Red Sox recall Rusney Castillo, option Bradley


In a move that has been anticipated for weeks now, the Red Sox have added outfielder Rusney Castillo to the 25-man roster. The Red Sox, who have struggled mightily on offense in recent weeks, will give Castillo the opportunity to help turn around an ailing lineup, demoting Jackie Bradley Jr. back to Triple-A Pawtucket in the process.

In a perfect world, Castillo likely would have begun the season as an everyday player for the Red Sox. However, an oblique strain in spring training allowed Mookie Betts to gain the upper hand in their center field battle and Castillo began the season in Pawtucket due to Boston’s glut of outfielders. Another injury, this time a strained shoulder, forced the Red Sox to place Castillo on the minor league disabled list in April, unfortunately coinciding with a time that Shane Victorino was on the DL as well.

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Even recently, Castillo’s fate has been largely controlled by external factors as the Red Sox placed him on paternity leave for the birth of his first child earlier this week. However, when Castillo has been on the field, he has performed admirably with the PawSox.

Through 18 games in Triple-A, he has slashed .293/.341/.440 and stole 6 bases. He has been even better than that recently, though, as his still-impressive season numbers in Pawtucket were diminished by a poor stretch immediately following his return from the DL.

Castillo figures to receive regular playing time for the Red Sox, likely as the team’s starting right fielder. However, as long as Victorino continues to rake against left-handed pitchers, the Red Sox will have to keep putting him in the lineup, leading to a potential platoon between the two. Still, Castillo is a major part of the future of the Red Sox and he will receive starting-caliber playing time, probably sooner rather than later.

Going the other way will be Jackie Bradley Jr., whose struggles versus major league pitching continued this season. In 13 plate appearances, Bradley walked twice but failed to pick up a hit, giving no indication that he has resolved last season’s issues at the plate. Only 25 years old, there’s still hope for Bradley, but with the Red Sox already struggling offensively, there’s simply no place for him on the roster.

This Castillo promotion is a major move for the Red Sox, who appear to realize that shaking things up is the only way of curing this team’s woes. Castillo, who signed a record $72.5M contract out of Cuba last season, is a huge piece of the team going forward and that era will hopefully begin for good tonight against the Angels.