The goat of the 2008 Mets team arrived in camp today. He’s been working out all winter at the Mets academy in the Dominican Republic. According to Newday’s David Lennon, Castillo declared himself “a new man”.
That has yet to be seen. But Castillo sure has something to prove this season. Lennon reports that Castillo lost 17 pounds over the winter, which is a good start. He looked like a little meatball last season with gimpy knees. He’s listed at 5′ 11″ but he looks more like 5′ 9″ to me. Lennon writes that Castillo played at 210 pounds last season. That’s ridiculous for a guy his size. Apparently, there isn’t a weight clause in his Mets contract.
The worst thing about seeing Castillo show up at spring training is knowing that Orlando Hudson still hasn’t signed with a team. What a shame that the Mets’ hands are tied by Castillo’s contract. It was reported months ago that Castillo contacted Omar Minaya begging not to be traded and promising to get into shape. Well, now’s the time to prove it. Because if Orlando Hudson shows up at Citi Field ten times this season in a Washington Nationals uniform, it’ll be hard for us Mets fans to watch.
After playing in only 87 games last season and hitting 47 points below his career average, Castillo needs to have a monster season or he’s gone after 2009. Minaya won’t stand for another season out of him like last year. He’s starting his second chance.
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