous with the general malaise that seemed to characterize the Mets play on the field.  People believed that as long as he was manning second base, the team would never change.    

The fact is Castillo was not a serviceable starting second baseman last season as injuries and natural aging limited his defensive abilities and sapped his only useful skill—speed.  Without any power, he was reduced to a singles hitter who could not even steal a bag. 

This spring, nothing seemed different with Castillo as he had nine hits with the Mets and all of them were singles.  He had no stolen bases. 

Throw in the fact that Castillo pulled an Oliver Perez early in spring training and insisted on starting, and it was time for him to go. 

One must credit the new Mets front office for recognizing when a player should be let go once he can no longer produce regardless of his contract.  Either way the Mets have to pay the contract so they might as well be receiving production from the position. 

The Mets knew what the ceiling was for Castillo’s production, and there was the high probability that he would not even be able to reach that. 

Now with Castillo out of the picture, the Mets can give more at-bats to younger players and see whether any of them can capitalize on their potential and secure the starting job.  At the very least, they will have more of an opportunity to develop. 

This is a very smart move by the Mets as it improves the team on the field as well as their image with the fans.  Alderson and the rest of the front office are trying to usher in a new era with the team, and this is the first major step they have taken to do so.      

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Luis Castillo Released: New York Mets Cut Veteran Second Baseman

In a surprise decision, the New York Mets decided to cut their six-million-dollar second baseman Luis Castillo.

This came despite a respectable spring training for the 35-year-old, where he posted a .286 batting average and .355 on-base percentage.

The explanation the Mets front office gave for the sudden dismissal of Castillo was that the team was in need of cutting down the second baseman competition.

With the most experienced player at that particular position now packing his bags, New York is left with no true standout to win the second-base job. The race is between former Oriole Justin Turner and journeyman Luis Hernandez, as well as Daniel Murphy and minor-league prospect Brad Emaus.

The standout favorites to win this position as of now are Hernandez and Emaus, with the latter being the one with the most hype.

Hernandez was beginning to get into a rhythm last September before going down with a foot injury in the middle of that month. He batted .250 with two home runs, six runs batted in and four runs before being sidelined for the remainder of the 2010 season.

Emaus is a career minor-league player who was a late-round selection by Mets rivals the Atlanta Braves in the 2004 amateur draft. New York acquired Emaus in a deal last season with the Blue Jays, who owned his contract at the time. The young man from Kalamazoo, Michigan had an impressive 2010 in the minors, posting a .272 batting average with AA New Hampshire and then a .298 average with AAA Las Vegas.

With the release of Luis Castillo, the Mets have blown the second-base job wide open and opened the door for one of the team’s several young ballplayers to seize the opportunity at a starting position.

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Luis Castillo Now a Free Agent: Should the Philadelphia Phillies Target Him?

There’s been no shortage of drama in Philadelphia Phillies camp, specifically in regards to the health of an aging club. When Brad Lidge and Placido Polanco joined All-Star second baseman Chase Utley on the sidelines this week, the city of Philadelphia went into what some would consider panic mode.

With little middle-infield depth, are the Phils in a bit of a bind?

An interesting possibility arose early Friday morning when another camp riddled with a bit of drama, the New York Mets, finally announced the inevitable—the team had released another former All-Star in second baseman Luis Castillo.

After months of speculation, the two sides finally parted ways, when Castillo, who was scheduled to start for the Mets at second base today, asked for and was granted his release.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, as general manager Sandy Alderson and manager Terry Collins had reportedly preferred other options at second base, anyway.

Now, by granting the second baseman his release, the Mets are on the hook for the remaining $6 million of his salary as long as he is a free agent, and if another team wants to take a chance on Castillo, it’ll cost them just league minimum—around $400,000.

That could be an appealing option for the Phillies, who, as mentioned, are noticeably thin up the middle. The leading candidate to replace Utley at second, should he need to begin the season on the disabled list, is Wilson Valdez, who is also the team’s utility infielder.

There are some within the Phillies organization that believe that by starting Valdez at second base, the team is shooting itself in the foot.

His greatest value is his ability to play all over the diamond and spell some of the Phils’ veterans when it is quickly becoming apparent that they can no longer play every day. Inserting Valdez into the starting lineup would open up a spot on the bench for less versatile players like Josh Barfield or Delwyn Young.

Obviously, adding another second baseman would allow the Phils to maximize Valdez’s value as a utility player, but as always, it isn’t that simple. All three of the players mentioned above are having monstrous springs.

In his second spring with the Phillies, Valdez is tearing the cover off of the ball, leading the team in spring hits. He’s hitting the ball at a .444 clip and has already slugged, if you can call it that, a home run this spring.

In their first springs with the Phils, both Barfield and Young have impressed the right people. The two are battling for the Phillies’ final roster spot and are hitting .407 and .311, respectively, while the latter has belted a home run this spring.

