I try to use question headlines sparingly, but I dropped one a couple of days ago when I dropped, “Why is Welington Castillo still a White Sox?”
Good ol’ Welington Castillo has spent the last couple of days answering it. He built on the strong start to his August by extending his hitting streak to six games. He’s had three extra-base hits over his last two, including a ninth-inning homer on Thursday night that got the Sox 80 percent of the way to a comeback. The receiving still hurts more than it helps, but at least the offense-first part of his profile is starting to shape up.
It’s a mixed bag for White Sox fans who want to see what Zack Collins has been working on since his demotion, but it’s probably good for everybody else.
It’s good for Castillo, because Rick Renteria issued one of those writing-on-the-wall quotes that usually precedes a bigger change:
Taken at face value, that sounds like he’s grasping for straws. Interpreted more for the tone than the content, the acknowledgement of struggles offensively and defensively effectively lays some track out of town. Along the lines of quotes setting up previous roster decisions, the reference of underperformance is enough for Renteria to cite later.
Now that Castillo’s average is over .200 for the first time since late April, even the literal interpretation of his quotes looks more reasonable. That’s not to conflate it with satisfying — Castillo offers less future value than present value, and the present value lacks calories — but if he looks like a major-league catcher in one regard, then he’s theoretically more rosterable than any of the Charlotte catchers.
I wouldn’t mind them unlocking the position and seeing who stands out between Collins and Yermin Mercedes, or accepting the fallout if neither rise to the challenge, but I’m still treating Sept. 1 as the start of transition time.