Mar 14, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) throws to first base during the fifth inning against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
#3: Will Casty’s defense be the weak link?
No one believes that Nick Castellanos will ever be a Gold Glove defender, and looking across the diamond, he might actually be the worst defender among the regulars on the Detroit Tigers.
You will always have a defensive liability on any baseball team, but Dave Dombrowski has done a good job in recent years of providing balance to the team.
In the Jim Leyland years it was about the sluggers, waiting around for a three-run homer with strong starting pitching. That was not a bad way to construct a team, but with a new manager comes a new mindset and Ausmus wanted his teams to be quicker and better defensively.
Castellanos is a hold-over from the Leyland age, where offense trumped defense. Yes Casty may be the weak defensive link, but you can see bits and pieces of being a bit stronger through the season’s first week.
Sunday in Cleveland with Kyle Lobstein struggling mightily, Nick made some sliding stops to prevent the Indians from getting back into the game. It was nothing spectacular, and he looked a bit awkward doing it, but he got the job done.
I suppose that will be the best thing we can say about Castellanos at third this season: “he got the job done.” That’s all the Tigers expect out of him.
Next: Cespedes for the rest of us