The Red Sox haven’t had any problem with their lineup in the early going. Entering today’s nine-run performance, the Red Sox ranked fourth in the American League in runs scored and have a 5-2 record in the early going. However, despite his supposed health, the Red Sox haven’t gotten much out of right fielder Shane Victorino. With that in mind, it’s worth wondering how soon the Red Sox plan to wait before promoting Rusney Castillo to Boston.
Castillo, whom the Red Sox signed to a 7 year/$72.5M contract out of Cuba last season, lost out on the starting center field job this spring due to a combination of Mookie Betts‘ excellence and an oblique injury which caused him to miss the first half of Boston’s Grapefruit League slate. For the sake of preserving depth, the Red Sox optioned Castillo to Triple-A Pawtucket to start the year, but with Castillo raking with the PawSox and Victorino having gone just 2-20 thus far, things could change soon.
Through his first three games in Pawtucket, Castillo has hit .417/.462/.500 and, though that’s a tiny sample size, it’s a continuation of success for Castillo. In 29 at bats this spring, Castillo slashed .310/.310/.621 and he drew rave reviews from former Red Sox utility man and current coach Alex Cora on his work in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
Granted, Castillo has suffered a bit of a setback to this potential promotion. While making a diving catch in a PawSox game on Saturday, Castillo landed awkwardly on his shoulder and is now dealing with some discomfort there. Castillo’s shoulder injury will be evaluated in Boston this week, but the injury isn’t expected to be a major hindrance.
If that holds true and Castillo is back in the PawSox lineup soon, it shouldn’t be long until he makes an impactful appearance in Boston. Victorino has given the Red Sox next to nothing thus far and if he continues to struggle, the Red Sox might be best served to trade him elsewhere or give him a phantom trip to the disabled list. Castillo ought to be a legitimate major league right off the bat and the Red Sox are holding him back by keeping him in Pawtucket right now. Once he returns from this hopefully-minor injury, a promotion should be forthcoming if he continues his hot start.