Castro is starting at first base and batting seventh in Sunday's game against Cleveland. Castro will be making his first start of the season in Sunday's series finale. New Detroit manager A.J. Hinch has preached the need for versatility, so Castro figures to pick up starts all over the field this year. He'll get first base Sunday with Miguel Cabrera out of the lineup after experiencing cramps in Saturday's game.
Castro has been informed that he'll make the Tigers' Opening Day roster, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. Castro was competing for a roster spot with Renato Nunez during camp, but Nunez was informed Saturday that he won't begin the season on the major-league roster. As a result, Castro will secure a bench role for Detroit to begin the year. The 27-year-old has hit .250 with two doubles and four RBI over 17 spring games.
Castro is still in the mix for an Opening Day roster spot, as the Tigers may carry him and Niko Goodrum as utility players, Chris McCosky of The Detroit News reports. The Tigers optioned Isaac Paredes to the minors Thursday and informed Greg Garcia he won't make the team, and both moves improve Castro's chances of earning a bench role. Conventional wisdom around camp has been that Paredes and Renato Nunez were battling for one role, so it's unclear how Castro fits into the mix after Thursday's cutdown.
Castro could find himself left off the Opening Day roster, Jason Beck of MLB.com reports. The strong play of Rule 5 draft pick Akil Baddoo is a bad development for Castro. The Tigers have to keep Baddoo on the roster or give him back to the division-rival Twins, so he will likely be a fifth outfielder who makes the team. Detroit also has Niko Goodrum in a utility role, and Renato Nunez, Nomar Mazara and Grayson Greiner all figure to earn bench spots as well. That likely leaves Castro as the odd man out, at least to begin the season. The 27-year-old had a strong .347/.407/.429 slash line in 22 games last year, so he's capable of producing if he's able to get some time in the majors at some point in 2021.
Castro has posted a .227/.261/.318 slash line through his first 22 Grapefruit League at-bats. Castro hasn't done much in spring training but he was also quiet last spring before posting a .347/.407/.429 line across 22 regular-season games. The 27-year-old should secure a utility role with the Tigers this year, and he has the ability to play across the infield and in the outfield, giving him some fantasy upside if he's able to secure regular playing time at some point.
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