Welington Castillo is no longer the starting catcher and is not considered the Cubs backup catcher either. Castillo is the backup to David Ross who is the backup to Miguel Montero, which means unless one of the two veterans land on the DL, Castillo will see very little playing time.
Joe Maddon started his third different catcher in as many games on Friday. Castillo played the entire nine innings, catching both Travis Wood and Edwin Jackson. Two pitchers Castillo is very familiar with from the last two seasons.
It’s believed the front office is still having conversations with teams about Castillo. The Sun-Times reported Friday the Cubs have not stopped talking to several teams about Castillo since December. Regardless of what is being said publicly, how long can a team with post-season aspirations carry three catchers on its active roster? Especially in the National League with three catchers that cannot play another position.
The Phillies and Orioles are two of at least four teams that showed interest in Castillo during Spring Training. The Cubs and Orioles reportedly had conversations about Castillo that included LHP Brian Matusz. And the Phillies sent one of Ruben Amaro Jr.’s top advisors to watch Castillo.
According to the Sun-Times, Castillo knows the Cubs are talking to teams about him. And Castillo wonders if and when a trade might happen.
Castillo talked to the beat writers about his situation prior to Friday’s game in Denver. Castillo admitted it has not been easy on him. He’s preparing every day to help the team. And he has to be ready every inning, even if he’s not starting. It’s not like Castillo is getting a day off when he is not in the starting lineup anymore.
Multiple reports have pointed to Castillo handling this situation like a pro from the first day pitchers and catchers had reported in February. Castillo has actually talked to Montero and Ross trying to learn ways to improve as a receiver.
Comcast SportsNet reported Castillo is bracing for a possible trade. The Cubs are not in a rush to move him. And Joe Maddon pointed to the fact that baseball always has a cruel way of answering any personnel questions a team might have.
The Cubs have other issues to deal with three games in to the season. The team is not hitting with runners in scoring position, the defense has been less than adequate plus the bullpen took a big hit Friday when Justin Grimm landed on the DL.
For now, the Cubs will stick with three catchers, the question is for how long?