There are concerns about these players, however.

Neither of the final two are starting players and have settled into reserve roles over the last few seasons, and off of the bench, neither provides the versatility that Valdez does off of the bench. In short, Valdez may be too valuable as a utility player to start at second base. In that case, targeting a veteran second baseman may not be such a terrible idea.

In his tenure with the Mets, Castillo has been the picture of inconsistency.

After posting an average of .301 in his first half season with the club, he’s posted averages of .245, .302 and .235 every year since. That said, Castillo has never been much of a hitter, as opposed to a pesky player standing in the batter’s box trying to find a way on base.

The man is the owner of a career .368 on-base percentage—something that the Phils could desperately use in their lineup.

The greatest obstacle in a Phillies-Castillo union may be the fact that the latter hasn’t been considered much of a “clubhouse guy” over the course of his career and has quickly developed into a public-relations nightmare.

Just last season, he was criticized by teammates for not partaking in a trip to a New York area hospital to visit war veterans, though he stated that he didn’t want to be “horrified by the experience.”

With that in mind, however, maybe what Castillo needs is a fresh start. While the Phillies and Mets were once heated rivals, the teams have gone in different directions in recent seasons, and former Mets like Valdez, Nelson Figueroa and Brian Schneider have found asylum with the Phils.

In the long run, the Phillies would be happy with Wilson Valdez as the starting second baseman with one of Josh Barfield or Delwyn Young filling the final bench spot.

However, for a team that is built to win this season, taking a small chance on a veteran, switch-hitting second baseman looking for a fresh start may not be a terrible idea.

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New York Sports Writers Choose Last Moment to Defend Luis Castillo

I live in New York City. Well, Brooklyn to be exact. I’ve been a Mets fan my whole life and would consider myself fairly knowledgeable. I admit, I’m one of those guys who prefers the feel of a newspaper in my hands to the cold, lifeless feel of a computer when it comes to getting my news.

I read two newspapers each day: a New York Post, and a Daily News.

Each carries stories about the Mets and Yankees. Most New Yorkers know to read the Post for the Yankees and the News for the Mets, though I would say both are pretty balanced.

The biggest story over the last month, and last three years really, has been the plight of Luis Castillo. Since signing his four-year, $25 million contract in November 2007, Castillo has had his ups and downs.

I admit, I’ve jumped on Castillo plenty of times for his lackluster play, and I do not support his candidacy as the Mets second baseman this season. He’s due $6 million and thanks to the poor defensive play of several of the other potential second baseman, has been able to stay in the mix this far into spring training.

There are those who support Castillo, thinking him the best player for the job, and there are those against him; probably more for the latter.

But what surprised me the most while perusing the newspapers this morning was the number of New York sports writers who have decided to come to Castillo’s defense at the last possible moment.

It’s no secret that Castillo is a likely candidate for release this spring, and it gets reported every day that it could be any day now. And since he has one foot out the door now, I guess it’s time to defend Castillo for his play in New York.

Convenient timing.

A headline in the New York Post today reads: “Castillo’s fate on line today as cuts loom.”

Yes, this we know.

But Andy Martino of the Daily News and Ken Davidoff of Newsday have decided that now is the time to offer up excuses and defenses for Castillo. The number of anti-Castillo columns from both of those writers is practically limitless, but we’ll ignore that little fact and just focus on today.

Martino wonders if Castillo would be met with as much scrutiny and animosity if he were white, and not Dominican. So never mind his sub-par play and defensive gaffes, it must be about race, right?

Martino writes:

Jose Reyes and Angel Pagan have played well as Mets, and have not faced the same anger. People who root for a team value production, above all other qualities, and have unleashed negativity on many white players in the past. But are nonwhite players more vulnerable to being labeled lazy malcontents, and less likely to be called “gamers?” Must they work harder to receive credit for positive contributions to the team?

That’s right. Reyes and Pagan have “played well as Mets.” That’s the key phrase here—they’ve played “well.” Castillo? Not so much. From almost the moment he came to New York, Castillo has been ugly in the field and even uglier at the plate.

No one wants to watch someone take the first two pitches for strikes, only to foul off nine pitches in a row before finally striking out or hitting a weak ground ball to short. Castillo does this on a regular basis, regardless of the situation.

Over the last three years though, Castillo has actually hit well in the so-called “clutch” situations. With runners in scoring position, Castillo has batted .282. With the bases loaded? .348. 

Those are excellent numbers and certainly worthy of recognition, but it’s the overall body of work that proves to be Castillo’s downfall.

In his three full seasons, Castillo has missed a total of 171 games. His best season, 2009, he played in 142 games, bating .302 with a .387 OBP and 20 stolen bases. In 2008 and 2010, however, Castillo appeared in only 86 and 87 games, respectively. That tiny sample size versus his almost full season in 2009 helps pad his overall numbers.

