Welington Castillo hit a towering pop fly to first base and barely budged from the batter’s box.
White Sox manager Rick Renteria didn’t hesitate. He quickly yanked Castillo after his at-bat in the bottom of the sixth inning Monday night and replaced him with Omar Narvaez behind the plate.
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The Sox lost 3-2 to the Orioles as Trayce Thompson struck out with two outs and the bases loaded in the ninth. Starter Hector Santiago (0-2) allowed solo home runs to Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo and Adam Jones to take the loss.
After the game, Renteria stood by his decision to pull Castillo, his 31-year-old catcher, in a one-run game. He said the pop fly might be caught 99 times out of 100, but Castillo needed to hustle to first base in case it dropped.
“He could, at minimum, at least start moving that way,” said Renteria, who spoke with Castillo after the play. “That’s uncharacteristic of him, to be honest. Maybe he was just frustrated that he had the fly ball and just stayed at the plate, but there was no movement toward first at all.”
Every player, younger or older, must to abide by the same standards, Renteria said.
“There’s one way to do it,” he said. “Everybody’s watching it, and I’m setting the tone for not only here, our club, [but] everybody in the minor leagues. . . . For me, it’s really simple. People might like it, not like it. I’ve got to do this so everybody understands what we’re trying to do here. We’re not done with what we’re trying to do. For him, I know he felt bad about it.”
Castillo wasn’t available to speak with reporters after the game.
Teammates said Renteria was consistent.
“It’s a tough situation all around,” Santiago said. “[Castillo] is trying to get the job done, and he didn’t. He didn’t run it out. Ricky has a tough call there — veteran catcher, close game. . . . I know Castillo is going to look at it and try to learn from that.”
Another baserunning blunder also bothered Renteria. In the fifth, Adam Engel tried to stretch a single into a double and was thrown out by such a wide margin that Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop had to stop and wait before applying the tag.
“Aggressiveness and recklessness are two different things,” Renteria said.
Shortstop Tim Anderson set a career high with his 14th walk in the second inning. He had drawn 13 walks in each of the last two years, out of 431 plate appearances in 2016 and 606 in 2017. This season, he notched his 14th walk in his 173rd plate appearance.
It’s your turn
Renteria named Dylan Covey as Wednesday’s starter in the spot vacated by Carson Fulmer, who was sent down to Class AAA Charlotte on Friday night.
Covey, 26, is still in search of his first big-league victory. He’s 0-8 with a 7.58 ERA in 19 career games (13 starts) with the Sox, who claimed him from the Athletics in last season’s Rule 5 draft.