The trade of Shane Victorino to the Angels has opened playing time for Rusney Castillo and allowed the Red Sox’ $72.5MM man to impress his team, writes Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal. Castillo is hitting .333/.375/.444 in his latest recall from Triple-A, and Boston is impressed with his ability to quickly make adjustments based on advice from the coaching staff. Assistant hitting coach Victor Rodriguez has already made slight changes to Castillo’s stance in an effort to shorten his swing, and both player and team feel the results have been positive. There are still greater adjustments to be made, MacPherson continues — Castillo, for instance, was taught in Cuba to swing each time he sees a baserunner in motion regardless of the pitch — but the 28-year-old says his confidence and comfort level are on the rise.
A few more AL East items on a quiet morning…
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman took a big picture approach at the deadline by holding onto his best prospects, writes John Harper of the New York Daily News, but he may end up regretting that decision. The contrast between that approach and the aggressive one taken by Toronto counterpart Alex Anthopoulos is already apparent, as the Blue Jays are 11-1 since acquiring Troy Tulowitzki, Harper continues.
- Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun opines that the Orioles are missing Tommy Hunter following what he calls a “curious” trade. Manager Buck Showalter has already been forced to lean on Chaz Roe in a high-leverage spot for which Hunter would have been better suited. Connolly feels that the reasoning behind the trade made some sense — the team wanted some maneuverability with its bullpen and none of their relievers have minor league options — but they’ve already contradicted that plan by activating Rule 5 right-hander Jason Garcia from the DL and devoting a spot to him. He concludes that the team has effectively weakened its bullpen in order to add a right-handed outfielder (Junior Lake) whose skill set is somewhat redundant with Nolan Reimold already on the roster.
- Cliff Pennington spoke to Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi about his excitement to join a Blue Jays team that is in pursuit of a division title and a postseason berth. Pennington notes that he heard plenty of trade rumors with his name involved prior to the non-waiver deadline but was caught somewhat off guard by his August trade. As Davidi notes, Pennington is plenty familiar with Josh Donaldson from the pair’s days in the minors and Majors with the Athletics, and the pair reached the postseason together with the A’s in 2012.