Nick Castellanos is getting extra playing time and making the most of it. Injuries to Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch have opened up some extra at-bats for the Detroit Tiger prospect early this spring. All he has done is go 6 for 9 with a HR and 3 Ribbies. His .667 batting average makes him the Tiger’s leader in early spring training returns.
Can Nick Castellanos continue this pace and make a opening day roster? There is a lot of spring left but with the way Castellanos is playing right now it would be hard for the Tigers to ignore him.
The spring surge by Nick Castellanos also causes problems for the Tigers. The club started the spring with several contenders for the left field spot. When spring began, it was assumed the spot would be filled by an Andy Dirks and a recently re-signed Brennan Boesch platoon. If Castellanos continues to push the issue with his outstanding play the Detroit Tigers may have a difficult decision ahead of them. Dirks and Boesch are running out of minor league options and may have to be on the clubs 40 man roster or be waived. This may force the Tigers to start Nick Castellanos in the minors.
A similar situation happened to Quentin Berry last year. Boesch, Dirks, Ryan Raburn and Delmon Young where all looking a for share of the corner outfield at-bats. Many thought Quentin Berry should have made the club out of spring training in 2012 but the business of baseball prevented that from happening. However when in Toldeo, Berry got to play everyday and then made the most of his time when he got called up because of an injury to Austin Jackson. His speed and emotional style of play kept him with the big club for the rest of the season.
Nick Castellanos will likely follow the same path to the majors. If he does start in the minors he likely won’t stay there for long. Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch have both spent time on the disabled list in their young careers. An injury to either will open the door for Nick Castellanos this year just as it for Berry did last year.
It seems the Tigers have a lot of outfield depth in a year that has 2013 world series expectations. That can only mean good things for a team that will likely need to acquire a key piece at the trade deadline.