As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Welington Castillo.
The future has hopefully arrived for Welington Castillo. Now that Koyie Hill has moved on, the Cubs have an open position at backup catcher, and in Castillo they have a prospect tailor made to fill it. The Cubs have been careful to make sure they have other options in case Castillo is not quite ready to go right out of spring training, but he should be considered the clear favorite to claim the job. In fact, he might be good enough that the Cubs can entertain thoughts of dealing Geovanny Soto and letting Castillo take over catching duties full time..
Castillo spent time on four different rosters last season due to minor injuries or major league promotions. Chicago manager Mike Quade was content to let Castillo hold down the bench during his stint in in the majors, and his numbers predictably suffered for it. Meanwhile, his Iowa numbers were among the best of his career. He finished the season with a AAA OPS of 0.875, a career high.
If he is healthy throughout spring training, there is no reason that Castillo should not open the season as the Cubs backup catcher. Some scouts believe his bat will be good enough that he could challenge Soto for the starting job. Provided his game calling is up to the task, he may get that opportunity before the season is out.