The Pirates Love Versatility: Diego Castillo Speaks on Playing Shortstop
Since coming to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Diego Castillo has put together an impressive resume. In the Minor Leagues, Castillo showed good defensive prowess, decent speed, and a good approach at the plate. When Castillo made it to the Major League roster, he has been used in the field in several different ways.
Although second base is Castillo’s natural position, he has seen time at third base (one game), Right-Field (two times), shortstop (six times), and, yes, even as a pitcher (one time). Since shortstop Kevin Newman went down with a hamstring injury, Castillo has seen more time at the shortstop position and has shown he can function rather well.
“I’m very proud that [Derek] Shelton has trusted me to play at [shortstop},” said Castillo. “It’s not really different for me playing shortstop or second base. My whole Minor League career, I’ve spent time split between the two. When Shelton told me I was going to play shortstop, I was happy because I know how to do it, and that’s why it isn’t a problem for me.
Versatility seems to be a buzzword when you talk to either Shelton or general manager Ben Cherington. We’ve seen several infielders shift to the outfield, Michael Chavis play what seems to be every position, and even Ke’Bryan Hayes playing shortstop late in games.
Castillo seems to be yet another guy who will be used in several different defensive roles as the season goes on. Castillo confirmed this to us Sunday evening after their series finale against the Padres.
“When I get to the clubhouse, I’m told where I’m going to play, and from there, I just prepare and get ready to go,” said Castillo. “There really isn’t a set place for me defensively as of now.”
Castillo affirmed that he is feeling confident both in the field and at the plate right now, and he trusts his ability to move forward into the season with that same confidence in his game.