Castillo was reassigned to the Red Sox's minor-league camp Sunday, freelance Red Sox writer Maureen Mullen reports. The Red Sox are still paying big money for Castillo after doling out a six-year, $72.5 million contract to the Cuban import back in 2014, but the team views him as a sunk cost at this point and is only keeping him around for organizational depth. He'll likely spent another season at Triple-A Pawtucket, where he slashed .263/.309/.354 with two homers and nine stolen bases in 429 plate appearances in 2016.
Manager John Farrell said Rusney Castillo was "disappointing" during exhibition play Thursday when he jogged down the line on a double-play groundball, because he lost track of the outs and it didn't appear he was showing effort despite battling for a roster spot, Scott Lauber of ESPN.com reports. Castillo's stock has plummeted since 2015, when he was pegged as a potential breakout candidate. Fantasy players know that never happened, as the Cuban has toiled away in the doghouse and with a .262/.301/.379 line in his short career. Boston's outfield is cemented with Andrew Benintendi, Jackie Bradley and Mookie Betts, so Castillo may need a fresh start with another organization to have any hope for fantasy leagues.
Castillo is hitting .407/.410/.559 in his last 14 games for Triple-A Pawtucket. PawSox manager Kevin Boles credits Castillo being able to slow down his swing for the improvement, noting he's using all fields, Alex Speier of the Boston Globe reports. "The effort level (of his swing) has ticked down. We're starting to see better strike management. . . . He's been impacting the ball to all fields. He's been terrific," said Boles. For much of Castillo's career in the States, there's been a tendency to overswing, often resulting in weak ground-ball contact. Now, over the past two weeks, in which he has nine multi-hit games, Castillo's using his natural bat speed to stay on the ball longer and drive it. "The effort level would get him to roll over balls quite a bit. The ground-ball ratio was very high," said Boles. "Now that he's settled in a little bit, the effort level is a little bit less, we're seeing the barrel spend more time in the zone. That's been key for him." If Castillo can continue on this trend, he could be a potential source of help in left field for Boston, perhaps as platoon option with rookie Andrew Benintendi.
Castillo cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Monday, Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal reports. Castillo likely went unclaimed due to his poor track record of success and enormous contract (six-year, $72.5 million). The 28-year-old Cuban was hitting just .245/.304/.320 with one home run and 13 RBI through 38 games at the Triple-A level this season and will now report back to Triple-A for the time being.
Castillo was placed on outright waivers Sunday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. After signing a six-year, $72.5 million contract in August 2014, Castillo was a massive disappointment for the Red Sox, appearing in just 99 games over parts of three seasons and slashing a meager .262/.301/.379 over 337 plate appearances. Given his huge contract and lack of accomplishments, Castillo is likely to go unclaimed off waivers, but he shouldn't have trouble finding work upon moving on from the organization, as plenty of teams figure to be interested in taking a chance on an outfielder who was regarded as one of the top prospects in Cuba just a few years earlier.