Starting Left Fielder
Although Rusney Castillo opens up camp as the projected starting left fielder this season and no competition has been officially opened up, or even hinted at, by anyone in the organization, Castillo’s job is less safe than any other position player on the roster, which is saying something with Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez manning the corner infield spots. The reason being Castillo has next to no track record of success in the major leagues and is constantly dealing with nagging injuries, as was the case earlier this Spring.
Not only is there concern surrounding Castillo, but others on the roster that are capable of playing left field may make a case for more time in the lineup and Castillo’s spot may be where the Red Sox look to make that happen. The players I speak of are Shaw, who was reportedly taking fly balls recently, Brock Holt and Chris Young.
What happened this week?
Castillo has appeared in only one game this Spring and went hitless in three at-bats, striking out once. As discussed above, Shaw has been extremely impressive this Spring, going 4-for-8, with two doubles and two RBIs. Young has appeared in three games and gone 0-for-6. Holt has appeared in three games and gone 1-for-6, with a run, walk and two RBIs.
Who won the week?
Shaw won here as well, but will the Red Sox give him innings at the position this Spring? They may have to, as it must be concerning that they have only been able to get one game out of Castillo so far this Spring. Moreover, Young is best used in a platoon situation and Holt is best when he is moving around and plugging in holes as the Red Sox utility player. Therefore, if Castillo struggles or cannot get on the field due to injury, and Shaw keeps hitting the way he is and needs a spot, where do they go? Maybe third base, but it may be easier to bench Castillo and play him here.
Next: Eighth Inning Role