It wasn’t the prettiest — and actually should have been ruled an error — but Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos registered his first career major league hit Saturday in the Tigers’ 4-3 loss to the Royals.
Castellanos trickled a slow-roller off the end of his bat to Royals second baseman Emilio Bonifacio, who made a nice charging play and flung the ball over to first baseman Eric Hosmer. But Hosmer could not handle the throw and Castellanos was ruled safe with an infield single. Here’s the video.
Castellanos made it to second base on a Ramon Santiago walk, to third base on an Austin Jackson walk and then scored when Miguel Cabrera drew a bases-loaded base-on-balls.
The run — however easily he came about it — was also a career-first for Castellanos.
Castellanos got called up to the major leagues on September 1 after performing well enough this summer at the Triple-A level. The talented 21-year-old corner outfielder was a .303/.359/.445 hitter in four-plus minor league seasons and figures to have a starting job in Detroit on Opening Day next spring.
Royals’ Opening Day starter Danny Duffy weathered a minor scare during Saturday’s Cactus League game against the Diamondbacks. The left-hander was removed from his final spring training start after experiencing some left shoulder tightness in the second and third innings. No lasting damage appears to have been done — Duffy told reporters that he simply felt a slight ache, nothing more — and it looks like he’ll remain on track to open the season with the team next Thursday.
The 29-year-old southpaw is coming off one of his best performances to date. Despite losing a few weeks to an oblique strain and elbow soreness, he went 9-10 in 24 starts and finished the 2017 season with a 3.81 ERA, 2.5 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 over 146 1/3 innings. While Duffy entered camp with a clean bill of health, he struggled to execute against his spring training opponents and racked up 13 runs, four homers, seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 13 innings of Cactus League play.
The Royals are scheduled to kick off their home opener against the White Sox on Thursday, March 29 at 4:15 PM ET. Barring any further complications with his shoulder, Duffy will take the mound for the Royals, while James Shields is expected to make his first Opening Day appearance for the White Sox.