Last season, Castillo batted just .235 with 17 RBIs and a .337 OBP.

Davidoff paints Castillo in the colors of an “everyday guy” who has done nothing wrong. He writes:

The smart money says the Mets will release Castillo shortly. … [And] it reflects worse on the Mets than on Castillo himself. “Sometimes things will happen. I tried the best I can,” Castillo said before joining his non-traveling teammates. “That’s what it is. That’s why the fans sometimes, they try to push you into doing good. The fans start to feel bad, because they want you to do good.” We’re not here to present Castillo as some icon of integrity who has been wronged. He’s just a low-energy baseball player—and at this point, not a very good one. But all Castillo did was say “yes” in November 2007 when the Mets offered him a four-year, $25-million contract that became a likely albatross the minute it sprang to life.

All Castillo did was sign his name for four years and $25 million and immediately became an “albatross.” No one can dispute that the amount of money former Mets GM Omar Minaya gave Castillo was way too much, but it’s not the amount that makes Castillo an albatross.

If that’s all it was, then no one would be able to criticise a player who signs a big contract and doesn’t produce. Certainly there’s nothing wrong with Castillo “getting his.” Who could blame him? I know I can’t play second base, but if someone wanted to give me $25 million to do my best, I’d be in the starting lineup tomorrow.

But it’s Castillo’s on-the-field performance that elicits the hatred of fans, and even one off-the-field moment was particularly aggravating.

The Mets have made a tradition of going to the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit with the injured veteran soldiers. Castillo did not want to go during their most recent trip, saying, “I’ve never gone there because I don’t like to see things like that.”

I don’t like to see things like that either, but I’m sure those injured soldiers, who’ve lost limbs so that Castillo can play his game, like it even less. Maybe if Castillo was a bigger person it might have earned him some point with the fans.

It’s not about race and it’s not about Castillo earning $25 million. It’s about on-the-field performance. It’s about missing games every season with various injuries. And yes, Castillo has worked very hard to come back from those injuries, and it’s worth noting that Castillo was one of the few Mets who didn’t spend the majority of 2009 on the DL.

Castillo might find himself on the chopping block by the end of the week, maybe even today. And when he does finally leave New York, whether it’s in March or the end of September, Mets fans will rejoice. But Castillo has, at times, been a good player and any boos he’s heard have nothing to do with race or anything that hasn’t happened on the field.

Castillo gets paid to play a game, and when you don’t play it well, you’ll attract the boo birds. That’s sports and it’s not any more complicated than that.


Update: Luis Castillo has been released by the Mets today. So that’s that.

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Sandy Alderson: Time for Mets GM to Make Decision on Oliver Perez, Luis Castillo

It’s gone on for weeks now. What was a four-man competition that was supposed to be cut down by March 14 has now swelled to five men and is no closer to a conclusion.

Mets manager Terry Collins trots a different second baseman out every game, gives him two or three at-bats and then replaces him with another candidate for one or two at-bats.

On and on we go, and where it stops, nobody knows—not even Collins himself.

Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy, Justin Turner and, of course, Luis Castillo, have all been under consideration for the Mets’ second-base job since the start of spring training, and you can add Luis Hernandez to that list as well.

Recent reports have Hernandez as the front runner to win the job, although his name has only just now floated to the surface of the toilet that has been second base. Depending on which newspaper or website you read, Hernandez may only have an outside chance.

Regardless, Collins had said this was all supposed to be resolved three days ago, but since no one has broken away from the pack, it remains an open competition.

Speaking of competition: Oliver Perez, who is no competition for anyone, continues to circle the drain, as does Castillo.

General manager Sandy Alderson was asked recently about the attention the media and, more specifically, the fans have given to Perez and Castillo.

“It’s a little odd,” Alderson said. “I think it does distract one from taking a look at this team as a whole and having a little more balanced view of this team as a whole…I think there has been a lot of focus on second base, maybe to the exclusion of some other things. I wouldn’t say there’s anything else you should be watching, [maybe] something else you might write about.”

You know what would be nice to write about, Mr. Alderson? A winner of the second base competition. Or maybe even a decision on Castillo and Perez, who continue to be given a chance to make this team despite every indication that they’ll be released.

Perez, who entered camp pleading with Collins for a chance to win a spot in the starting rotation, made two starts, going 1-1, and currently sports a 7.88 ERA and has issued six walks in just eight innings.

Perez now has his name on a very long list of guys competing for a spot in the bullpen. Collins has already tabbed lefty Tim Byrdak as a “lock” for the pen, and there’s no real reason for the Mets to carry two left-handed relievers.

