If you visited New English D last year you know that we tend to do a lot of in depth analysis. I think that’s the strength of the site, but this year we’re introducing a new feature called One Quick Thing in which we analyze one small aspect of a player or game that doesn’t require 1,000 words and ten graphics. The idea is that these are small samples that may still be interesting. Today, we’ll start with a quick look at Nick Castellanos’ defense on Opening Day.
We have a decent sense that Nick can hit and he showed that on Opening Day with a pair of singles, but it’s unclear how he’ll be able to handle the hot corner. Not that he has a high bar to clear, but adding value anywhere you can is important. He had two chances on Opening Day.
The first was uneventful. A bit of weak ground ball that he had to come in on.
This wasn’t a terribly challenging play and with the runners on the move he could only go to first. Clean transfer and accurate throw. Didn’t trip over himself. Success!
So this one didn’t go as well. This is clearly a matter of Nick not knowing the dimensions of the park well enough, which makes sense given that he’s never played 3B there before Monday. He thought he had about three fewer feet than he did. On this play he needs to glance down for a second and find the wall. That should be a play he makes in the future.
It’s obviously too early to make any real judgments about his performance, but he executed one and botched another. Granted, Cabrera likely wouldn’t have gotten to the pop up, so it’s not as if it’s a net loss. When we have a few more chances to evaluate, we’ll dig in on his footwork to see how it looks after 18 months away from the position.