Primary catcher Welington Castillo had himself a somewhat decent year with the Cubs in 2014 not only in the batters box, but behind the dish as well.
Castillo, 27-years-old, entered his second full year as the teams number one catcher and missed some playing time for the second straight year in a row. Although his strikeout numbers increased and batting average dropped just a tad, he did manage to improve his home run, RBI and fielding percentage stats.
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In 103 games played and 380 at-bats, Castillo finished the year with 28 runs, 90 hits, 19 doubles, 13 home runs, 46 RBIs, 26 walks, and 102 strikeouts with a batting line of .237/.296/.389. Rookie catcher Eli Whiteside was added to the Major League roster to back up John Baker in June after Castillo was placed on the 15-day disabled list back after suffering a rib injury against the Milwaukee Brewers.
After finishing the month of April with four long-balls and 11 RBIs at the plate, Castillo’s numbers dropped drastically in the month of May. He finished with only one home run with 10 RBIs and a season high 26 strikeouts before landing himself on the disabled list just a month later.
Consistency from Castillo was an issue in 2014, so he’s going to have to show the club that he can provide runs and get on base more than he has in the past four years. His fielding on the other hand wasn’t all that bad as he only committed six errors while his caught stealing percentage jumped from .295 the previous year to .329 in 2014.
It’s not necessarily where anyone would want it to be, but it’s definitely a sign of improvement behind the plate. With the off-season officially here, the Cubs could be the front runners to pick up catcher Russell Martin to back-up Castillo in 2015. He would definitely give them the veteran presence needed behind the plate if Welington happens to get hurt for the third straight year.
With that being said, there’s no doubt that the Cubs will continue to use Castillo as their primary catcher in the future until he shows otherwise or when it’s time for Kyle Schwarber to take over.