Yadier Molina is the best catcher on the planet. That’s why the Cubs have given Welington Castillo video of Molina to study and absorb. Castillo is not Molina, and we could have put that in all caps. Molina has won two World Series rings and five straight Gold Gloves, giving the St. Louis Cardinals a hard edge and an identity as distinct as his tattoos. But the Cubs are betting that Castillo can become their everyday catcher, a potential foundation piece in Theo Epstein’s rebuilding project. Manager Dale Sveum has talked openly about Castillo having the potential become an All-Star, win Gold Gloves and make a lot of money in this game. On Thursday, as the Blue and White teams played an intrasquad scrimmage at HoHoKam Stadium, it was hard to think of a holdover player from the Jim Hendry administration who has seen his stock rise faster or higher (outside of maybe Javier Baez). Castillo made cameo appearances in the big leagues in 2010 and 2011, but that was mostly memorable for his freak broken-bat accident that almost killed Tyler Colvin, and the questions about his ability to call and frame pitches. Bench coach Jamie Quirk – who primarily played catcher during his 18 seasons in the big leagues – raised eyebrows at Cubs Convention last month when he told all the fans packed into a hotel ballroom that Castillo has Molina-like physical tools.
Be like Yadier: Cubs challenging Castillo to raise his game
CSN Chicago | Feb 22