Castellanos taking fly balls in left field with Erie

Nick Castellanos broke into the U.S. starting lineup for the All-Star Futures Game as the designated hitter. He might also have provided a hint for where he could eventually fit in as a Tiger if Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder stay on the corners for the foreseeable future.

Actually, the hint came from Tigers minor-league instructor Kevin Bradshaw, who talked with Castellanos shortly before his promotion to Double-A Erie.

“Get an outfielder’s glove,” Castellanos said he was told. “Just to have one, it’s not a bad idea. So I went out and got one. I haven’t been getting specific instruction there yet. He just said to get out there, start getting a little different view.”

Once Castellanos made the jump to Erie little more than a month ago, he began tracking fly balls in left field during pregame batting practice — not specific drills, he said, but a way to get accustomed to that angle.

“A lot of it is pretty getting used to seeing the way the ball comes off [the bat] to lefties, comes off to righties, making sure I’m getting behind the balls when I’m running after them instead of running forward and then having to adjust backwards. That’s pretty much it,” Castellanos said Sunday before the All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City.

By all accounts, no move is imminent. All of Castellanos’ game action has been at third base, with the occasional start at designated hitter to get him off his feet. But with Miguel Cabrera seemingly at third base for the foreseeable future while Prince Fielder is at first, and the Tigers potentially having an opening in left field as soon as next season, though Castellanos won’t necessarily be ready at that point.

When asked about where his future lies, Castellanos said nothing definitive.

“I really don’t know,” he said. “I know the organization still loves me as a third baseman. They see me there in the future. They’ve also mentioned to get an outfielder’s glove, nothing too serious so far.”

Cabrera broke into the big leagues with the 2003 Marlins as their left fielder because that’s where their void was. They had Mike Lowell at third, though Lowell missed most of September that year and Cabrera filled in at third.

“All those guys are great,” Castellanos said. “I’m just going to have to keep on grinding it through and hopefully I’ll force them to put me somewhere.”

Another example is Albert Pujols, who played both corner outfield and infield spots as a 21-year-old rookie in 2001 before spending most of the following two years as the Cards’ primary left fielder.

“If you hit,” the 20-year-old Castellanos said, “they’re going to find a spot for you.”

34 Comments

why not have him get some playing time at 2nd base
this is something the Tigers really need

Castellanos is 6’4″ and weighs 210. Find me another second baseman even remotely that big.

Robinson Cano is 6’1″ 205lbs. Awful argument.

It’s getting more and more exciting to read about and see Nicky C’s successes at each level he’s played. 2014 is the probable arrival, but he will have the final say in that. Well, we got those five W’s in a row; and now we have to stop playing for five
days. I’m off to Baltimore Friday morning to see the three game series. Today’s game was very nice in all phases of play. Let me share three things I liked about today’s game:
1. There was a sense in the dugout that the guys would win; wins lead to confidence and confidence leads to more wins. No panic at all today.
2. Max’s complete control of the KC lineup; his own confidence level seems to be increasing every start. Only one walk for Max, and his maturation as a solid # 2 continues.
3. Biggy’s answer to all the Blog cries, “Where’s the HR power from Fielder?” He’s very comfortable with who he is and what he can do. And I do believe that his teammates love him.

As for Delmon, keep hanging that tongue out with every pitch. The man can seriously hit a fast ball, and a curve when’s he’s settin’ on it. Cudos to Jhonny. Now someone wave a magic wand, and get Alex going. Should be an interesting second half. Good evening to all.

They’re startin’ to loosen up amongst themselves too. i.e. Dotel in the 9th. Dotel is going to be a very important man for us.

Castellanos does not look that big in TV. SO with a huge breaking ball

Nothing beats homers with men on which is becoming a real nice habit.
Longest winning streak of the season hopefully wont get lost with the break.

Now, Castellanos took a walk.

Just got knocked out with another howlin’ thunderstorm, but did get to see all of the game. Looks like we’re clicking on all cylinders here lately. Scherzer looks as good as he’s ever been since arriving here, and those homeruns work wonders for a struggling offense. I guess we all expected more of this during the season, but after what’s gone down, 44-42 and 3.5 games out of first will have to do. I hope the break doesn’t stall the momentum that JL doesn’t believe in.
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As for the AS game, my only interest regarding pitchers is if it dictates whether Weaver starts against us next week in Detroit. If he starts next Sunday like Verlander, we’d miss him. If he does start against us, it would be a great time to show 2011 video highlights on the big board during the game, featuring Ordonez and Guillen in action last July. It doesn’t seem to take much to throw Mr. Weaver off his game.
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A rather strange story out of Washington: Ian Desmond is skipping the ASG because of an obique injury, but played and homered today. I don’t have any other details on that yet.
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Myself, I will be watching the legends/celebrity softball game tonight, and the first round of the HR Derby. That’s about it.

