Luis Castillo has yet to arrive at Port St. Lucie. Despite position players do not have to report until today, everyone else is already there. So why is he not around? Where does he stand with his position as a Met? He has to be aware that his job is on the line.
GM Sandy Alderson made a case as to why they would consider keeping Castillo on the Mets saying he is still one of the toughest batters to strike out in the National League. However, that is not to say Castillo is not guaranteed a job. He still has to prove that not only he can field his position and hit, but that he truly is dedicated. You can make the case that even Oliver Perez seems to care more about his job than Castillo does.
Now should this be held against Castillo when being considered to remain at second base? Not in the slightest. If he can prove himself as a second baseman and a legitimate hitter, I do not see why he should not make the team out of spring training.
Manager Terry Collins had this to say about the situation:
I was hoping he would be here just so I could get the conversation over. I’m a real believer in sending a message to the organization as a player.
I know he’s working out. I’m aware of that. I just … I guess it was selfishness on my part that I wish he was here so I could get the conversation over [with].
The conversation he is referring to is one that he has had already with other players on this team: that of keeping his job. I understand he wants to have this conversation. As well as he should. I’ve applauded Collins for letting players know where they stand as far as keeping a job. He will be competing against three other guys in Daniel Murphy, Brad Emaus and Justin Turner.
It is not like Castillo is just doing nothing in the Dominican Republic. Even Collins acknowledged that the he is working out implying he is getting into shape.
Personally, I would have like to see him arrive to camp early just because he has something to prove to management and the fans since having a horrible 2011 thanks to yet another injury.