Castillo Perfect Fit On, Off Field for D-backs

If at first you don’t succeed try, try again.

It’s a common theme many live by, including the Arizona Diamondbacks. The organization had their eye on catcher Welington Castillo when he was a member of the Chicago Cubs back in spring training. After starter Tuffy Gosewisch tore his ACL early in the season general manager Dave Stewart circled back on Castillo after he was traded to the Seattle Mariners.

In early June the D-backs and M’s completed a six-player deal bringing Castillo to the desert and sending  slugging outfielder Mark Trumbo to the Pacific Northwest. As Trumbo has struggled (.238, five homers, 19 RBI with Seattle), Castillo has thrived as Arizona’s primary catcher.

“I think Castillo has earned the right to be the first-string catcher,” ESPN baseball insider Pedro Gomez told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat during a recent phone interview. “He’s really, really opened a lot of eyes.”

The statistics don’t lie.

Since the deal the Dominican Republic native is hitting .274 and has equalled his career-high in home runs (13), many coming in clutch moments as the club has stayed within striking distance in the National League West. He’s also added stability behind the plate committing only two errors in over 365 innings caught going into Arizona’s series opener Monday against the Pirates in Pittsburgh.

His affordable price tag also brings a smile to the faces of the Diamondbacks’ front office, even if his $2.1 million salary doubles in arbitration this winter.

“You’re still getting a starting catcher at $4 million a year,” Gomez said. “That is very rare. Plus, the bonus is…it’s a one-year contract. You’re not locked into a long-term deal…Castillo is a big bonus.”

The Cubs made the 28-year-old expendable after trading for former Diamondback Miguel Montero last winter.

Opportunity knocked.

Both Castillo and the D-backs couldn’t be happier.

Sometimes all it takes is a little effort.

 

 

 

 

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.