The Red Sox activated outfielder Rusney Castillo from the minor league 15-day disabled list yesterday, deeming him fully recovered from a shoulder strain. With Shane Victorino on the disabled list in Boston and the Red Sox having been forced to use a combination of Brock Holt, Daniel Nava, and Allen Craig in right field, it’s worth wondering how long the Red Sox wait before promoting Castillo to fill that role.
Manager John Farrell has done everything within his power to dispel those rumors, stating that Castillo will need to spend some more time down in Pawtucket as he has “missed significant time.” Still, it’s tough to take “manager talk” at face value and if promoting Castillo is the right move, you can bet that the Red Sox will make it in the next few days.
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The question is whether or not a Castillo promotion is the right move, after all. The Red Sox signed Castillo, a highly-touted Cuban outfielder, to a 7 year/$72.5M contract last August with the intention of him fitting into the team’s longterm outfield plans. Due to the presence of Victorino, those plans have been delayed, as Castillo has started the season at Triple-A Pawtucket. However, his strong performance with the PawSox could change their minds as he slashed a solid .313/.353/.375 in his first four games at the level.
The Red Sox likely will give Castillo some more time down in Pawtucket. But that time could be more like a week than any significant amount of time. Before his inevitable promotion, Castillo will look to recover fully from his shoulder strain and continue hitting the ball with authority.
There’s no doubt that Castillo is in Boston’s future plans, as they would not have signed him to such a huge contract if he were not. Nobody knows quite how long it will take before the future becomes the present in Castillo’s case, but it likely won’t be very long. Aside from Holt, the Red Sox haven’t gotten much out of right field this season and Castillo, who has the potential to be an impact player right away, could absolutely change that. No matter what John Farrell says, expect Castillo in Boston within a week or two unless he suddenly forgets how to hit Triple-A pitching.