Unless you’ve had your heads in the sand, you all know that Luis Castillo is on fire. He might be more responsible for this little winning streak than any one player on the team. Since dropping that popup in Yankee Stadium, Castillo has transformed himself back into the player that made him a three time All Star and gold glover.
Jerry Manuel was glowing when he spoke about Castillo’s resurgence.
“The thing about Luis, we have found a way to fit his game in to what we’re doing and we’ve kind of worked around him as well. He’s been very good, a lot of energy, a lot of enthusiasm, he’s playing tremendous baseball. When he’s batting eighth, he’s not the same as when he’s batting second. When he’s batting second, he’s in his game-mode of taking pitches, seeing pitches, moving runners, running the bases well.”
Mets Blog points out that“Castillo is batting .361 with a .459 OBP with seven extra base hits in 285 at bats hitting second this season.
Not too shabby…
He is now batting .306 on the season, with 11 doubles, 3 triples, 11 stolen bases and 56 runs scored in 288 at-bats. He also has 49 walks and is second only to Wright who has 56 in 90 more at-bats. Castillo’s OBP is a staggering .406 which is also second best on the Mets. The Mets record with Castillo in the two spot of the lineup is 25-13.
So dare I say it? Maybe now would be a great time to trade him.
I don’t believe his value will ever be higher than it is right now.
Castillo will be 35 years old next season, and despite being in the midst of a solid season, lets not forget he is also playing with two surgically repaired knees.
After experiencing all the injuries and meltdowns, I believe it would be in the Mets best interest to lessen the load on aging players for the 2010 season, especially those who represent a ticking time bomb, like Maine and Delgado were this season. Castillo’s knees can go at any time. Jerry Manuel has done a fine job of resting him and keeping those knees fresh. Castillo has missed 12 games already this season, the equivalent of a 15 day DL stint.
I’m sure there would be many contenders out there who would drool over being able to add a player with a .400+ OBP to the top of their order right now. And with Castillo doing as well as he is, the Mets may even find a taker without having to kick any cash back. Wouldn’t the Wilpons love that?
Opening up second base would also open up some new options for the Mets in the off season.
If they wanted to, the Mets could add someone like Orlando Hudson who is three years younger, has no health issues, and would give them more power from the position as well as another high intensity player. Mark De Rosa would also be a nice fit and add even more power than Hudson would.
And what about untouchable prospects Ruben Tejada and Wilmer Flores? They might not be quite ready right now, but if the Mets went with De Rosa and brought one of them up next July we could finally see what all the hype was about, and why Roy Halladay isn’t a Met.
I’m not saying moving Castillo is a great idea, but just something to consider. His knees coupled with his age are a concern that can’t be ignored.
If there was ever a time to move him, shouldn’t that time be now?