MLB: Have the AZ Diamondbacks solved their catching situation
As I have noted in previous articles, the catchers’ position for the Arizona Diamondbacks over the last few years has been weak and in need of a major overhaul. With the trade of Mark Trumbo in June for Welington Castillo, it appears this team has been able to stabilize that position, for now.
Castillo, who began this season with the Chicago Cubs, was hitting .163 in 24 games, with two home runs and five RBI, before being traded to the Seattle Mariners in May; where he was hitting .160 in six games before being traded to the Diamondbacks. The Diamondbacks made the trade for Castillo after Tuffy Gosewisch was sidelined for the rest of the season due to an injury.
Through Tuesday’s game, totaling 46 games with the Diamondbacks, Castillo has 13 home runs, 29 RBI, and a .297 batting average. In his past 15 games, he is hitting .371 with seven homers and 10 RBI. He has also performed well defensively with a .993 fielding average. Castillo has been able to learn the pitchers’ individual styles and calls an outstanding game. But, his biggest contribution to this team could be his injection of some fun into the group; and they have responded with better play, both offensively and defensively.
It shouldn’t be a complete surprise to fans that Castillo can hit. Back in 2013, when he was with the Cubs, he had a .274 batting average in 113 games. He did slump in 2014, to a .237 average, and the Cubs went out and acquired Miguel Montero and signed free agent David Ross, forcing his trade to the Mariners.
Castillo will have completed four years of MLB playing time at the end of this season. He will not qualify for free agency until after the 2017 season, so the job should be his for the near future if he can maintain his defensive play and maintains his homerun power swing.
Let’s hope that the guys who hit in front of Castillo in the lineup can get on base a little more often, so solo home runs can become two- or three-run shots for the Diamondbacks and his RBI totals continue to increase.
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