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Tryout over: Luis Castillo released nine days after signing with Phillies

Mar 30, 2011, 1:22 PM EDT

luis-castillo-phillies-spring AP

Nine days after signing Luis Castillo to a minor-league contract following news that Chase Utley would begin the season on the disabled list the Phillies have released the veteran second baseman.

Castillo got off to a slow start after reporting to Phillies camp, but notched two hits Saturday and two hits with a stolen base Tuesday. He appeared to be in line to not only make the roster, but perhaps even start in place of Utley on Opening Day. So much for that.

Because his minor-league deal wasn’t guaranteed the Phillies aren’t out any money and now Castillo is a free agent again, free to sign with any team for any amount with the Mets on the hook for his entire $6 million salary. He’ll probably have to settle for another minor-league deal and prove himself at Triple-A.

Earlier this week Utley offered no timetable for his return and said only that returning before the All-Star break was his goal, but the Phillies are apparently comfortable going with light-hitting utility man Wilson Valdes as their primary second baseman. Josh Barfield is another in-house option if they decide to call him up from Triple-A and Philadelphia also signed infielder Kevin Frandsen to a minor-league deal yesterday.

  1. aronmantoo - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Can you see my shocked face :-O Real surprise this news, Ollie next

  2. yankeesfanlen - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:26 PM

    Phillies already worried about a bottom of the ninth ARod pop-up in game 6?

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 30, 2011 at 2:34 PM

      I had to say. LMAO!!!!

  3. Utley's Hair - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:39 PM

    I didn’t have a problem with them signing him. He looks the gift horse in the mouth by showing up a few dozen hours late, and now the Phightins aren’t out anything. Here’s hoping Valdez is as solid a replacement as he was last year.

    (Maybe they needed the 400k to help with a Michael Young deal? 😛 )

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:49 PM

      (Something quite Ninja-ish indeed)

      • Utley's Hair - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:52 PM

        (Shhhh…Rube might be skulking here somewhere…)

  4. Jonny 5 - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:47 PM

    Actually expect to see Valdez and Michael Martinez, not so much Barfield. I’m a little suprised by this. I figured Castillo had to be worth 400 grand to Philly. Wow. Both of the guys above have great defense, not much with a bat though. I guess they’re just as good as Castillo with a bat, but less of a pain in the a$$.

    This could mean Utley will be back sooner than he will later. Or it could mean nothing besides Castillo isn’t worth his baggage.

    • Utley's Hair - Mar 30, 2011 at 1:50 PM

      Maybe Chuck was even less happy with him than his nonverbal language was screaming when Castillo didn’t show up on time?

  5. ame123 - Mar 30, 2011 at 2:04 PM

    Utley has been making progress and the Valdez, Martinez, Castillo, Barfield group are all pretty much mid to high .600 OPS types. Valdez and Martinez bring plus gloves to the position however.

  6. phukyouk - Mar 30, 2011 at 2:13 PM

    this guy is going to off himself soon

    • ame123 - Mar 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

      yeah i’m sure he’s jealous of your life…

      • phukyouk - Mar 30, 2011 at 3:20 PM

        would i LOVE 6 Mil to do nothing for pretty much the rest of my life. HELL YEA! and i would prolly be happy the whole damn time. Would i Love 6 Mil for not doing my job and then offereing my services for practically nothing and then having the whole sports world know about the fact that i am so terrible that noone wants me for nothing? not really.
        all im saying is that money dont buy happiness..

      • ame123 - Mar 30, 2011 at 3:45 PM

        Money ‘dont buy happiness’ but it sure makes a great down-payment.

      • Old Gator - Mar 31, 2011 at 12:30 AM

        Money does buy happiness. You just have to watch out for catnip.

    • baseballisboring - Mar 30, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      hmm…”money don’t buy happiness”

      true. obviously he has no family or friends whatsoever. give it a year, he’ll be in a gutter drenched in piss and liquor. the pain of being a former world class athlete with like $50MM in the bank who slowed down at the end of his career will undoubtedly end him.

  7. BC - Mar 30, 2011 at 3:15 PM

    LOVE the photo.

  8. xmatt0926x - Mar 30, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    The question was whether Castillo’s offense over what Valdez could provide would make up the the defense you give up with Castillo and his old legs. If Valdez hits .250 would Castillo do so much better than that to make up for all the ground balls his lck of range would cost you? I thought after his 2 hit game yesterday that he was a lock but you kind of got the feel from Charlie’s quotes about Castillo that he was going to have to stand on his head to make the team, especially after showing up late when they signed him.

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 30, 2011 at 4:18 PM

      Charlie likes defense. Castillo has the range of a cactus.

    • Jonny 5 - Mar 30, 2011 at 4:21 PM

      That came out wrong. Charlie likes defense at second base better than the little bit of lift over “the replacements” Castillo brings on offense. Castillo has the range of a cactus.

  9. mrznyc - Mar 30, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Confirming Omar Minaya’s skills at talent assesment.

  10. jwbiii - Mar 30, 2011 at 7:19 PM

    I’m not good enough, I’m not smart enough, and doggone it, people don’t like me

  11. macjacmccoy - Mar 30, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    They have rule 5 pick Michael Martinez as Valdez main backup and probably Delwyn Young also on the bench both played alot in the spring and were hitting above .300

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