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Luis Castillo didn’t report early because of brother’s surgery

Feb 20, 2011, 9:55 AM EDT

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves Getty Images

Remember all that junk Friday about how Mets manager Terry Collins was upset at Luis Castillo for not showing up to spring training earlier than the rest of the club’s positional players?

Yeah, that should probably be put to rest now.

Castillo revealed Sunday in Mets camp that he was being held up due to a private family matter.

His 50-year-old brother was undergoing serious emergency surgery. The second baseman told ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin that he would have raised the issue earlier had he known what kind of backlash he would be getting for showing up Saturday, the first day that positional players were required to report.

“I know my situation here, and I try to be practice baseball,” Castillo said. “That’s not easy, because my brother is my family.”

Either way, it’s not that big of a deal. If Castillo isn’t going to make the Mets’ Opening Day roster, it will have nothing to do with his arrival date. Plenty of lazy players get to camp early and then get no better from February to March. It’s up to the 35-year-old Castillo to now put on a show and prove that he is worthy of regular looks at second base under the Metropolitans” new regime.

  1. henryd3rd - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:02 AM

    MLB contracts are guaranteed and it’s Spring Training. In the words of that great American philosopher Allen Iverson,” It’s just practice”! Plus does anyone seriously think that Castillo’s play is going to influence the Mets’ chances at a Championship? NOT!!!!!

  2. baseballisboring - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:38 AM

    Just Castillo? The Mets had some other bad players last year too, in case y’all weren’t aware…

    I’m not a fan of pointless and arbitrary things…Castillo being expected to show up earlier than everyone else so he can take a few extra swings in the batting cage against a coach throwing ~60 MPH falls under that category, from where I’m sitting…

  3. Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    It’s not much of a surprise that Terry Collins is opening his tenure, which I suspect will be short-lived, as Mutts skipper by being the same old broomstick-up-the-butt Terry Collins who earned so much respect from his clubhouse that he had to quit as manager when his players at Anaheim petitioned the GM to can him. Great way to start off, trashing a veteran player – if even a marginal one – for showing up when he was supposed to show up without bothering to find out what the problem was first. BC, my sympathy is with you and all other Mutts fans. I’m afraid this already is looking like it’s gonna be a long season in Flushing, the Madoff debacle notwithstanding.

    • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:21 PM

      I think the “Mutts” will surprise Yankee fans like you. Maybe you should be more concerned that some are predicting your team to come in third behind the Red Sox and Rays.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 2:36 PM

        More likely Borg fans who have known me for two years on this blog to be a Feesh fan will be surprised to find me classified as a Borg fan. But from a purely indifferent perspective, although I find it hard to imagine how the Beanbags would finish anywhere but well out in front of the pack barring maybe a team plane crash or bus accident, I can’t see the eviscerated Raze finishing much higher than third, if that. I only pick the Boids for last because when you average their projected team batting average with Luke Scott’s IQ, it’s hard to see them generating much offense this year.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 3:08 PM

        Oh, well, then my apologies and condolences to you for being a fan of a franchise with so few caring fans. All the more reason you should be concerned with your own team as even in the most optimistic projections (from your perspective), the fish are not projected to do much better than the Mets (maybe 1 or 2 games at most better).

        Here’s my prediction which is entirely modest — the Mets will at least finish ahead of your team, so I suspect your season will be much longer than mine. Especially when you watch them play in a mostly empty stadium filled with fans of the other team.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 4:45 PM

        Oh, I’m used to that. You’re kicking a dead alligator.

