My Sunday Insider features items on Bobby Cox and Luis Castillo, among others. I enjoyed speaking with new Mets third-base and infielders coach Chip Hale, who has a very good reputation, about Castillo.
Hale was pretty honest: There's no magic solution to improving Castillo's defensive range. The best that can be done is to push Castillo now in infield drills and the like, and to hope that pays off in some fashion come the regular season.
--Francisco Cervelli and the Yankees received a scare yesterday, and the incident does call into question the Yankees' depth at catcher. Behind Cervelli is probably veteran Mike Rivera, and then you have the youngsters Jesus Montero and Austin Romine; I could see Romine getting the call ahead of Montero because Romine is stronger defensively.
Will this matter? Perhaps not. But keep in mind that, each of the prior two seasons, the Yankees had to go deep into their catching corps, as both Jorge Posada and Jose Molina spent time on the disabled list.
--Jason Marquis lamented that the Mets didn't go hard after him this past offseason. Eh. He's overrated, although the Nationals got him at a reasonable price. The bigger criticism, as we've discussed here, is that the Mets didn't sign any of the many, reasonably priced free-agent starting pitchers.
--Ronan Tynan is moving to Boston.
--Bad news for the Twins, as Joe Nathan, who underwent elbow surgery after last season, left an outing yesterday with tightness in the elbow.
Two thoughts: 1) The Twins seemingly have the bullpen depth to hang in there if Nathan needs only a short time on the disabled list; 2) Remember how Nathan "choked" in last year's American League Division Series? Maybe his pain contributed to the lack of confidence in his stuff.
--Eric Gagne is attempting a comeback with the Dodgers.
--I highly recommend checking out the Amazin' Avenue Annual 2010, which features all sorts of great perspective on the Mets.
--Self-promotion alert: I'll be co-hosting "MLB Live: Weekend Edition," this morning at 10:00, with Holden Kushner on XM 175. Call in with your questions at 1-866-MLB-ON-XM or 1-866-652-6696.