Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that, according to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, outfielder Rusney Castillo will play in the major leagues this season “barring something unforeseen.” Castillo, who came to the U.S. from Cuba, inked a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox on August 23.
Castillo was in the lineup, leading off for Double-A Portland in Wednesday evening’s game against the Binghamton Mets, the first game of the Eastern League playoffs. Cherington said Castillo will stick with Portland for the duration of their five-game series against Binghamton. Castillo debuted for the Red Sox earlier this week in the Gulf Coast League.
More from Cherington on Castillo, via Britton:
“He’s working hard, attitude has been great, soaking stuff in,” said Cherington. “We’re more interested in watching him integrate into the daily routine and get comfortable with things we’re asking him, and he’s done that very quickly.”
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.