3/21 Catching on

Welington Castillo is 12-for-17 this spring, and granted, that’s not very many at-bats, but he has opened some eyes.

“He’s played well, he’s a talented kid — he’s got a shot,” Mike Quade said of the young catcher. “But that’s where these kind of conversations [Tuesday] get in-depth as far as what’s best. [Geovany] Soto’s our starting catcher, period. I’m expecting big things and we’d love to see him even better.”

On Tuesday, Quade will meet with the Cubs front office to discuss some of the roster spots.

“This guy’s got a bright future,” Quade said of Castillo. “The decision on him will be based on that. [Should he be] sitting on the bench at Wrigley or getting at-bats every day. To me, I have a good feel for what I think can happen.”

The Cubs’ backup catching options include Castillo, Koyie Hill, and Max Ramirez.

— Carrie Muskat


Really? Options? As long as Hendry is at the helm there aren’t as many options for the roster as one would think. He’s already prematurely committed to Hill and his weak offense as the back up catcher even though Castillo performed well LAST SEASON. If Hendry would allocate payroll in a more productive way like NOT signing the “veteran” players that have little to contribute, instead he should be moving up through the ranks players like Castillo and Barney, conserving payroll for a mid season pick up should the need arise. The Hills, Bakers, DeWitts etc are just counterprodcutive to the payroll, player development AND the pursuit of a playoff run.

Hi Carrie,

While Koyie Hill truly is one of the worst offensive players in the Major Leagues, I actually believe that Castillo should start the season at Iowa. He needs to get his at-bats and there just aren’t that many available in Chicago right now with Soto emerging as one of the best hitters on the team.

What I fear, however, is that Castillo will be lost at Iowa. Though Jake Fox hasn’t panned out as a Major League hitter, there’s no doubt he could have been helping the Cubs when he was so hot that he was batting .500 at Iowa and leading the world in home runs and RBI. I get the sense that Cubs upper management pays very little attention to who is hot at Iowa…again, probably a product of the bloated salaries and bad contracts that can’t be moved at the Major League level.

My hope for this year is that Quade keeps his fingers on the pulse of the minor leagues and uses the talent available there rather than simply replacing an injured Major Leaguer with whichever player fills that spot at Iowa. Remember, just because Bo Hart couldn’t sustain his run at St. Louis doesn’t mean that all those hits he had for them that first month or two didn’t help them win ballgames.



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