…if only because I’ve been traveling for a few days and I’m sick of looking at the shortstop review as the most recent post.
Ken Gurnick at dodgers.com with an interesting thought:
Alex Castellanos, 25, OF, 10th-round pick in 2008 by St. Louis: Acquired in the Rafael Furcal trade, Castellanos is already off to a hot start, with three homers in seven games. Mattingly said Castellanos might be tried at second base after playing primarily in right field, although he started his pro career as an infielder. As a hitter, his 23 homers and 102 runs scored this year have management intrigued. He was the Texas League runner-up in batting (.319) and slugging (.562).
Snap judgement: this isn’t what you think it is. I’ve seen some suggestions that Castellanos may be lined up to help fill the second base hole, but I think it’s the opposite. Despite his sexy 2011 stats in the hitter-friendly Texas League, Castellanos turns 26 next year and didn’t get above A-ball until his fourth minor-league season, leading to most prospect hounds referring to him as a possible fourth or fifth outfielder when he was first acquired from St. Louis. Though he played multiple positions in his first two seasons, including second and third, he’s been almost exclusively a right fielder in 2010 and ’11, which doesn’t say much about his skill in the infield; generally, if you’re going to put up with subpar defense from a middle infielder, you’re going to need him to hit like a Dan Uggla or Jeff Kent. Sounds like more of a “if you want a chance at the bigs, you need something more to offer than what you currently have” than a “we value your bat so highly that maybe you can fill a hole” move to me.
That said, it’s exactly the kind of move the team should be making. Is it likely that Castallenos can play a passable big league second base? Probably not. But it’s also unlikely, from what I’ve read, that he hits enough to be an everyday outfielder, so there’s little downside in a move like this. (Which, we should note, isn’t even certain; it merely says that he “might be tried” at second base.) For the record, while I thought he was an intriguing return considering how low Furcal’s value was, I’m biased against him if only because every time I try to look up information on him I inevitably end up reading about the political scumbag of the same name.
Second, and this is just pure 100% speculation from MLB Trade Rumors…
Dodgers: Ned Colletti can either activate an out clause in his contract after 2012, or 2012 is actually the last year on his deal. Either way, the general manager will likely be pursued by the club to sign an extension given how competitive the Dodgers were this season in the wake of the ongoing ownership mess. Of course, Colletti could choose to leave given the uncertainty with the McCourts.
I’ll leave that one to you guys.