Red Sox need to play Rusney Castillo everyday


In a recent interview, Red Sox manager John Farrell stated that the Red Sox have not considered demoting Rusney Castillo to Triple-A. And that’s all well and good– he’s 28 years old, costs $72M over the course of 7 years, and appears to have proven himself in the minors– but Castillo needs to be playing everyday in Boston.

When the Red Sox signed Castillo last August, the expectation would that he would become the center fielder of the future. However, that title may have been taken from Castillo with the recent emergence of Mookie Betts, who converted to the outfield shortly before the Red Sox signed Castillo. And with the signing of Hanley Ramirez to play left field last offseason, Castillo went to Triple-A to start the year but he appeared to fit an obvious role on the team once Shane Victorino inevitably wound up on the disabled list.

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Well, Victorino is on the DL and has been for some time now. Yet Castillo is still not receiving regular playing time. In fact, not only are the Red Sox letting the athletic outfielder languish on the bench (he has not started since Tuesday), but he is being replaced in the lineup by the likes of Alejandro De Aza, whom the Red Sox acquired three weeks ago after he was designated for assignment by the Orioles.

Castillo’s struggles at the plate have likely been a factor in his lack of playing time, as he has slashed only .233/.263/.288 in 76 plate appearances. However, they’re not an excuse on the part of Farrell and Red Sox management.

The Red Sox are 30-40 this season and are 10 games out of first place and 8 games out of the Wild Card race. Realistically, the Red Sox are not going to contend this season. Thus, it doesn’t make sense to play guys like De Aza everyday (even though De Aza has performed admirably since joining the Red Sox) instead of Castillo, who factors into the team’s future plans in a big way.

The mysterious benching of Castillo is the latest in a long line of questionable moves by Farrell and Co. and is worrisome in its similarity to their handling of Jackie Bradley Jr. Sure, the Red Sox don’t have a clear hole in right field with De Aza performing well and Castillo not, but it’s time to play for the future and it’s frankly alarming that the Red Sox are yet to realize that.