Luis Castillo doesn't expect to be back with the Mets next year

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Luis Castillo has one year and $6 million left on his contract, but told Mike Puma of the New York Post that he doesn’t expect to be back with the Mets next season after losing his starting job at second base to 20-year-old rookie Ruben Tejada.

I feel this offseason they can work out something. I need to play. This has been a tough year for me. I got hurt and I came back and played a couple of games and then I saw the moves they were doing, letting the young guys play. Maybe 20 more days here and I’ll be prepared to work out for next season. I want to see if I can get a chance to play next year because I’m going to be a free agent after that and I want to have a good year and put up good numbers.

Castillo told Puma that he came to the conclusion that he’s done in New York after talking to the front office about his status, which while no doubt true may not mean a whole lot if the current front office isn’t actually in charge in a month. Of course, regardless of who’s running the Mets after this season they’ll probably be interested in unloading Castillo.
As was the case last offseason, if the Mets want to move Castillo they’ll have to either eat a large portion of his remaining salary or swap him for another undesirable contract.

Ian Kinsler lists the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central

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Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.

Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list

Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.

Angels demote C.J. Cron to Triple-A

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Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.

Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).

While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.