What was being touted as a renaissance for Luis Castillo during Spring Training has turned out to be anything but during the first few games of the regular season.
Castillo is the bottom dweller in all offensive categories for any Mets starter so far, with a .100 batting average and a .250 on base percentage. He has just one hit, a double, in his first three games. Granted, being the No. 8 hitter in the lineup doesn’t give you as many fat pitches to hit.
So, manager Jerry Manuel’s decision to put left fielder Daniel Murphy in the No. 2 hole seems to have been the right one. Murphy has a .368 average, .400 OBP, a home run and has scored five runs. If Castillo was batting second instead of Murphy, would he be as successful? Probably not.
As it stands now, Castillo is a rally killer. In last night’s game vs. the Florida Marlins, it seemed like every time the Mets had something going, Castillo was there to provide the third out. This also meant that the pitcher started the next inning, virtually guaranteeing an automatic out.
Manuel seemed to be thinking the same thing as he pinch hit Jeremy Reed for Castillo in the top of the ninth inning. The move turned out to be the right one when Reed hit a game-tying RBI, even though the Mets still ended up losing.
It’s still early in the season but if you were managing the team, what would you do? Move Castillo higher up in the order, let Alex Cora start or just ride it out?