Time To Give Luis Castillo a Break!
Opening Day is a new beginning, whether you’re optimistic or pessimistic, it should be a day to celebrate the potential that your team could have a great season. It should be a day to enjoy the game you love, and say goodbye to the dreary winter months. Your team gets introduced for the first time, and if you’re lucky, you’re at the 1st home game of the year to show your support for your team!
Or, you could be a buffoon and boo your starting 2B as he gets introduced on Opening Day. Are you kidding me!? Why are you booing Luis Castillo? On Opening Day no less!? Did I miss a meeting? Was Castillo pegged the next Kaz Matsui? Heck, I could understand why Matsui was booed; I certainly would’ve never done it on Opening Day though. I cannot for the life of me understand why Castillo deserved the reaction he got yesterday. What’s the reason? Tell me. A single dropped pop up in a game that in the end meant nothing? Your potential fetish for Orlando Hudson?
Seriously, there is a group of Mets fans that have some unhealthy obsession with a guy who gets on base less than 35% of the time, doesn’t steal bases, and hits an average of 10 HRs a year. What use do you have for Hudson? Tell me? Because I have news for you, and I’ll put this in Bold so you actually understand it.
LUIS CASTILLO IS A BETTER #2 HITTER THAN ORLANDO HUDSON IS!
If not Hudson, tell me who you want at 2B? Tell me. The only reason you could boo a starter on Opening Day is if you feel he’s not good enough to be our starter. That’s not the case. His job as our #2 hitter is to be patient enough to let Reyes grab an extra base, move Reyes into scoring position or to get on base to create an RBI opportunity for our heavy hitters.
Castillo came off a pretty bad 2008 season and worked his butt off to get back to where he was in the past, and guess what? He was on base 39% of the time!!! The only 2B’s in the entire league that were on base more were Ben Zobrist and Chase Utley. How do you justify booing this guy?
To quote one of our most outspoken readers in Bayonne Mets Fan, “Luis Castillo now swings a good bat, has worked harder than ANYBODY to turn his career around and he did. To boo him is nothing short of Neanderthal behavior.” I usually disagree with Bayonne, but in this aspect we are 100% in agreement.
Castillo walks more than he strikes out, he can run, he can hit, he works his at bats, and other than 1 bad moment that you will never let him forget, he can field pretty damn well too.
In a year when everybody was dropping like flies on the Mets roster last year, Castillo along with Murphy and mostly Wright were the only three that remained healthy for 140+ games. Castillo could’ve dogged it, especially after he tripped on the stairs, but no, he continued to play through an absolute grueling season, and he performed his job better than most others in the league.
And yet you boo him? That’s embarrassing. Get over your love affair with Orlando Hudson, and don’t even mention Brandon Phillips either. First of all, just deciding he’s magically available is silly. Secondly, what would you give up for him?
We have a good clubhouse now; a guy like Phillips brings nothing to the table except makes the Mets a team that strikes out more and gets on base less. We have enough “power,” in the healthy lineup with Beltran, Wright, Bay and Francoeur.
The Mets need guys to be on base for these guys because as they proved last year, the Mets aren’t going to be able to win many games at Citi Field by simply trying to hit HRs. They need to get men on base, use their speed, and create scoring chances for these guys to that a HR isn’t the only way they can win. Phillips is a good player, but he’s not a #2 hitter, and you’ve got nobody who is a solid #2 option because there is no way you can put Murphy or Barajas there.
In a healthy lineup, Castillo makes perfect sense for the 2010 NY Mets, especially if he replicates his 2009 season.
About the Author: Michael J. Branda
My time with MMO began in July of 2009 when I wrote a Fan Post defending Omar Minaya (before it was cool to do that.) I grew up a Mets fan with the mid 1980's teams. My favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, I like to think I meet in the middle. I believe thinking of new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the same way has not produced results. However, I think over-thinking certain situations can get you into trouble. I'm excited for the new regime, because I believe they have pieces in place to focus on several aspects of the Mets organization. I've waited this long for a World Series, waiting a few more years for another chance isn't going to kill me.
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