Jun 5, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox outfielder Rusney Castillo (38) gets an infield single during the 6th inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Gregory J. Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
4) Caribbean Flavor
Left Field: Alejandro De Aza
Center Field: Mookie Betts
Right Field: Rusney Castillo
- Brock Holt in RF for Castillo’s play, or LF or CF for any injuries or days off
Now that we’ve dispensed with the formalities of Farrell’s trends, let us get to what could and should be happening to the outfield.
The fact is that De Aza is arguably playing the best defense on the team, with the possible exception of Betts. If left field has been so tricky for countless Red Sox in the past, would it not make sense that the veteran outfielder take charge? Move Ramirez back into the infield or the DH spot; De Aza should take his rightful place on the team. In 19 games when starting in left field De Aza has a perfect fielding percentage with no errors. Why is this even a question?
As we already established Betts as the one to bet on in center, let’s move to right field to someone Red Sox Nation and Boston’s executives were counting on to come up big. Castillo, the Cuban phenom, was paid over $11 million this season, as well as the next four seasons, to play for the Red Sox. The problem is that he continues to play for the Sox from Triple-A Pawtucket. Castillo has over $14 million dollars guaranteed to come to him in 2020 if he decides to stick with the organization, and the man hasn’t played a full season in Boston yet. One would think that the pressure would be on for Castillo to be called up and produce. Well, he has, and it hasn’t been as much ‘phenom’ as it’s been ‘wonder’ at when he will meet expectations.
In the 26 games that he’s played with Boston this season, Castillo has hit a slash line of .230/.260/.284, showing flashes of power without consistency. He has one home run and six RBIs in 74 at-bats. A small sample size to be sure, but that’s what Betts was given too and he made the most of it. Castillo now dwells in Triple-A, hitting .290/.346/.411 with three home runs and 15 RBIs in 124 at-bats. Better numbers, but that’s the minors for you. If he unlocks his potential even more, maybe we see him again in right field after the All-Star Break. That is, unless someone else beats him to it. For the money being paid for his services, Red Sox execs certainly hope to see him soon.