        You’re also a chrisny3-come-lately here so you also don’t know that I’ve been nothing if not objective about the Feesh’s chances, its evaporated fan base, horrible ownership, their constant salary dumping (which accounts for so much of the ill will and lack of interest in the team down here), the running joke of the recurrent renaming of the football venue within which it has been incarcerated since its first game in 1993 (which I attended), the two world championships it has won in the slightly less than one third of the time it has existed (all the postseason home games of which I attended), as the Mutts have since their first game at the Polo Grounds (to which my grandfather took me, BTW) or even their first game at Shea Stadium (to which my older cousin took me, BTW – or for that matter the division and series clinchers in 1986, the “Buckner game” which I observed from a field box less than 75 feet behind first base, the Pete Rose/Bud Harrelson fistfight playoff game, the “ball off the wall” game against the Pirates), and as for the Feesh’s shot at contention this year, I believe it is a slim one given that so much depends on the maturity of a couple of key sophomores and a junior on the mend, but, regardless, given the acquisitions made for the rotation, boolpen and infield probably their chances are still better than that of the Mutts. Most of the pundits who have predicted the season so far – though I think that’s really tenuous given all the trading that is still likely to go on – have the Feesh finishing second in the division. Unfortunately, I expect the Feelies to finish so far ahead of everyone else and hang so many losses on the rest of the teams in the division that I doubt if second in the east will be good enough for a wild card birth anyway.

        All of which is by way of pointing out that while my Feesh credentials are pretty solid, grounded in what I know of the players and not on blinkered fanboy wishful thinking, my Mutts credentials are doubtless quite a bit more substantial than yours in the first place, regardless of who I root for now.

        If you can climb down off your homeboy pedestal for a moment and try to be a bit more objective about your own team, once you get by the rah-rahs and the juvenile cynicism about everyone else, you’ll see that it’s in pretty bad shape on a lot of levels. The rotation barely approaches mediocre, and you’ll be lucky if your marginally psychotic closer, good as he is when he remembers to take his Prozac, doesn’t end the season in an orange jumpsuit.

        And you’ve got a proven jerk for a manager.

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 5:14 PM

        LOL, OK, so you’re used to being beaten down into your fish misery. And you were just trying to drag Mets fans down there to keep you company. Won’t work.

        As for your “Mutt” credentials, being dragged as a tot to games doesn’t cut it. I’ve been following the team much more and for far longer than you. You are just an outside observer with no valid credentials.

        As for the fish finishing second, really? Who said that? Most predictions I’ve seen have them finishing behind the Braves, no better than third. And what are all the big acquisitions the fish made for the rotation, bullpen and infield? Don’t include Infante and make me laugh. He had a career year last year.

        I don’t like Terry Collins either. But I still believe the “Mutts” will end up ahead of the once-again diluted fish.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        Well, MSNBC’s spring predictions, for example:

        Since they’ve done all the listings of the offseason acquisitions, I’ll play lazy here and let them make their case. Their take on the Mutts is pretty lucid too. Again, though, it’s awfully early in the spring to be making these predictions and I don’t necessarily share their confidence that all of the Feesh sophomores will take a second step forward instead of one or two back this season. And anyway, the Mutts don’t need an “outsider” to “drag” their fans to misery. The team itself has done a pretty nonpareil job of that over the last few years. Here’s hoping that Alderson will eventually turn it around. He surely can’t do much worse than Minaya, but he ain’t gonna work any miracles this year – especially not with the execrable managerial choice he made, the hamstringing of the team’s finances by its involvement in the Madoff fiasco, and the albatross of the Oliver Perez contract. Get real. This team is going to be a two or three season long reconstruction job.

        And how you could have been following the Mutts for “longer” than I have when I went to their first game and have been following them ever since kinda eludes me. Did you stumble into a chronosynclastic infundibulum or something?

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 6:35 PM

        How can I have better credentials than you? Because unless you tell me you’ve watched practically every single one of the Mets’ games for the last 20 years, and follow the Mets in the media on a daily basis year round, then I simply do. I know them as a franchise much better than you. You simply don’t know the team like you pretend to.

        As for being dragged down to the miserly level of a fish fan, that would be quite impossible. Believe me, there is not a real Mets fan alive who would change places with you — Madoff or no Madoff — for one single second.

