Rusney Castillo's second half

Plympton91

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yoy know, I've made a lot of jokes at Rusnay's and Cherington's expense over the past 12 months, but from the all star break on, he seemed to have had a better approach and results at the plate.

His second half slash line .300 / .336 / . 400 over 190 PA coincided with a decrease in strikeout rate to 15.3% from 17.7% and a roughly steady walk rate 5.3% vs 5.7%.

August was his best month by far, with 9 XBH and a ~900 OPS Most of the production came in two spurts. July 27 to August 10 and August 24 to August 29.

May have been nothing. But one can always hope he can become at least a backup or platoon outfielder and pinch runner in 2018 when Chris Young's contract is up.
 

grimshaw

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He OPS'd .521 in July, so basically he had one very good month.

Without stats available on if he has improved vs anything that bends, I don't think there is much to conclude.

He hit 4% more line drives and 7% fewer grounders, which is good, but he still only slugged .354 overall. He needed that .738 "hot streak" to get close to his small sample rate stats in 2015.

He was still out ops'd by Brentz and Ryan Lamarre who are now gone. I think he's an emergency at best and would bet another AAAA guy or two is signed.
 
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chrisfont9

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The case for remaining curious about Rusney is rooted in his completely unusual pathway to where he is now, like maybe the lightbulb can still suddenly flick on because he hasn't been playing in the US for that long, and baseball is that way sometimes. It's a little more plausible than it would be for someone who came up the usual way. Since he's already a sunk cost, it's worthwhile to keep him around (off the 40-man) and see if miracles can happen. Whether one is underway based on his last two months is [insert usual SSS point] but I for one will continue checking in on him.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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If Rusney was added to the 25 man roster (or maybe even the 40) his salary would count for luxury tax purposes, which would be a killer at this point given how often the Sox have gone over it. Realistically I think he's not going to appear in a major league game for the Sox again.
 

chrisfont9

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If Rusney was added to the 25 man roster (or maybe even the 40) his salary would count for luxury tax purposes, which would be a killer at this point given how often the Sox have gone over it. Realistically I think he's not going to appear in a major league game for the Sox again.
Yeah it's $10.5-11m until the 13.5m in 2020. They'd have to really need him.
 

Plympton91

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He OPS'd .521 in July, so basically he had one very good month.

Without stats available on if he has improved vs anything that bends, I don't think there is much to conclude.

He hit 4% more line drives and 7% fewer grounders, which is good, but he still only slugged .354 overall. He needed that .738 "hot streak" to get close to his small sample rate stats in 2015.

He was still out ops'd by Brentz and Ryan Lamarre who are now gone. I think he's an emergency at best and would bet another AAAA guy or two is signed.
His July was 4-30 with 12 K's pre-all-star break and then respectable post-all-star break. It was almost like he finally gave in and made some adjustments over the break, then slowly worked them in during the second half of July and saw the fruits of his efforts in August.

If Rusney was added to the 25 man roster (or maybe even the 40) his salary would count for luxury tax purposes, which would be a killer at this point given how often the Sox have gone over it. Realistically I think he's not going to appear in a major league game for the Sox again.
Yeah, he'd have to show real value to be worth adding to the 40-man, especially this year, I agree. They're paying Chris Young an AAV of $7 million, so if Rusney showed the ability to fill that role, they may be willing to bring him in for his replacement in 2018. Alternatively, if he could consolidate his August production, they could subsidize his contract for another team that didn't have luxury tax implications.

Promising start.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If Rusney was added to the 25 man roster (or maybe even the 40) his salary would count for luxury tax purposes, which would be a killer at this point given how often the Sox have gone over it. Realistically I think he's not going to appear in a major league game for the Sox again.
Isn't there some loophole with that? DD called up Craig to play in September of 2015 and everyone was crying about it, but he still didn't count against the cap? Also re Castillo, most of his production came between July 30th and August 10th.

edit: And maybe I answered my own question. Maybe the loophole is September call ups? Also, fwiw and probably not much, Castillo started to strike out more as the season went on, and the more he struck out the better his performance actually was. Odd.
 

Bowlerman9

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Isn't there some loophole with that? DD called up Craig to play in September of 2015 and everyone was crying about it, but he still didn't count against the cap? Also re Castillo, most of his production came between July 30th and August 10th.

edit: And maybe I answered my own question. Maybe the loophole is September call ups? Also, fwiw and probably not much, Castillo started to strike out more as the season went on, and the more he struck out the better his performance actually was. Odd.
There's no loophole in the case of Craig. The Sox were already over the cap by September, so they called him up and paid a penalty on 1/6th of his salary. The $200k penalty was deemed worthy of seeing if he had a spot on the 2016 team. They knew they could get him off the 40 man quite easily once the season ended, so basically it was an audition that the Sox thought was worth paying a slight tax.
 

