Welington Castillo’s slump doesn’t look good

By Timothy Oakes
Welington Castillo (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)
Welington Castillo (Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports) /

Welington Castillo began the season playing at a very high level, but has tailed off tremendously. He has garnered a few two-hit games recently but he has not been the run-producer he had been in the second-half of last season. With many of the Diamondback hitters in currently in a slump, the team needs Castillo’s run production more than ever.

By May 10th Castillo had been hitting .317 while collecting seven home runs and 19 RBI– but his solid start to the season became a distant memory. Since then he batted just .212 witout a home run and just four RBI in 80 at-bats. This is unacceptable, especially since he’s batting fifth. This Arizona lineup is not terrible, but underachieving seasons from players like Castillo and David Peralta are big reasons why they are struggling.

He was on his way to another big season to follow up his breakout second-half in 2015. After being traded by the Mariners to the Diamondbacks he quickly earned an everyday job behind the plate. In just 264 at-bats he belted 17 home runs along with 50 RBI’s.

Castillo has also been losing some playing time to Chris Herrmann, who has played well in his starts, batting .285 with six home runs and 23 RBI. Castillo is still the starter but Herrmann starts two games behind the plate per week, that’s more than the typical backup catcher. It can be more difficult to get out of slumps if you are not playing regularly.

It is difficult to see what direction the Diamondbacks are headed with Castillo. The 29-year-old may very well be a trade chip for the team, which is beginning to look more and more like they will be sellers. If Peter O’Brien continues to hit, you have to wonder if they do trade Castillo so O’Brien, who was in the minor leagues as a catcher, can have a regular at-bats if A.J. Pollock comes back.
Whatever is going on with him he better figure it out quick, because Dave Stewart has some decisions to make in the next few weeks.