DENVER – Three games, three starting catchers for the Cubs.
How long can this go on? How will this rotation work moving forward? Does every starter get his own catcher?
Don’t ask the guys behind the masks. They just work here.
“I just came into the season with my mind ready to play, like I’m going to play every day,” said Welington Castillo, the two-year starter who was on the bench until manager Joe Maddon put him in the starting lineup Friday against the Rockies. “That’s my mindset even when I’m not playing. I’ve just got to be ready for whenever they want me to play.”
Castillo, a right-handed hitting option, was an easy call for Friday, with left-hander Tyler Matzek starting for Colorado and manager Joe Maddon’s desire to get everybody on the roster a start early in the season.
So what happens with this situation going forward – assuming the Cubs can’t get the trade value they want for Castillo any time soon.
“What happens normally is baseball has this cruel way of answering questions for you and creating more time for people,” Maddon said. “It’s really early in the season so it could be a little bit more exaggerating for these particular guys – I get that. But the one thing we talked about from Day 1 is it’s about all of us, not just about one individual.
“I also believe by having this kind of awkwardly great situation that it should make everybody more rested and healthy for playoff time. … when the season gets its rhythm and everybody starts to play on a more consistent basis, I think that’ll all work itself out or figure itself out.”
Meanwhile, Castillo in particular figures to deal with the strangest, most frustrating playing-time reality of his career.
“It’s not easy, honestly,” he said, “because now it’s like I’ve got to be ready in every inning because anything can happen during the game. I think that I’m going to be the guy to go in if something happens to either of those guys [Miguel Montero or David Ross].”
He has managed to maintain a remarkably upbeat attitude.
“That’s me,” he said. “Nobody can change the situation; the situation can’t change what kind of person I am. This is a business.”
One that may lead ultimately to a trade – which has been rumored since December. The Cubs have talked to several teams continually since then.
Castillo knows, and wonders if and when it might happen.
“Sure,” he said. “Anything can happen. This is a business. I’m just here to play and win games and help the team win. But whenever they need me to do it, or if they’re going to trade me or something happens [I’ll deal with it].”