Cesar Crespo

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There's no loophole in the case of Craig. The Sox were already over the cap by September, so they called him up and paid a penalty on 1/6th of his salary. The $200k penalty was deemed worthy of seeing if he had a spot on the 2016 team. They knew they could get him off the 40 man quite easily once the season ended, so basically it was an audition that the Sox thought was worth paying a slight tax.
So couldn't they do the same thing again? It's not like anyone will ever claim him. I'm guessing we will never see him in a Sox uniform again but if he had a good season in the minors, I could see a September call up if they are already over the cap and they can just clear him off the 40 man again.
 

joe dokes

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So couldn't they do the same thing again? It's not like anyone will ever claim him. I'm guessing we will never see him in a Sox uniform again but if he had a good season in the minors, I could see a September call up if they are already over the cap and they can just clear him off the 40 man again.

Would the two years that have passed have an impact on what the Sox can do with him?
 

joe dokes

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It's possible he could be out of options and would have a right to refuse assignment now but I'm not really sure.
May 10, 2015, Sox optioned him. (Outrighted him a week later.) The only other option I see is 2010. Looks like he was first on a 40-man in 2009. So he might have an option left, but not sure how the timing works either.
 

judyb

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If I'm remembering this right from the last time Craig was outrighted, he apparently already had the right to refuse the assignment because anyone who's been outrighted once already has it, but choosing to do so would have terminated his contract, so they'd want him to, but he never would.
 

Bowlerman9

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If I'm remembering this right from the last time Craig was outrighted, he apparently already had the right to refuse the assignment because anyone who's been outrighted once already has it, but choosing to do so would have terminated his contract, so they'd want him to, but he never would.
This is correct. Craig would have to terminate his contract, which he would never do. The odds of seeing him on the 25 or 40 man roster in 2017 are slim-to-none.
 

MikeM

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So couldn't they do the same thing again? It's not like anyone will ever claim him. I'm guessing we will never see him in a Sox uniform again but if he had a good season in the minors, I could see a September call up if they are already over the cap and they can just clear him off the 40 man again.
I'd say the odds are pretty decent on Castillo if a potential OF need arises and he gives them any type of positive reason to warrant a final look. There is simply too much dead $$$ tied into him already not to.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
This could turn out to be a weird example (I'm sure not the only one) of a big contract effectively ending a player's career. From what we've seen of Castillo, he probably never really had the talent to be an everyday player in the majors, but he might easily have caught on as a defensive-specialist 4th OF either here or elsewhere, and maybe hung around in that role for several years, if it weren't for the contract.
 

joe dokes

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This could turn out to be a weird example (I'm sure not the only one) of a big contract effectively ending a player's career. From what we've seen of Castillo, he probably never really had the talent to be an everyday player in the majors, but he might easily have caught on as a defensive-specialist 4th OF either here or elsewhere, and maybe hung around in that role for several years, if it weren't for the contract.
He would have to terminate his own contract somehow.
 

BJBossman

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If Rusney was added to the 25 man roster (or maybe even the 40) his salary would count for luxury tax purposes, which would be a killer at this point given how often the Sox have gone over it. Realistically I think he's not going to appear in a major league game for the Sox again.
Him and craig don't count for the luxury tax?

Is Panda next?
 

Bowlerman9

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Him and craig don't count for the luxury tax?

Is Panda next?
Sandoval has enough service time to be able to reject the assignment to AAA and collect his contract, in full, which would count against the luxury tax.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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I'm somewhat shocked that the Pirates or A's haven't offered something to pick up Rusney.... with his cost, I can't imagine the Sox ever moving him up to a ML roster role again. I can imagine though, another team getting DD to eat half his remaining salary for a mL filler trade. Rusney at half cost would be a possible huge value as a 4th OF on plenty of other teams
 

Average Reds

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I'm somewhat shocked that the Pirates or A's haven't offered something to pick up Rusney.... with his cost, I can't imagine the Sox ever moving him up to a ML roster role again. I can imagine though, another team getting DD to eat half his remaining salary for a mL filler trade. Rusney at half cost would be a possible huge value as a 4th OF on plenty of other teams
If the Sox paid any of his salary, I'm pretty sure that would count against the cap for them. And unless something else changes, they don't have that room.

Given the Sox' cap situation, the only way Rusney ever sees the majors in 2017 is to do so well at Pawtucket that another team is willing to assuming all of his contract.
 

Cesar Crespo

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If the Sox paid any of his salary, I'm pretty sure that would count against the cap for them. And unless something else changes, they don't have that room.

