Sunday, July 22, 2007

Castillo sits

One of the most telling signs that a player is about to be traded is when they sit out of a game for no apparent reason. Teams don't want a player to get hurt after a deal has been agreed upon which would cancel the trade. Jose Castillo had requested a trade at the start of the season when he lost his starters job but there were no takers for his services. After recently being told by the manager that he was going to start regularly at third, Castillo has sat the last two nights. The Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh) is speculating that with the injury to Valentin maybe Castillo is on the move to the Mets. Over four years in the majors, all with Pittsburgh he has a lifetime average of .256 with a .299 OBP. Castillo would be a defensive specialist, bottom of the order hitter. He maybe what they hoped for out of Ahern all these years, if Ahern could have just hit .250 his defense would have kept him with the team.

The New York Mets showed no interest in infielder Jose Castillo previously, despite a need at second base. But that could be changing after they lost Jose Valentin, their starter at the position, for two months to a broken right shin Friday night in Los Angeles.

The Pirates last week told Castillo that he would replace injured third baseman Jose Bautsista -- manager Jim Tracy called it "his chance to play" -- but Castillo stayed on the bench for a second consecutive game last night with recent minor-league recall Matt Kata again getting the start.

Teams often keep a player out of action just before he is traded so that an injury cannot foil the transaction.

The Mets could use recently acquired Marlon Anderson at second, but a trade has not been ruled out. Castillo, making $1.9 million and batting .238, said before the game that he was unaware of what was happening. But he reiterated his wish -- originally made public two months ago -- to be traded if he is not going to play regularly.