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Nick Castellanos called up by Tigers

The Tigers' top rookie will join the team Sunday in Detroit


Tigers top prospect Nick Castellanos will be called up and join the team in Detroit on Monday, reports by Toledo Blade writer John Wagner and Detroit News columnist Lynn Henning say. Right-handed pitcher Evan Reed and infielder Danny Worth will also join the Tigers when the rosters expand.

But you probably don't care about those guys unless you're related to them. You want to hear about Castellanos.

The 21-year-old outfielder has hit .276/.343/.446 for a .790 OPS. He has 17 HR, 74 RBI in 591 plate appearances. Castellanos was ranked 15th by Baseball America during its midseason prospect rankings update. Castellanos was ranked 13th in July by John Sickels of Minor League Ball.

After a slow start to the year, Castellanos posted a 1.024 OPS in June with five HR and 17 RBI. He struggled in July, but has batted .266/.317/.500 in the month of August, hitting seven doubles and five home runs in 94 at bats.

There was rather a lot of disagreement whether Castellanos would be called up when the rosters expanded. Although it seemed like a foregone conclusion to some, quite a few writers and analysts thought Castellanos would have already taken his place in left field if the Tigers really thought he could help.

Here's what our own Nick Galea had to say in a recent post:

Castellanos is ready for the challenge of MLB pitching, and while I don't think he'd excel right away, I don't think he'd embarrass himself. So what if Don Kelly or Andy Dirks misses a start? As far as the 40-man, they could probably release Danny Worth without anyone even noticing. Once the IL season ends, he won't have anywhere to play.

The last point being the most significant, I'd wager Castellanos does get promoted this season, right after Toledo finishes theirs. Once in Detroit, he'll probably spend most of his time watching everyone else, getting maybe 12 games before the end of the season. Is that a little anti-climactic for prospect watchers? Absolutely. But prospects take a back seat when the big club has the best lineup in baseball.

Clearly, Castellanos will get a chance to show what he can do in the outfield. Although certainly some will wonder whether Castellanos can retake his place at  third base if Miguel Cabrera's injury is allowed time to rest, that seems unlikely but never say never.

Castellanos is not currently on the 40-man roster, but there is room to add him without a corresponding move. Lackadaisical playoff rules mean the team could probably find a way to carry him in the postseason if they felt like he'd help. However he'd be eligible for sure if he was on the 25 man roster by midnight Saturday.

Earlier moves Saturday included the recall of LHP Phil Coke and and infielder Hernan Perez. RHP Jeremy Bonderman and RHP Luke Putkonen were optioned to Toledo but are expected back in September.

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