The Rusney Castillo era has officially begun.
Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract last month, officially joined the Boston Red Sox before Wednesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park. The Cuban outfielder will bat seventh and play center field in his major league debut.
Castillo played in 11 minor league games — five with Triple-A Pawtucket, four with Double-A Portland and two with the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Red Sox — before joining Boston. The 27-year-old hit .293 (12-for-41) with a home run, five RBIs, seven runs scored, four doubles, five walks and two stolen bases in those games, flashing both his impressive tools and a flair for the dramatic.
The Red Sox won’t be able to draw any major conclusions regarding Castillo over their final 11 games of 2014, especially with the Cuban defector expected to split time in center field with Jackie Bradley Jr. But the late-season call-up offers an opportunity for Castillo to familiarize himself with the club he’s expected to become a core member of next season and beyond.
Clay Buchholz and Francisco Liriano will square off Wednesday as Castillo dons a Red Sox uniform for the first time. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.
NESN.com Red Sox beat writer Ricky Doyle will be tweeting live throughout the game. Follow him on Twitter and check out the updates below.
You also can follow Wednesday’s Red Sox-Pirates game right here.
Photo via Twitter/@MLB
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