        As for predicting the fish to come in 2nd, LOL,who the heck is Tony Demarco? Tell me how he is qualified to make baseball predictions (what’s his background?) and maybe I’ll consider it valid. Otherwise it’s just a crazy fan doing a writeup on a blog. For example, as you said, he is counting on every single one of the fish’s sophomores to get better, for Infante to repeat his career year, and for a 35-year-old Vazquez to recover from a disastrous 2010 season. LMAO. Meanwhile, the fish have lost much of their offensive punch from last year.

        If the “Mutts” are a two-year reconstruction job, then the fish are as bad or worse. Because I’m still betting the fish will be looking up at the “Mutts” at the end of 2011.

      • Old Gator - Feb 20, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        You’re doing a great job of hanging your ignorance out to dry, aren’t you? Tony Demarco has been a senior professional baseball writer for NBC for at least twelve years that I can recall. But what is that compared to the self-proclaimed greatest and most knowledgeable Mutts fan in the world, right?

        Second of all, I asked not how your credentials could be “better” than mine, but asked rhetorically how you could claim to have been following the Mutts longer than I have when (a) I was at their first-ever game (when I was 12, which hardly made me a “tot”) and have followed them ever since, and (b) you’re clearly much younger, and your writing shows it – 20 years is a lot but from your relentlessly juvenile attitude, your childish and cliched “LOLs” and so forth, or your hardcore ignorance about significant sports journalists, I wouldn’t have thought you much older than 15 or so yourself, and (c) it’s worth wondering how you were able to watch every one of their games for 20 years instead of doing your homework or working for a living. Not that any of that really matters on a Sunday.

        The point is, the Feesh replaced a below-average fielding second baseman with a propensity for strikeouts with a much better fielder – though I observed in the nearby Jimmy Rollins thread, with an objectivity that is clearly not an aspect of your own analytical repertoire, that but sticking Wes Helms at third instead of acquiring a bona fide third baseman they just moved the permeability of the infield over to the left. Whereas they did lose some power in the process, if – and I repeat, it’s a big “if” – the Iron Giant disciplines his stroke he will more than make up for Uggla’s production. IF Chris Coghlan recovers from his knee injury, and IF Logan Morrison doesn’t sophomore backtrack, they will form a solid lineup around Hanley Ramirez, a more than proven run producer – assuming Hanley has grown up a bit himself. Then there’s the real X-factor in the Feesh lineup, John Buck, who though grossly overpaid should still be good for 10-12 home runs more by himself than the Feesh catchers produced last season combined. Compared to last season, the combination of Buck, a maturing Stanton and a rebounding Hanley Ramirez would more than make up for Uggla’s missing production. If you combine that with Infante’s unquestionably better fielding accounting for fewer runs being scored against the Feesh on grounders Uggla never had the range to get to, the overall balance of this team is going to be a lot better than it was last season. Even if you allow for Helms’ shortcomings at third, he won’t be nearly as disastrous on throws past first base as his predecessor, Jorge Cantu.

        As far as Vasquez, no one thinks of him as any kind of savior, but the Feesh rotation with Nolasco, Sanchez, and Josh Johnson is solid anyway. Alex Sanabia had flashes of brilliance in his rookie season and could easily step into the rotation if Vasquez or Chris Volstad, who has great stuff and might be looking at a breakout year of his own, should falter.

        Now, great and wondrous Mutts fan that you are, do you feel like maybe enunciating in some actual detail what changes, additions, subtractions and so forth are going to make for this terrific season you’re predicting for your team? And do you think you can sound like a grownup for a change while doing it?

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 10:28 PM

        Hey, you’ve got me beat when it comes to “hanging ignorance out to dry.” Yup, you’re clearly better at that than I.

        I’ve never heard of DeMarco. Can you prove that he is a highly regarded national baseball writer? And, no, I never said I was the most knowledgeable Mets fan. Just more knowledgeable than you. Which is an easy task.

