Detroit Tigers Looking Forward to the Return of Nick Castellanos
It looks like the Detroit Tigers will soon be finished with their game of Third Base Roulette because Nick Castellanos will be back very soon.
The Detroit Tigers everyday third baseman has been on the disabled list since August 5 when he was hit by a pitch. He ended up with a nondisplaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal. In layman’s terms, he fractured the bone that is between the thumb and the wrist. With a non-displaced fracture, there is a break in the bone, but the two pieces stay aligned.
During this time, the Tigers have had a few different players man his position. Some of them have been good and some not-so-good. But, not one has what young Castellanos has.
The better players have included Casey McGehee, JaCoby Jones, Erick Aybar, and Andrew Romine. Defensively, all three have been solid, but their batting performances have varied dramatically. According to the latest report on Casty, the team and fans will have to wait until September 18 to see him back in the daily lineup.
Breaking Down the Numbers
Casey McGehee was called up on August 7 to play third base. Offensively, he has provided very little. In 87 at-bats, he has 21 hits and has scored 4 runs with 1 RBI. He has reached on errors twice. JaCoby Jones has played in six games, not all at third base. He has 16 at-bats, 4 hits, and 3 runs with 2 RBIs. It is obvious that they are still Minor League players.
The two Major League players who have subbed at third have better numbers. On Friday night against the Baltimore Orioles, Erick Aybar played third and showed his prowess at the plate. In just one game, he went 1-3 with a double and a RBI. He is not a third baseman by trade, but as a shortstop, he has the athletic ability to move around the diamond. His bat has been valuable for the Tigers.
Andrew Romine has performed well, too. He has played third base 36 times, making third base his most commonly played position. During Castellanos’ absence, Romine has batted .225 with 51 at-bats, 3 runs, and 7 RBIs.
Prior to his injury, Castellanos was having what many called his “breakout year.” He has been better on third and outstanding at the plate. He was well on his way to 20 home runs; he is sitting pretty at 18. His batting average is 30 points above where it was in his first two seasons. This DL stint has been truly tragic. No one knows how many runs have not been scored because of this injury, but it is certain that he is more valuable than his replacements.
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Working Through His Rehab
When he returns, his bat will provide much-needed hits as the race for the pennant and the Wild Card heat up. He has been hitting off of tees and he took his first real pitches against balls thrown to him on Friday, September 9. He has been practicing catching ground balls, too.
Brad Ausmus has commented on Castellanos’ recovery by saying: “Then we’ll see how it goes for a couple of days, and we’ll probably have to set up a (simulated) game of some type.”
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Hopefully, all will go well and fans will get to see Castellanos make his way back into a regular game before the season is over.