Rusney Castillo: ‘I Wouldn’t Feel Bad’ If Red Sox Sent Me To Minors


Mar 18, 2015

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Rusney Castillo had an encouraging day at the office.

Castillo, who had been sidelined with a strained left oblique, participated in two minor league games Wednesday at the Boston Red Sox’s spring training complex. The 27-year-old went 0-for-2, played a couple of innings in center field and, most importantly, came out of the contests — one Double-A, one Triple-A — without any physical issues.

“I felt very good today,” Castillo told reporters in Fort Myers, Fla., through a translator. “I was able to get out on the field and do everything I needed to, didn’t feel any pain in my oblique area. Overall, it went very well.

“I’m not feeling any pain whatsoever. Everything feels great. Now it’s just getting the confidence and going ahead and being explosive with it like I was before.”

Castillo suffered the oblique injury on a swing in the Red Sox’s exhibition game against Boston College on March 3. It was a setback for the Cuban outfielder, who figured to compete with Mookie Betts for the Red Sox’s starting center field job. It’s now entirely possible Castillo could start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, especially with Betts thriving both offensively and defensively in his absence.

“I think we’re seeing around the game right now with the teams we’re playing that timing is becoming a little bit more honed in by everyone,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Wednesday morning. “So he’s going to be a little behind. How long it takes him to catch up remains to be seen.”

Castillo signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston last August. He then performed well in 10 big league games down the stretch, so it’s certainly strange to think he could start the 2015 season in the minors.

Castillo, who is expected to play in a minor league game Thursday before rejoining the major league club Friday, understands the situation, though. While he said Wednesday he’s training to be ready for Boston’s April 6 season opener against the Philadelphia Phillies, he also realizes a minor league stint could be in the cards.

“I wouldn’t feel bad about that at all if that’s the decision that’s made,” Castillo said, maintaining a stance he expressed earlier in camp. “That’s for the manager to decide. I would go with whatever it is and continue to get ready.”

Castillo took a big step toward being ready Wednesday, even if his role to begin the season is as uncertain as ever in light of the recent developments at Red Sox camp.

Thumbnail photo via Twitter/@BGlobeSports

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