Luis Castillo may have been the Phillies’ only choice. (AP Images)
The Phillies are screwed at second. If it hasn’t already sunk it, it will today when Castillo reports to Phillies spring training and gets fitted for his new uniform. Chase Utley could be gone for a long, long time, with signs pointing toward inoperable arthritic knees. Castillo, rejectamenta from the meager Mets, is poised to arm second with his whopping six extra-base hits from a season ago, in stark contrast to the rich 30-homer, 40-double threat the Phils once had in Chase.
Castillo’s greatest asset lately has been his ability to punch cheap hits into the Citi Field morass. The switch-hitter became Sandy Alderson's fall guy on Friday, followed by today's release of Oliver Perez, who is owed $12 million. In Alderson's haste to distance himself from the Omar Minaya regime, he may have inadvertently bailed the Phillies out of a jam.
More importantly for the Phils, perhaps, is that Castillo won’t bogart Scott Proefrock’s books. By signing a minor league deal, the Phillies won’t even need to pay him the league minimum unless he’s added to the 40-man roster.
Biddle starts strong: First-round pick Jesse Biddle needed just 48 pitches to navigate 3 2-3 scoreless innings in Saturday’s Low-A minor league game, according to the R-Phils blog. The left-hander also pitched two shutout innings earlier in the week.