Castellanos delivered a bases-clearing double in the first inning for his first three RBI then collected his fourth during a three-run sixth inning. However, it wasn't all high marks for the presumed starter at third base, as he committed a fielding error in the loss. Friday's big day at the plate puts him on track to be named an opening-day starter.
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski indicated Castellanos would have to perform well if he wanted to be the team's starter heading into the season. The team doesn't have much depth to push Castellanos, so it's unclear if they would actually break camp without him if he performs poorly, or if Dombrowski was trying to light a fire under the young player. Dombrowski did slightly backtrack, saying "We’re expecting him to be our third baseman. I’d be very surprised if he’s not. But he still has to perform well."
Castellanos was drafted as a third baseman, but moved to the outfield so he could shoot through the system more quickly. With Miguel Cabrera moving back to first, Castellanos is slated to take the third base job this season. Castellanos is pretty happy to be back at his former position. "I feel so much more comfortable back in the infield than I was in the outfield," he said. Castellanos will head into the camp as the favorite to start at third, but will have to hit well enough to win the job.
"[Manager] Brad Ausmus called me in early November and told me I'm going back to third base, so [first-base coach] Omar Vizquel has come down to work with me twice this year already," Castellanos told MLB.com. "The outfield was getting easier, just because of the reps I was getting out there. But, 100 percent, I would much rather play the infield than the outfield."
Castellanos said he's enjoying his time working with Vizquel, who was an 11-time Gold Glove winner in his MLB career.
"[Vizquel is] unbelievable," Castellanos said. "I still believe that, if he wanted to, at age 46, he could find a team. He still does exactly what he teaches. His hands are unbelievable -- and he gets to everything. Everything is so easy and fun to pick up. Working with him is a joy."
Cabrera recently informed the club that he wanted to move to first base, filling the vacancy created by the offseason trade of Fielder to the Rangers. Castellanos came up through the Tigers' minor league system as a third baseman, but he began his conversion to the outfield in 2012. He did not play any games at third base this past season.
|CBSSports.com Player Ranking|
|10/20/2013 vs Boston|
|vs Guthrie (Career)||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|Last 7 Games|
|Complete Game Log|
| 30 || 31 |
| 1 || 2 |
| 3 |
| 4 |
| 6 |
| 7 || 8 |
| 9 |
| 10 || 11 |
|More Batting Stats|
|Minor League Batting Stats|
|2011||AFX-West Michigan Whitec||135||507||65||158||36||3||7||76||45||130||3||2||.367||.436||.312|
|2012||AFA-Lakeland Flying Tige||55||215||37||87||17||3||3||32||22||42||3||2||.461||.553||.405|