Luis Castillo, Meet Guillermo Mota

An article by posted on November 4, 2008

When we acquired Luis Castillo on Deadline Day 2007, I thought that getting an everyday second baseman was exactly what the club needed. While Castillo performed in August and September, the club historically collapsed (how long will we be hearing those words in a sentence?).

Based on Castillo’s performance in August and September, Omar Minaya gave Castillo a 4-year extension worth around $25 million. We then paid him to be a dead roster space in 2008.

In 2008, Castillo was an easy out at the bottom of the line-up, almost as easy as the pitcher. Maybe the pitcher was a tougher out. We already sacrificed defense for offense when we acquired Brian Schneider. We knew that whatever Schneider wasn’t producing at the plate would always be made up with his glove. However, Castillo wasn’t even good at fielding!

Castillo reminds me so much of the enigma that was Guillermo Mota. Mota’s pitching helped us in 2006 but once it was revealed that he was on happy pills, he faced the resentment of New York fans. In 2007, the booing got to him and his performance, quite frankly, sucked. He was dealt to Milwaukee and went to the playoffs where the Brewers were knocked out by the Phillies.

Second base is a position where it is difficult to find a solid player. That’s probably the reason Chase Utley and Dan Uggla will be elected into the All Star Game year in and year out. I’m all for bringing back Edgardo Alfonzo, my favorite Met and the only truly good second baseman we ever had.

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