Edson: Tigers’ Castellanos In A Major Funk Since All-Star Snub
On the field and off, you can see the difference in Nicholas Castellanos.
Before learning who the Detroit Tigers representative would be in July’s All-Star game, Castellanos was hitting over .300 with power and driving in runs, leading the team in every important offensive category.
Not only that, but he was a leader in the dugout and in the clubhouse. He would playfully talk and tease with teammates.
But since being snubbed for a berth on the American League All-Star team, Castellanos has gone into a major funk.
Not only do you notice the dramatic difference in his hitting, but his body language says that he simply is struggling to get over the disappointment.
Before the All-Star game, Castellanos was hitting .305 with 15 home runs and 56 RBI.
Since the Tigers returned from the All-Star game on July 20, Castellanos is hitting .145 (8-for-55) with no home runs and two RBI.
He is swinging at pitches that he never would have before his confidence went south.
Baseball people will tell you – and rightfully so – that all players go through bad stretches. Let’s hope that is the case with Castellanos.
To be honest, if Castellanos isn’t contributing at the plate and in the clubhouse, he doesn’t give the Tigers a chance to win.
He’s improved his defense in right field to the point of being barely adequate. So without his bat and leadership, the Tigers have to be scratching their heads.
The All-Star snub, of course, comes on the heels of trade talk. The Tigers have Castellanos under contract for one more season before they have to make a big decision. Do they trade him or sign him to a long term contract?
Castellanos can make that decision easy by returning to his first half form – a solid hitter, who leads in the clubhouse and works hard on his defense.
Or he can make it easy the other way – by remaining in this funk and not showing the enthusiasm that marked the first half of his season.
Personally, I’m hoping Castellanos turns it around and becomes the hitter the Tigers know he can be. I also hope the Tigers sign him to a long-term contract.
Time will tell… the next two months to be exact.
Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.