As a hitter, Luis Castillo’s best spot in the lineup is as a No. 2 hitter, where he can bunt, work the count and protect Jose Reyes. That spot in the order best utilizes his offensive skills.
However, his offensive skills pale in comparison to those of Angel Pagan, who can do everything Castillo can, only better. Plus, he can hit for power and at this stage of his career is a greater base stealing threat.
After batting Castillo second for much of the week, Jerry Manuel finally moved Pagan back to the two hole and dropped Castillo to eighth. Not coincidentally, the Mets finally won a game. Let’s hope Manuel learned from this and will continue that alignment in the order.
“(Angel Pagan has) done a terrific job of getting on base and setting the table and being a good situational hitter,” said David Wright. “It makes my job and Carlos’ job a lot easier when he’s creating havoc on the base paths and we’ve got a bunch of runners in scoring position…when we struggle offensively, the best thing to do is keep the line moving like we did tonight and let the next guy do the damage.”
It stands to reason the No. 2 hitter will get more at-bats than the No. 8 hitter, so why would you want to give Castillo that many more at-bats? You don’t. Bat him eighth and be done with it.