Rusney Castillo’s Opening Day Status With Red Sox Unclear Due To Injury

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The Boston Red Sox’s crowded outfield situation might sort out itself.

Rusney Castillo, who suffered an oblique injury during the Red Sox’s exhibition game against Boston College on March 3, has yet to play in Grapefruit League action. There’s no indication Castillo won’t be ready for Opening Day, but there’s also no timetable for when he’ll return to game action.

“We’ve got to wait and see when he’s first back on the field how much of the schedule remains and how many at-bats that might translate to,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told reporters Thursday in Bradenton when asked whether Castillo’s Opening Day status is in jeopardy. “We haven’t determined that yet.”

Castillo again participated in baseball activities Thursday, with Farrell describing the outfielder as “doing well” in his recovery. The workouts are expected to ramp up in intensity, but it’s reasonable to wonder whether Castillo will be ready for the Red Sox’s April 6 season opener in Philadelphia if he doesn’t return soon.

“Hard to say. Never been to spring training with him,” Farrell said of how many at-bats Castillo would need this spring to be ready for Opening Day. “Typically, you try to get your regulars anywhere from 55-65, somewhere in there. We know there are exceptions to that — David (Ortiz), for one, two years ago. Until (Castillo) gets back in game situations, we’ll see where the timing is.”

Castillo’s situation is further complicated by the fact he’s still a relatively unknown quantity. The 27-year-old, who signed a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with Boston last August, only played in 10 major league games last season after moving through the minors.

Castillo has minor league options, so the Red Sox could choose to begin the season with the Cuban outfielder at Triple-A Pawtucket even if he’s fully healthy.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images

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