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Bucs Benching Castillo

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This is so colossally stupid, I´m surprised the Pirates didn´t think of it earlier:

Manager Jim Tracy said the desire to play Chris Duffy has left a crowd of capable players to man three infield positions. Last night, Freddy Sanchez made his second consecutive start at second base, as did Jose Bautista at third. Xavier Nady was at first base -- as has pretty much been the case since he joined the Pirates.

"It simply boils down to this: Duffy was brought back to play, and we now have four guys for three spots in the infield -- and Freddy is going to play every day," Tracy said. "We have several guys making strides ... who play the game the way it's supposed to be played. Jose has been part of that. This is nothing against Jose personally. There just are not enough spots for all these players. It's that simple."

I know Castillo is "frustrating" and that he´s played sloppy defense this year, but you´re still talking about a 25 year old second baseman who´s putting up a .750 OPS. If you can find a better player than that, great - a young second baseman with power would have a lot of value in a trade. But the Pirates are benching him for Chris Duffy, who´s older than Castillo, is hitting .196 and quit the team earlier this year. If the Pirates are indeed sending Castillo a "message," as the Trib suggests, it´s tough to figure out what that message would be - "Quit the team, then we´ll play you"?

The Pirates have Castillo back in the lineup tonight. Let´s hope he stays there.

(It?s certainly possible that there?s some attitude issue here I?m not aware of. First, though, I?d wonder why Castillo doesn?t know about it, and second, I don?t trust the Pirates to handle those sorts of problems competently. Also, it certainly isn?t out of the realm of possibility that they?re just benching one of their more promising players for no reason.)