Nick Castellanos’ struggles with the Phillies from Dave Dombrowski’s perspective

There are few individuals in baseball extra acquainted with Nick Castellanos and his sport than Dave Dombrowski, the Phillies’ president of baseball operations who was working issues in Detroit when the Tigers drafted an 18-year-old Castellanos forty fourth total in 2010.

Dombrowski watched Castellanos develop from a below-average on a regular basis third baseman in 2014 and 2015 to one in every of the greatest hitters in baseball the subsequent six seasons.

Those first two full seasons, 2014 and 2015, Castellanos hit .257/.304/.407, averaging 32 doubles and 13 homers.

Then from 2016-21, Castellanos hit .286/.338/.515, averaging 36 doubles and 24 homers.

This season, his first with the Phillies after signing a five-year, $100 million contract, has seemed extra like these early years. Castellanos’ batting common is 32 factors decrease than his profession mark getting into this season and his OPS is 158 factors decrease. He’s hit one dwelling run in his final 202 plate appearances with a .263 on-base share.

Based on WAR, which components in protection and baserunning, Castellanos has been the worst on a regular basis participant in the majors this season. It’s been stunning.

Worse but, there have not been many indicators he is primed to snap out of it, not less than not a lot past the “water finds its degree” cliché. The essential gap in his swing/method has been there all season — he’s routinely attacked on the low-outside nook with breaking balls and has hassle shedding of them. It’s a pitch he and most hitters are not often capable of deal with and he is swung via almost half of the low-and-away breaking balls he is seen this season. He additionally hasn’t constantly hit mistake pitches.

For three months, Castellanos has mainly gone 1 for 4 each night time with a single, no walks and a strikeout.

“I want I actually knew the reply as a result of if I knew that I’d be in the center of attempting to right every little thing that comes with it,” Dombrowski mentioned Monday when requested about Castellanos’ struggles.

“I’m a part of the group. I do know Nick Castellanos. He’s not hitting like he is able to hitting. He’s the first one to say that. I do not actually know. Maybe he is placing an excessive amount of stress on himself. I do know he is a tough employee. He’s very self-conscious of attempting to provide for us and of disappointing individuals. I do not know if that is main him to attempt to do an excessive amount of.

“He’s at all times expanded the strike zone. He’s increasing it extra now than I’ve ever seen him develop it. But he is a man that hits line drives throughout the subject normally. It’s not like he is previous by any means and unexpectedly he’ll lose that means.”

The Phillies want Castellanos’ bat badly over these last two months of the common season. When areas they’ll improve offensively at the commerce deadline, the Phils are restricted by the commitments they’ve already made at most positions, together with proper subject.

It’s not as if Castellanos has been sapped of his strengths. He hit .300 in April and a .906 OPS via May 10. There are sufficient plate appearances and significant video games for him to alter the narrative of his first season in Philly.

“I do not actually know. I want I did,” Dombrowski mentioned. “If it was lack of labor, that will be very simple to say. That’s not it. He’s working very laborious. He’s centered on attempting to do higher. Hopefully we are able to snap it. My expertise is once you signal guys who’re proficient, they normally find yourself with the statistics at the again of their bubble gum card. And in order that normally means there is a sizzling streak coming. Hopefully it’ll occur.”

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