Castro needs a hotter bat to stay at short for long term

I talked to Juan Castro before last night's game, and he told me he should be back in the lineup today.

The shortstop was scratched from the lineup last night in Cleveland because he is still feeling pain in his strained left groin. He had the day off Sunday, but realized he needed Monday off when he ran some agility drills at Progressive Field Monday afternoon and felt pain.

Dave Trembley most likely will want Castro back as soon as possible. The veteran has proven to be a very reliable defensive shortstop since the Orioles acquired him on July 27th. He has yet to make an error as an Oriole.

Baltimore Sun beat writer Jeff Zriebac brought up a good point yesterday. If Castro can get his batting average at least up to .250, he could possibly be the Orioles' everyday shortstop next year, barring any free agency acquisitions (which many feel is unlikely as far as a shortstop is concerned) or trades.

A trade will be tough as well because there aren't a lot of hot, young shortstops in the league, and the teams that do have them aren't eager to move such hard-to-come-by talent.

Castro has been impressive in the field, but will need just a bit more offensive production to be an everyday starter. Still, it's not unthinkable that he could fill the role next year until the Orioles get to the point where they want to spend some money on a free agent shortstop after 2009.