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Fashionably Late?

February 18, 2011

The New York Mets Twitter-verse is abuzz today discussing a groundbreaking story involving a roster member.

An injury? Nope.

Big trade? Try again.

Sandy Alderson signed Julio Franco? Wrong again.

In news that’s hardly surprising, the 35 year old soon-to-be free agent Luis Castillo has yet to arrive in Port St. Lucie to begin workouts with the club, reports Newsday’s David Lennon.(Picture here) Castillo’s presence in camp, however, isn’t mandatory until tomorrow. The largely unpopular second baseman of the Mets is looking at more competition than in years past with Daniel Murphy and Brad Emaus working hard at earning the starting job. Perhaps disillusioned by the franchise after being sat for the majority of the final months of 2010, Castillo doesn’t appear motivated. To his credit, even Oliver Perez managed to show up at camp several days ago.

Castillo’s tenure with the team isn’t one that will be looked upon fondly in years to come. While having an impressive conclusion to the end of the 2007 season, the reaction was negative from the outset when former GM Omar Minaya inked Castillo to a 4 year deal. At an age when most second basemen begin their decline, Minaya saw the Houston Astros as a potential threat to come in and swoop up Castillo. In reality, it appears that while the Astros may have had interest in acquiring the second baseman, Minaya appeared to be bidding against himself.

After having a poor season in 2008 in which he only appeared in 81 games, Castillo played for the majority of the 2009 season. Regardless of his bounce back year offensively, though, Castillo’s 2009 will forever be remembered for that one fateful night at Yankee Stadium in which K-Rod’s perfect season ended prematurely. Needless to say, Castillo hit over .300, but also almost injured himself walking down the dugout steps. However you balance it, he has become a punchline much like Ollie.

As Luis Castillo’s locker sits untouched on February 18th 2011, his future of with the club is also highly in question. If he’s trying to make good impressions or win the starting job, Daniel Murphy and Brad Emaus already have a significant lead, with Emaus probably headed for a bench role. The two aspiring second baseman have already been in PSL for several weeks, and with youth and energy on their side it’s hard seeing Castillo cracking the opening day roster period. Castillo will need an absolute blow away performance, because at this stage of the game the Mets are headed in the opposite direction. In fact, if Castillo fails to make the team the infield will be under 30 years old(Thole, Davis, Murphy/Emaus, Reyes and Wright). While it’s certainly a step in the right direction, someone forgot to tell Castillo that arriving fashionably late only works if you’re a proven star that has shown consistency. For someone who has been mistreated by the organization, and, in turn, played poorly, he should have every reason to be fashionably early.

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