An office-pool guess on when the Tigers call up Nick Castellanos is June, maybe earlier. Castellanos, who turned 21 on March 4, is close to crashing Comerica Park.
"I'd feel comfortable putting him up there against a left-handed pitcher right now," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Friday when asked about a player Leyland says "is in that terrific prospect category."
Castellanos is 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, and a right-handed hitter who has the pleasing habit of driving pitches to right-center field. In his next at-bat he might wheel on an inside fastball and rip it past the third-base bag for a double, as he did Thursday against the Braves.
This is a gifted hitter dealing with professional baseball's realities. That would explain Leyland's qualifier about batting Castellanos against left-handers if he were to stick him today in a big-league game. Castellanos isn't ready to take on the right-handed arsenal he will see once he makes it to Detroit.
The Tigers and Castellanos are also dealing with a position change from third base to left field. This isn't the easiest transition for a natural left-side infielder. He is an outfield apprentice who in a few weeks probably will head to Triple A Toledo, which will make for a short, one-hour commute when the Tigers place their inevitable phone call.
And if you have May, or even April, in that office pool, you might be a winner.
2. Now you know why the Tigers grabbed Jeff Kobernus in December's Rule 5 draft. If 25-man rosters were submitted today, Kobernus makes the team.
He is batting .294 in 13 games and 34 at-bats. He has base-stealing speed. He handles second base. And although he hadn't played the outfield since his days at Cal-Berkeley, there has been nothing awkward or amiss about his work in left field and even in center.
From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130310/OPINION03/303100314#ixzz2NEo3W77C
Nick Castellanos proving he'll get call to Tigers, sooner than later
Detroit News | Mar 11