        How can I claim to have followed the Mets longer than you? Easy. Just going to a few games when you were young is nothing. Not if you didn’t continue to follow the team closely thereafter and you never indicated you did. So the assumption is that in between those sporadic events and thereafter, you really didn’t follow the club at all, and hence you’ve basically been following the club for short nano second periods of your life while I’ve been a Mets fan following the club closely for over 20 years.

        LOL, talk about juvenile? That’s you to the hilt. You can”t even debate an issue without throwing around a ton of second-grade level personal insults first. Grow up. It’s bad enough to have to wade through your poorly thought out baseball logic, but gunking up your posts with your juvenile names and humor is pilling on additional torture.

        About Infante — LOL (too bad, it fits) … the diluted fish replaced a 4-5 WAR player with about a 1.5 WAR player. Sure, they get better defense their but they lose more on offense than they gain on defense. And West Helms is going to help fill the void? LMAO (like that one, eh?). He was a negative WAR player last year. That’s a whole lot of nothing compared to Uggla but I guess with your twisted baseball logic and lowly expectations as a Marlins fan, you’ll take anything.

        As for John Buck — he too had a career year last year. And he’s going from the very friendly confines of the AL East to the generally more spacious parks of the NL East. Plus a new league. To expect him to replicate what he did last year is unreasonable. He’ll probably be closer to his career norms.

        And they also have to replace the RBI production from Ross and Cantu. I don’t think a lot of IFs, some of them big, are enough to wipe out those questions. DeMarco must have written that ranking high on dope.

        The “Mutts” are certainly not afraid of that diluted hodgepodge. And I’m not “predicting a terrific” season for the Mets. Try to read what I write and stop making up things I don’t say just so you can try to come back with a juvenile snarky comment that masks your own lack of baseball knowledge and objectivity. I’m only predicting right now that the fish will be looking up at the “Mutts” at the end of the season. Enjoy the view.

        My own concise to-the-point analysis of the Mets free of tiresome juvenile comments masking ignorance and wasting time will follow at the very end of this thread in a little while. (Need to make some calls now.)

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:05 PM

        Mets analysis posted at bottom of page.

  4. chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:27 PM

    Castillo probably will end up being released by the Mets by mid-season and, if not, will spend most of his time on the bench. He will not be a factor on their season. Regardless, it is ridiculous that some would complain about him being “late” when he is in fact reporting on time. If they want players to report a few days early, then move up the reporting date.

    • aronmantoo - Feb 20, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Mid season? May not take that long

      • chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 3:12 PM

        I said “by mid-season.” I think it’s possible (though not likely) he wins the opening day job with a good spring but then reverts to what he’s been the last year and is released.

  5. chrisny3 - Feb 20, 2011 at 11:03 PM

    Old Gator, here’s why you will be crying in your beer and peering up at the “Mutts” butts at the end of the 2011 season … Mets improvements/holes for 2011:

    1. A whole year of a finally healthy Beltran who’ll be playing for a contract.
    2. A whole year of a finally healthy Reyes who’ll be playing for a contract..
    3. A whole year of a fully healthy and a Citi-acclimated Bay.
    4. A whole year of a healthy K-Rod who’ll be playing for a lucrative option to kick in.
    5. A better sophomore year out of Ike.
    6. Better production out of 2nd. There is no way Emaus/Turner/Murphy don’t out-produce Castillo and Tejada on WAR.
    7. Better wOBA and WAR for the entire year out of Thole and Paulino than what the Mets had at catcher last year.
    8. Improvement out of Niese.
    9. I expect out of Dickey and Wright what they produced last year.
    10. Better field management out of TC and his staff over last year.
    11. Capuano and Young to be able to mostly fill the void of Santana for the first half. Capuano had a terrific last month of the season in 2010.

    For 1-4 above, I’m only considering career-norm years, not even career years the way you were forced to do to make your diluted fish look rosier.

    So the only glaring hole I see compared to last year is the middle relief. It remains to be seen how well Alderson filled those voids. But the improvements at other positions on the field should at the very least balance that out, if not supercede it.

    See how easy that was instead of that hard-to-slug-through stuff you wrote?

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