Given the Sox' cap situation, the only way Rusney ever sees the majors in 2017 is to do so well at Pawtucket that another team is willing to assuming all of his contract.
There's a chance it doesn't count against the cap since he's a minor league player. I'm guessing it does. Also, if he slashes like .340/.420/.610 in 320 PA in AAA, he could probably force his way to Boston, nevermind another team. It's not going to happen though.
 

chrisfont9

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I'm somewhat shocked that the Pirates or A's haven't offered something to pick up Rusney.... with his cost, I can't imagine the Sox ever moving him up to a ML roster role again. I can imagine though, another team getting DD to eat half his remaining salary for a mL filler trade. Rusney at half cost would be a possible huge value as a 4th OF on plenty of other teams
Is this how small market teams operate? I think there's a difference between trying to score some value with proven but underappreciated contributors and guys crowded out of other rosters, versus picking up a guy with alleged tools who has completely flamed out of the majors. If Rusney came back to the majors and showed that he actually belonged, then you'd get small market teams sniffing around for a cheap upgrade (assuming then that the Sox eat most of the money). But if you don't have much of a budget, I don't think you spend it on wild risks.
 

Sandy Leon Trotsky

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4/$25M is a huge value for a 4th outfielder?
missed the part where I said "possible" there. His defense isn't in question, so could be definite value just in cycling through the outfield able to play any position to give starters a break. That's some value there... if he's not as bad as his ML line has been in '15 and '16 but even close to his short time in '14 then, yeah. Great value. Could he be something like a .720 OPS with great defense? That's a lot of value for $6M per season,no?
 

JimBoSox9

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This could turn out to be a weird example (I'm sure not the only one) of a big contract effectively ending a player's career. From what we've seen of Castillo, he probably never really had the talent to be an everyday player in the majors, but he might easily have caught on as a defensive-specialist 4th OF either here or elsewhere, and maybe hung around in that role for several years, if it weren't for the contract.
It's not even that weird lower down the scale, if you look at MLB contracts given to players who haven't played a day in MLB. Craig Hansen and Jose Iglesias are two easy Sox examples of guys who almost unquestionably would have been better off cooking low and slow in the minors, if their contracts hadn't demanded the club try to extract value from them at an accelerated pace.

At 72 mil, though, can you really say 'ended' his career? Kinda made his career, or at least made it moot.
 

moondog80

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Old friend Wily Mo Pena is another one who might have benefited from more time in the minors, but was essentially forced onto an MLB roster due to his contract.
 

Plympton91

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Is this how small market teams operate? I think there's a difference between trying to score some value with proven but underappreciated contributors and guys crowded out of other rosters, versus picking up a guy with alleged tools who has completely flamed out of the majors. If Rusney came back to the majors and showed that he actually belonged, then you'd get small market teams sniffing around for a cheap upgrade (assuming then that the Sox eat most of the money). But if you don't have much of a budget, I don't think you spend it on wild risks.
If you believe the defensive numbers, he is an elite defender who could have significant positive value If he can just put up a replacement level OPS.
 

simplicio

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That's two pretty big "ifs", the belief in defensive numbers and the replacement-level production.
Those defensive numbers were backed up pretty well by the eye test though. He looked like a veteran at the monster.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Would buying out his contract count against the cap? If he agreed to take 38mil to be released from his contract, is that even within the rules? Sorta NBA style.
 

Plympton91

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Rusney is now 20-51 with 3 2B 5 BB and 7 K in the PR winter league.

By contrast, Christian Vazquez continues to do his best impersonation of Kevin Cash:

23/97, 2 2B, 2 HR, 13 BB, 12 K.
 

simplicio

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Rusney is now 20-51 with 3 2B 5 BB and 7 K in the PR winter league.

By contrast, Christian Vazquez continues to do his best impersonation of Kevin Cash:

23/97, 2 2B, 2 HR, 13 BB, 12 K.
So what is that, bloops and grounders finding holes? His problem last we saw him was he grounded out every damn time- that line doesn't give me a lot of hope that he's learned to lift it much.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
So what is that, bloops and grounders finding holes? His problem last we saw him was he grounded out every damn time- that line doesn't give me a lot of hope that he's learned to lift it much.
Yeah, there's a .200 difference in BABIP between those two lines (.454 for Rusney, .253 for Vazquez), which is presumably pretty close to meaningless given the small samples, especially in Rusney's case. If you adjust the BABIP in each case to their career MLB numbers (.306 and .285) Vazquez ends up with a slightly better OPS than Rusney:

Actual lines:
Rusney .392/.446/.451
Vazquez .237/.327/.320

BABIP-adjusted lines:
Rusney .255/.321/.314
Vazquez .247/.336/.330
 

Plympton91

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So what is that, bloops and grounders finding holes? His problem last we saw him was he grounded out every damn time- that line doesn't give me a lot of hope that he's learned to lift it much.
I don't know. I'm just observing the wreckage of Ben Cherington and hoping that it's not totaled. This stretch in a pretty good winter league extends the 6-week stretch he had to finish the year. Sue me for dreaming that he can show enough that they can dump his contract on the Angels or someone similarly desperate for relevance.