Thursday, March 15, 2012

Castellanos, others reassigned to Dodgers' minor-league camp

The Dodgers reassigned nine players to their minor-league camp today in the first of many moves to come in the next few weeks.

Michael Antonini, Alex Castellanos, Stephen Fife, Shane Lindsay, Russ Mitchell, Alfredo Silverio, Scott Van Slyke, Josh Wall and Chris Withrow were all optioned. A lot of them are unsurprising, especially Silverio, who's still out because of his January car accident.

Van Slyke hit a home run in his first Spring Training game, but that wasn't enough to keep him around. He'll get some valuable playing time in Triple-A. All the pitchers optioned are no surprise, as is Mitchell.

However, I'm a little surprised Castellanos was cut loose so quickly. I know he wasn't going to make the squad out of Spring Training, but he had been swinging a hot bat, going 6-for-16 with two home runs, four RBI, a double, triple and five runs scored. He's a work in progress at second base, but he could be a viable option there down the road.

I looked at what the Dodgers have in Castellanos in November.
"Scouts say Castellanos is playing above his skill level. Looking at his career numbers, I'm inclined to agree. Before 2010, the only times he had an OPS better than .800 was in his first two seasons in Rookie ball and Low-A ball.

Bottom line, it's not exactly known what the Dodgers have in Castellanos. They could have a utility player, they could have a starting corner position player, they could have a second baseman or they could have a Four-A player.

This season will determine whether his late-2011 performance was a sign of him turning a corner or just a fluke."
That basically remains unchanged. However, when Roberto Baly of Vin Scully is Homeboy posted a video of Castellanos taking batting practice at the Winter Development Camp, I was immediately drawn to the video of Castellanos. I know it was just BP, but the sound of the ball jumping off his bat just sounded great.

Jared Massey of LA Dugout was at last night's Dodger-Red game and commented on Castellanos' bat.
"My God, Castellanos has a quick bat. #Dodgers"
Baly's video, Castellanos' strong spring showing and Massey's comment gives me legitimate hope for Castellanos' future. Perhaps 2011 wasn't a fluke.



I just thought he'd hang around a little longer. At least he'll get to hone his abilities at second without having compete with Mark Ellis, Ivan De Jesus and Justin Sellers for playing time in major-league camp.

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