March 2, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers outfielder Nick Castellanos (79) against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
The player we’ve all been waiting for will almost certainly be called up for September. Acutally, I’m almost certain that Nick Castellanos will be called up on August 31 in order to be eligible for the postseason*. The Tigers will likely look to take 14 hitters and 11 pitchers into October (because one starter will move to the bullpen so teams need one less pitcher), so one hitter who’s not currently on the active roster will earn a spot. The way I see it, that player is either Jhonny Peralta or Nick Castellanos. Hernan Perez could be an option, but he’s a poor hitter and would provide little value to a bench that already contains Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago. If I was running the club I would give strong consideration to taking both Peralta and Castellanos (and leaving Matt Tuiasosopo off), but a lot of unknowns remain before we could go down that path (How would Peralta look after all that time off? Is Castellanos ready to hit MLB pitching?).
I’m looking for Castellanos to play many or most days if/when he’s called up either as the left fielder or to spell Torii Hunter. He will not be used to spell Miguel Cabrera at third base (I’m 99.9% on this) – if the organization was planning on doing that, he would be getting playing time at third in the minors right now (and he’s not).
Castellanos isn’t yet on the 40-man roster, but I’m guessing they’ll make room for him by transferring Luis Marte to the 60-day DL. I’ll also be that they’ll make room for him on the 25-man roster by optioning Al Alburquerque on August 31 (and bring him right back the next day when roster expand).
[UPDATE:] Becuase Marte is on the DL (and will be at the end of the season), the Tigers won’t necessarily need to call up Castellanos on the 31st. They could call him up in September and still have him eligible for the postseason roster.