On the other side of the coin, Castillo seems to be holding his own in the second base competition, despite numerous and frankly obvious reasons why he should be released. If he is finally, and mercifully, released, it could come as soon as the end of this week.

In 11 games, Castillo is batting .285 with two RBI and four runs scored.

Defensively, Castillo has committed one error in 45 innings at second base, but his range continues to be an issue. Although Collins has said he views second base as an offensive position (think Dan Uggla), that doesn’t boost Castillo’s candidacy.

So despite no need for Perez and far superior options to Castillo, both continue to compete for spots on this team. As long as this process continues to get dragged out, much to Alderson’s dismay, it will continue to be picked apart and criticized.  

The fans certainly aren’t staying silent, something Alderson finds surprising.

“It’s human nature,” he said. “There is interest in those two players in our fanbase. … They are among the most debated players.”

No, Sandy. They are the most debated players.

Because of what they represent, $60 million wasted under the Omar Minaya regime, their inclusion on the Opening Day roster will be met with public outcry, and rightfully so. What was going to be a difficult task of getting fans into Citi Field would be almost impossible.

Knowing the standpoint of the fanbase, Alderson said that public perception, though a factor, would not supersede performance.

“We have to deal with reality, and sometimes those perceptions have to be taken into account,” Alderson said.

Well, luckily, the reality is that the performances of Perez and Castillo don’t warrant their inclusion on the 25-man roster when the Mets break camp in a little more than two weeks. Since past performance is perhaps an even larger factor than spring training, it should make deciding what to do with them all the easier.

The time has come to make a decision—a decision that, according to Alderson, rests with him in the end. He’ll get input from Collins and the coaches and scouts, but he’ll make the final call.

New York is a big city—the biggest city, in fact. That’s a lot of voices, almost all of them calling for the same thing: the release of Perez and Castillo and an end to the constant questioning and debate.

Don’t like the constant talk, Mr. Alderson? Want it to end?

Then make a decision, one way or the other—though I think you know which way to go.

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MLB: New York Mets May Release Luis Castillo as Soon as March 14

When speaking about the competition for second base, New York Mets Manager Terry Collins said he wants to reduce the number of candidates by March 14.

Right now, the Mets have four players—Luis Castillo, Brad Emaus, Daniel Murphy and Justin Turner—trying to win a job as the Mets’ starting second baseman.

The incumbent, Castillo, is entering the final year of his four-year, $25 million contract. Despite his $6 million salary for this season, Collins has not handed Castillo the job and has given every indication that Castillo is not the ideal player.

First, the Mets selected Emaus, an infield prospect with excellent plate discipline in the Toronto organization, in the Rule-5 draft this year.

They’ve also given Daniel Murphy, who has played parts of two seasons with the Mets at both first base and left field, plenty of time to learn his third position in as many years. The Mets love Murphy for his bat, and if he doesn’t win second base outright, it’s likely he’ll earn a spot on the bench.

Collins has also stated that he views offense as the key characteristic from second base, citing Chase Utley and Dan Uggla as examples. That would seem to leave Castillo, who has no power, out of the mix.

So if Collins wants to reduce the competition as soon as March 14, that could mean taking the list of possibles down from four to two, spelling the end for Castillo.

“It’s one of my biggest decisions every day, how to get those guys in there,” Collins told Mike Puma of the New York Post. “After the 14th, we have to have this narrowed down. We don’t have time to keep running a guy out there every three days or getting one at-bat because we split the games up.”

Here are Spring Training stats for the Mets’ second base candidates:


Luis Castillo: 10 AB .200 BA 1 RBI

Daniel Murphy: 11 AB .333 2 2B 3 RBI 1 R

Brad Emaus: 6 AB .286 BA

Justin Turner: 12 AB .154 BA


The Mets can’t juggle these four players for much longer, so a decision has to be made as soon as possible.

If the Mets want power from their second baseman, Emaus (15 HR between Double-A Las Vegas and Triple-A New Hampshire last season) and Murphy (.275 BA, 14 HR in 639 at-bats) are the best candidates.

Turner, the longest shot to win the second base job because he still has two minor league options available, hit .333 with 11 home runs in 78 games at Triple-A Buffalo last season.

Castillo has been given plenty of opportunities to show he can still be a solid player, but not even his salary and experience seem enough to save him from release, which is music to the ears of all Mets fans.

Along with Pitcher Oliver Perez, Castillo remains one of the symbols of the Omar Minaya regime, something Mets fans want to forget. Castillo’s release would be the first step in creating a new period for the New York Mets, one that is filled with increased financial uncertainty.

Paying Castillo his $6 million and showing him the door would go a long way toward instilling some confidence in Mets fans that the club does have some money to work with.

Hopefully Mets fans will be able to raise a pint on St. Patrick’s Day and drink to the release of Luis Castillo.

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