Some credited him with a quietly solid 2009 campaign, others couldn’t look past the memory of his dropped pop-up against the Yankees. Luis Castillo has seemingly been synonymous with Mets’ failure since arriving during the 2007 season. I for one can blame Castillo for keeping me up at night with nightmares of constant 6-3 put-outs. Regardless of his past with the team, and his nauseating contract, Castillo will return to the lineup with hopes of having a positive impact on the remainder of the 2010 Mets season.
As much as most fans despise Castillo for his aging knees, slap style of hitting, and depleting range at second base, the Mets will need him to make things happen for them if they hope to stay in contention.
Right now the bottom of the Mets lineup has gotten very little production. Jeff Francoeur wakes up every morning with an 0 and 2 count, Rod Barajas hasn’t driven in a run since the oil spill, and the tandem of Ruben Tejada and Alex Cora wasn’t exactly posing an offensive threat either.
Castillo’s return to the lineup will allow Cora to be relegated to the role of bench player where he belongs, and will send Ruben Tejada back to Buffalo where he belongs. In addition, Castillo can provide some maturity to the bottom of the Mets order, as long as Angel Pagan is in the lineup. He’ll be counted on to work counts (something Barajas and Francoeur are incapable of doing), get on base, and basically just ignite any kind of spark that he has left.
I obviously am not making Castillo out to be the team’s savior at this point. I am far more excited to have Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran hitting in the same lineup for the first time since last May as well as the possibility of adding a starting pitcher. I view Castillo simply as a potential plug to a hole and a piece of the puzzle. I never thought I would use Castillo’s name and the word “refreshing” in the same sentence, but with the way our offense is producing, I predict Castillo will liven things up a bit and create more scoring opportunities. For once during his Mets tenure, I am looking at Luis Castillo as a half-full glass of water.