Luis Castillo has started just four of the last 17 games and said yesterday that he’s unhappy losing playing time to 20-year-old rookie Ruben Tejada, who’s hitting just .167 in 48 games overall this season.
On the bench last night for the fifth straight game, Castillo told the New York Daily News that he’ll talk to his agents about finding a team willing to make him a starter again:
I think we will talk to them about that. I need to be in a different kind of situation. I don’t know what they want to do. I want an opportunity to play, and if it is here, then I am happy. If it is somewhere else, then that’s what it is.
I thought I would be playing tonight, but I am not making the lineup. What is going on here? I don’t know what he’s doing. All I can do is the best I can. That’s how you try to play more, but I am disappointed.
Castillo has hardly played well enough this season to complain much about a lack of playing time, but it’s also easy to see why he’d be frustrated sitting in favor of a 20-year-old who clearly isn’t ready for the majors. Tejada is a promising young player, but he’s also just the latest example of the Mets needlessly rushing a prospect through the system and sending him to New York well before he’s ready. Among the 186 hitters in NL with at least 150 plate appearances this season, Tejada has the lowest OPS at .467.
Jerry Manuel admitted that Tejada isn’t ready offensively, but praised his defense and indicated that Castillo has indeed been relegated to a role player, saying: “Right now we’re probably going to try to see how far we can go with Ruben. It may not be a situation he likes, but it’s a situation he’ll have to adjust to.”
And, of course, if the Mets could trade Castillo they would have done so long ago. He’s making $6 million this season and is still owed another $6 million next year.
On the disabled list for the past few weeks with a sprained big toe, Aaron Cook could rejoin the Rockies’ rotation as soon as September 2 against the Phillies.
Cook tossed five innings of one-run ball Monday in his first rehab start at Triple-A and Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that he’ll likely be asked to pitch once more in the minors before the Rockies make a decision on his status.
Colorado unsuccessfully shopped Cook at the trade deadline, with other teams shying away in part because of his medioce performance this season and part because he’s still owed $9.25 million in 2011 with an $11 million option or $500,000 buyout for 2012. He suffered the toe injury just a few days after the deadline passed.
Earlier this afternoon I mocked the Royals for putting out a terrible lineup against Armando Galarraga and the Tigers, giving them a particularly tough time for using Willie Bloomquist as their No. 3 hitter.
As noted at the time, Bloomquist is a career .255 hitter with a .305 on-base percentage and .310 slugging percentage against righties, including .205/.221/.253 this season. He has been one of the worst hitters in baseball against righties.
And so naturally he just hit the game-winning homer–off right-hander Alfredo Figaro–in the 12th inning. Seriously. Ned Yost may want to buy some lottery tickets tonight.
The lesson here is either that I’m a doofus or baseball is a funny game. Actually, probably some combination of both. They’re not mutually exclusive, after all. Seriously though, Willie Bloomquist?!
Ryan Howard went 0-for-7 with five strikeouts last night before being ejected by third base umpire and instigator Scott Barry, and manager Charlie Manuel has benched him for tonight’s game.
Toss in Howard’s pronounced platoon splits and sitting him versus left-hander J.A. Happ was probably pretty close to a no-brainer for Manuel. The right-handed hitting Mike Sweeney is starting in his place.
Howard is no doubt facing a fine and possibly a suspension, although obviously neither would impact his availability tonight. Oh, and it’ll be interesting to see what type of reaction Barry gets from the Philadelphia crowd. And by “interesting” I mean “fun to hear that much booing directed at one person who deserves it.”