SI thinks ASG starters will bs Dickey or Strasburg versus JV or Sale. Announcement will be made Monday.

Call up Castellanos, HR with two on.
Second hit in the inning

Brantley. hit , rbi and ground out. In the same inning

Tigers prospects have had good days. Hope the pitcher RONDON (?) gets to pitch so we can see him.

Pretty sure Rondon is scheduled to throw in the 9th.

Wont be a 9th inning to pitch:perhaps, he is allowed to pitch in the 8th to give him the chance to play. And since they have used most of the pitchers that wont be unreasonable

Second Base NOW!!!! Let him learn in the bigs. Bet he can bat better than a buck 80 and field better than Double R. I’m good with Dirks and Delmon in left (Delmon is heating up! 4 games in a row with and HR.)

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Bruce Rondón is entering the game

Right you are! Entering game now.

102,101 MPH Rondón

Clearly signed by DD

Castellanos, MVP!

Tigers BA is #3 in MLB. Tigers ERA is in the middle. Extract Verlander from the ERA equation and we are near the bottom. What fix do we need? Figure it out.

I meant to say check ERA for starters. Relief corps is decent for the Tigers.

You kind of doctor the numbers there since Verlander is in the equation. The Detroit starters are 7th in the AL and 2nd in the division, which is what counts, and pitching with a below average defense. There’s not a team in baseball that can’t use a top notch starter, no matter what their numbers are. Those other clubs don’t pitch all that well either, although they often look good against our hitters.
Unless Fister is no longer a quality pitcher, which I don’t believe is the case, another starter isn’t really tops on the list of needs.

Yes, the stats are doctored because JV is in the equation, which is my point. And… I used to buy into that defense argument. I no longer think there is any real strength to that argument after looking at fielding stats, particularly error totals. Mediocre defense, yes. We need 2 quality starters to get us anywhere in the playoffs. I once thought, and only now hope, Fister is the guy He is presently a huge question mark for whatever reason. He definitely does not have the same velocity or movement as before, but is better of late. Porcello is still developing and inconsistent. Smyly is marginal with potential. Max can be dominant, but the “Good Max, Bad Max ” description says it all. Yes, we need a fix. Hopefully, everyone can live up to expectations, but how often does that happen? This team is very close. At minimum, a Hamels or someone like him gives us 6 guys for 5 slots and depth, which allows our pitching cards to play out to injury, seasoning or trade for other upgrades.

And …Winning and competing within the division is good, but it does not count enough for me. WS championship is what it is about and how the team should be built.

There are no fielding stats that I’m aware of that quantify the damage done by plays not made or to be more specific, doubleplays not turned. That was a huge problem with this team before Santiago began receiving the bulk of playing time at 2ndbase.
Stats are most often used in an attempt to prove an already formed opinion. My opinion is that our current rotation is sufficient. Could it be improved? Absolutely, but we can’t have everything. Realistically, there’s only so much improvement a team can make by trades during the course of a season. The heavy lifting is done during the offseason. That probably doesn’t sit well with those who desire immediate gratification, but it is the reality in baseball.
It’s my belief that you build a team that gets into the postseason. That much can be obtained through intelligent management of personnel and finances. Once in the postseason, it’s all a big roll of the dice. We see it over and over. Look at the Rangers, Phillies, Yankees and Red Sox as examples.

Correct about the lack of stats about damage analysis by plays not made. So,given your premise, can you prove Santiago helps? The present rotation IS NOT sufficient, although I would so wish as I earlier pointed out. A near 5.00 ERA by starters 2-5? Trades happen all the time, in and out of season. Deadline trades are exciting and the Tigers participate annually. Yes, the Phillies ,Yanks, Rangers and Red Sox are active in trades and acquisitions. They compete and the attendance, viewing and mercchandise purchases increase and they are in the hunt. No… postseason success is not mere chance. It is more a matter of improving the chance of success by playing the odds of success based upon talent,etc. No question, random winners can nonetheless happen. Oh…I do think Santiago helps, despite the lack of supporting evidence by you. Yes, we need a fix and we need it in the rotation where it can do the most good in the most efficacious manner. I do not want to rely on random chance for winning the WS. I want to improve the odds and place them in favor of the Tigers.

Okay well, we’ve both laid out our views. Good conversation.

Without using words such as efficacious, the Tigers success is in the second half will be determined by the success of Doug Fister and the bullpen.

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