The following is transcribed from Jerry Manuels press conference this weekend.
Q: Would you have Castillo lead off permanently?
A: I would never do anything permanently. I’m talking regular season and that depends on how it looks, how it fits, how Jose fits maybe batting second, third, or whatever, there’s a lot of little different things that you can try to accomplish in spring training. Spring training you have some freedom to look at things differently, and you have to try to do everything you can to try and exercise that time frame where you can look at things differently and say, he might look good there, and see what it might look like without it costing you, why certain things are being done.
Q: Would having Castillo lead off cut down on Reyes’ stolen bases?
A: See, this is not about – the one thing we have to be careful of is this is not about statistical success. It’s about winning as a team and you have to put people in positions that you feel is best to win as a team, whether that means Jose batting second, third whatever, first or leading off, you have to accomplish that, that’s a big part of the message throughout spring training is the game takes precedent over the individual stats. That’s the message.
Q: Would you have liked to see Luis here earlier?
A: I think he’s been on the program at the Dominican academy working with Rafael Landestoy during the winter, he’s doing extremely well, so as long as he’s active, we have the time here in spring training, its always longer than it should be, so we have the time here to get him on the right track.
Q: Can Castillo still be successful in the No. 2 hole?
A: Yeah, I do. I do. I think any time any player in the upper order he can be successful. The danger is putting him in there and then talking permanently and that affects the rest of the team. I’m trying to put him there in order to get him off to a good start and if that can happen, then I think the rest of the team can kind of roll with that. because once he gets going, then there are some things that we can do that could be advantageous for a winning team.
Thanks to Bart Hubbuch for transcribing this interview.