The time is now for Rusney Castillo

There is a time to hold back hot-hitting prospects. There is a time to roll with the veterans despite the youngsters excelling down in the minors.

Now is not that time. Now is the time to give $72 million man Rusney Castillo a legitimate chance to prove himself at the major league level.

Castillo, 27, was the man that many predicted all winter long would be starting in right field come Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox. That job was instead given to the veteran Shane Victorino.

Victorino is batting just .178 this season, with just three total RBI. He’s been a non-factor at the plate through the first month-and-a-half of the season. It’s one thing to give Victorino the job out of spring training — he’s a proven veteran that has had success in Boston in the past — but when it becomes clear that he’s lost a step, it may be time to make some changes.

Castillo struggled starting his season off, battling off a litany of injuries en route to a cold start for the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox. Following his shoulder injury, Castillo went on an 0-for-11 skid.

Since then, he’s bumped up his level of play; 11-for-32, and an explosive Friday night against the Columbus Clippers, going 3-for-3 with a pair of home runs and a double.

If that’s not a sign screaming for a chance in the major league lineup, than I’m not quite sure what is. After all, when your team averages just 2.4 runs per game over their last 10 contests, a lineup change here and there may not be the worst thing.

Other Red Sox News and Notes:

  • Red Sox deny offering Jackie Bradley Jr. for Charlie Furbish: Gordon Edes reported late Thursday night that in the spring, the Sox offered 25-year-old defensive wizard/outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to the Seattle Mariners for lefty relief arm Charlie Furbush. The Red Sox, naturally, have came out and denied these reports. Furbush has just a 1.80 ERA on the season, while Bradley Jr. was just recently called up to the 25-man roster in the past week. Take it as you will, but it’s hard to argue that having another shutdown arm at the back of the ‘pen wouldn’t look good.
  • Candidates to improve Boston’s rotation: Ryan Hathaway dives into this hot topic which involves finding ways to improve Boston’s much maligned starting rotation. He takes a look at in-house options and some arms that would require a trade — at this point, just about anything may be an upgrade.
  • Knuckleballing Steven Wright to take Masterson’s spot in rotation: With the struggling Justin Masterson bound for the 15-day disabled list, the Red Sox have named Steven Wright his replacement — for now. The 30-year-old will be starting on Sunday, in place of Masterson. The righty has a 4.22 ERA in 10.2 innings this season.


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