BOSTON — Could Rusney Castillo be on his way back to Boston?
Based on comments John Farrell made Tuesday, it sure sounds like a major league call-up could be forthcoming for the 27-year-old outfielder.
“What’s taken is his timing and his ability to impact the baseball is starting to show up a little bit more,” the Boston Red Sox manager said as his team prepared to host the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. “He’s returned home, obviously, with the birth of his child. That’s going to be a couple of days. Whether or not we allow him to get a game under his belt at Pawtucket before possibly looking at a change here, those are all possibilities. But it’s good to see him get back on the field. The timing’s there, the ability to impact the baseball. So I guess in the short, he’s doing what he can to impact a potential change.”
As Farrell mentioned, Castillo was not in the lineup for Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday as he left the team to attend the birth of his child. When he has been present, however, the Cuban defector has impressed, posting a .304/.355/.449 slash line with two home runs, nine RBIs and six stolen bases in 17 games with the PawSox.
While Castillo still is somewhat of an unknown commodity at the major league level — he appeared in 10 games for Boston near the tail end of last season — his bat could infuse some much-needed life into an ice-cold Red Sox offense.
The Sox managed just 11 total runs over their previous six games entering Tuesday, including a 5-0 shutout loss Sunday to the Seattle Mariners, and right field has been their biggest problem area, with players at that position hitting a mere .144 this season.
For now, though, Farrell is sticking with the status quo. The skipper made only one minor change to his lineup for Tuesday’s series opener, starting switch hitter Daniel Nava in right with right-hander Yovani Gallardo on the mound for the Rangers.
“If it centered around one or two spots in the order,” Farrell explained, “you might say that, let’s look to slide (Shane Victorino) in the No. 2 hole like we did in Seattle or move him up ahead of a couple guys in that bottom or middle third. We’re in a situation where, to me, I think it’s just important for each and every guy in our lineup to do his job to what his career track record has shown — not to do more. To say that a lineup shakeup would jump-start us all, that’s kind of having a little bit of a crystal ball.
“We have the capability here. And I’m not saying that there won’t be changes, whether that’s to the lineup or whether that’s to our position player group. But coming off the road trip, I thought, OK, let’s get through the off day, still maintain some stability, but always with an eye to what changes might help us.”
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images