Rusney Castillo isn’t making any crazy demands in his first spring training with the Boston Red Sox.
While Castillo, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston last August, is expected to crack the club’s Opening Day roster, it’s at least possible he could start the season in the minors. The possibility isn’t weighing on the 27-year-old as he recovers from a strained left oblique suffered earlier this week, though. Instead, he’s taking everything in stride.
“To me, it wouldn’t be anything that would alter my plan, or my attitude, or my perspective,” Castillo told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford through a translator Thursday. “If that’s what it’s got to be, that’s what it’s got to be. I’m just worrying about playing and continuing to get reps and reps wherever they may come.”
It’d be somewhat surprising if Castillo opened the season at Triple-A Pawtucket. The Red Sox are paying him a lot of money, and the Cuban outfielder flashed his impact potential in 10 major league games in 2014.
Boston has a surplus of outfielders, though, and a strong spring from Mookie Betts could persuade the Sox to view the 22-year-old as their everyday center fielder, particularly if Castillo suffers any setbacks in his ongoing recovery.
“Of course there is a degree of comfort in that I’m going be here for a while,” Castillo told Bradford with regard to being under contract with Boston through 2020. “At the same time, if you don’t want to be in the minor leagues, ramp it up and work harder to not be there.”
Red Sox manager John Farrell said Wednesday he expected Castillo to miss at least a week because of his oblique injury, though the outfielder’s status improved Thursday. Castillo might show upon returning that he truly is cut out for life in The Show, but the Red Sox must be encouraged by his team-first mentality in his first camp in the United States.
Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images