My disdain for Washington Nationals third baseman Starlin Castro began earlier in the year when he came to the plate several times with a runner on third base and less than two outs. Castro failed to score that runner, every time. My agitation increased when I saw a tweet showing Castro was 0-8 with zero runs batted in, when he bats with the bases loaded. Yes, the Nationals as a whole have struggled to produce when they have the bases loaded, that alone doesn’t get Castro off the hook.
Seeing Castro throw his bat at a pitch the other night is when my frustration apexed and now I have gotten to the point I dread seeing his name penciled in the lineup. Starlin Castro is no fun to watch. Starlin Castro has worn out his welcome with the Nationals. Starlin Castro needs to go, sooner rather than later.
Whether there is a fire sale or not, the Nationals need to part ways with Starlin Castro and continue evaluating younger talent.
Does Castro have any trade value? Of course he does. The Nationals won’t get much in return, though they’ll get a little salary relief. Castro is 31, has postseason experience with the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees, has a decent glove and can play multiple positions. He’s making $7M this year, and when that is pro-rated with the time remaining for the year, teams won’t be scared away.
Will teams be interested in Castro? Maybe not. Castro is hitting .243 and has just four home runs in his 78 games over two years with the Nationals (while he has never been a home run hitter he did have a career high 22 the year before signing with Washington). Teams won’t be bringing him in for his bat though. His veteran presence and defense as a utility infielder will be of most benefit to pursuing clubs.
What little value Castro has, is lost if he is sitting on the bench. Therefore the Nationals keep running him out there. Is there a better option on the team? Maybe not in DC right now, but both Carter Kieboom and Luis Garcia are waiting their turn in the minors. Kieboom may have one last chance to show he belongs in the future plans, or at least he can increase his almost non-existent trade value.
With Garcia, who earned player of the week honors not long ago at Triple-A Rochester, Josh Harrison can be moved to third base, allowing the Luis Garcia show to officially begin. Whether Kieboom is a part of the future or not, Garcia is, and he might as well be gaining experience at the big league level now. Castro is gone at the end of the year as a free agent anyway, and hopefully he doesn’t make it to the end of the year in DC.
The Nationals haven’t be sellers for a long time, and maybe they decide not to sell this year, only time will tell. One aspect is certain though, it’s time for the Starlin Castro tenure to end.