Detroit Tigers’ Willi Castro says he’s ready to play now


Lakeland, Florida – Do you remember shortstop Willi Castro’s two throwing mistakes last week?

Yeah, we don’t either.

Castro has a way to quickly erase negatives. He did it with his bat and glove on Tuesday – a plus-5 hit in just two games – in the Tigers’ 6-5 spring win over the Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium.

“I feel really good now,” said Castro. “I told the boys when does the season start? I just want to Play.”

It’s also easy to forget that Castro only has 250 record appearances in the major leagues. Its recordability belies the lack of experience. He came up with a two-runner strike in the fourth inning. He had just watched Robbie Grossman on a six-pitch walk and Jeimer Candelario on a six-pitch single by former Tiger farm worker Luis Cessa.

He noted that Cessa tossed five breaking balls to these two thugs.

“I’ve been waiting for this place,” he said.

He got it in first place – an 86-mile weirdo that Statcast read for a change and that Castro saw as meat. He hit left-handers, stayed behind, and drove the ball (exit speed 104 mph) to the third field over the left field fence for his third home run of the spring.

“I looked at the other rackets in front of me and saw which pitches he would throw in which counts,” said Castro. “I was prepared for this place.”

He also knew that in his first stroke, which also hit left-handed, he rolled across a field and hit in a 4-6-3 double game.

“I focused on meeting the next opponent,” he said.

That is the kind attention to detail that manager AJ Hinch has preached since the beginning of the camp.

“These are great details,” he said of Castro’s approach. “We want people to be careful. The game will tell you a lot when you watch it. And as they progress in the big leagues, they learn the benefits of it. “

In the fifth inning, Castro saved two runs with a spectacular, swirling defensive jewel. The Yankees had already scored twice against Daniel Norris – one in a monster homerun on the Corona Cabana beyond Gary Sanchez’s left field wall – and had runners in second and third place.

Gleyber Torres hit the center with a shot.

“They told me it would go through,” Castro said.

No Castro held it on the lawn behind the second base. He spun 360 degrees and shot first to end the inning.

“Chest-high throw,” said Hinch. “Don’t forget to mention that.”

The game also showed some of the hectic rush and aggression that Hinch preached. Early in the game, Rule 5 freshman Akil Baddoo turned a 100-foot single into a double with an ongoing alarm base.

Then the Tigers turned the game around with a three-way bottom-of-the-eight, which showed a two-hit field against Riley Greene’s RBI double, which scored the fast Eric Haase from the start. an RBI single and a stolen base from Derek Hill, who then kicked off a wild field.

“One of the things I said to the team this morning is that I’m really proud of the way they play,” said Hinch, whose side are 6-2 in the Grapefruit League. “They play the game and that’s really all they can control. It’s probably a breath of fresh air for these guys to show off their athleticism.

“We play hard. As trainers in spring training, we play a lot with many things and make corrections. Sometimes you have to give due when the guys are playing right. That’s also coaching. “

Taurus by the horns

After a strong three-inning game against a line-up of Yankees regulars, Tigers starters Spencer Turnbull sat next to Hinch in the dugout. The only flaw on his day was a wind-assisted, two-part home Jay Bruce in the second inning.

“I asked him what bothered him the most, the home run or the way to Torres before that,” said Hinch. “He’s starting to learn the answers I want because he hated this walk as much as I did.”

Torres led from the second inning. Turnbull got him 2-2 and was in a good position to push him away. But back-to-back sinkers just missed the edge. One stroke later, Turnbull tried a 0-1 change from Bruce.

On a calm day, it could have been a fly into the center. But the ball was caught in a stiff cross wind and sliced ​​and carried over the left wall of the field.

“I don’t know how he did it,” said Turnbull. “Big league hitter. Not that it was a terrible pitch. I would only hit him with a fastball, but he’s a good fastball hitter so you thought he’d make the adjustment. I found the switch to be a good call. Maybe if I get it down But (catcher Wilson) Ramos said it moved well. It’s not like it’s a flat change. “

That, too, was the only flaw. He threw all five fields, even a curveball, which was dropped DJ LeMahieu to start the game. He got four swings-and-misses with a four-seam fastball at a speed of between 94 and 96 mph.

More importantly, he threw strikes, eight first hits against eleven batters.

“First pitch strikes are definitely a focus,” said Turnbull. “Only getting in counts to stay ahead. This is something I try to get better at. I’ve struggled with it before, counted myself low and threw a lot of pitches.

“It’s just learning to trust myself more and stay aggressive.”

Intoxicating game

How much trust the tigers Jake Rogers‘Throw your arm behind the plate?

In the seventh inning, the Yankees had two outs in first and third places. Fast former Indian Greg Allen was first. The Yankees play the first and third games in which they start both runners, although on the third game the runner delays until he sees the catcher throw through.

That rarely happens. But Rogers threw a seed on the second base to get Allen. Inning over.

“That was a great reaction game,” said Hinch. “We threw through there. I know they started the runner in third place, but you can’t get too many of these types of reps. Even if they hit, we need our catchers to end the game.

“That was a huge hit, perfect on the pocket.”

Hinch said he wouldn’t hesitate to throw the catchers through this season as well.

Around the horn

Non-roster left-handed Ian Krol continues to impress. He retired four straight hitters, three on strikeouts, to end the game. Three of the four bats were left-handed and since his curveball was biting that way it was a disproportion. He has thrown 3.1 goalless, hitless innings with six tumbles.

… The Tigers first applied the spring reentry rule on Tuesday. Norris struggled, threw 28 pitches in the fifth inning and had to be rescued from Drew Carlton. But his goal was 50, so Hinch sent him back for a goalless sixth place. “It is important that we continue to increase the number of parking spaces without risking injuries,” said Hinch. “That was a perfect example of why we have this rule in the spring.”

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Twitter: @cmccosky


Dusty Kennedy