He was there and then he was gone. That is what some will say about Rusney Castillo Minor League life as he is almost ready to make his debut with the Red Sox.
If you happen to want to see him, Castillo arrived Tuesday night at Triple-A Pawtucket for Game 1 of the Governors Cup Finals. After this week, his home address is going to be Fenway Park.
Nearly as quick as the right-hander obtained a $72.5 million dollar contract Aug. 23, Castillo has played in games in the Gulf Coast, Eastern, and International League.
That Major League Dream is about to come to fruition.
“Obviously, the competition’s higher,” said Castillo through an interpreter. “There’s more veteran players, but I’m still trying to play my game.”
Castillo went 1-for-4 Tuesday and was caught stealing trying for second base. Despite being tagged up, Castillo and Pawtucket plan to let him stay aggressive, something that might be a fine addition to the Red Sox lineup.
“We’re letting him play,” said Pawtucket manager Kevin Boles. “We’re letting him play. He’s going to get his at-bats, we’re going to watch him, we’re going to feel him out as far as his positioning and defense as far as him running the bases.
“We’d rather him be aggressive. We’re just going to let him play and see how he fits in here and he’s done a nice job. He had a real good workout today and played a good game.”
One thing Castillo has attempted to do is shake of rust from not playing competitive baseball. Remember, the 27-year old has been away from it since July of 2013.
“Obviously it’s been a gradual step from one level to the other and it’s helped me find my game, which obviously I haven’t played [in over a year],” Castillo said. “It’s been extremely beneficial just to find myself as a player again.”
Through the glimpses in Cuba and the few at-bats in the Boston Farm system, one can see a lot of potential in Castillo. Red Sox nation and the World will likely see what few have very soon. Castillo could be a very special player.
“[He has] plus hand speed through the zone, he expanded the zone a couple of times, but had the well-hit ball to third base,” said Boles. “That ball got down the line, got to the third baseman, it was on him really quick. But he’s an athlete. You can tell. There’s no doubt about it. He’s a fast-twitch body and there’s a lot to be interested about there, yeah. It stands out.”
See you in Fenway soon Castillo, maybe your presence will draw some weary fans back to Boston, heck I don’t blame everyone for leaving, the Sox have been god-awful since day one.