Detroit – Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire knows how Nick Castellanos feels about moving to first base. Of course he does. He was the one who asked him to do it last September. And he understands and agrees with Castellanos’ reasons for not wanting to switch positions.
“It’s not something that was a negative,” Gardenhire said. “It was just another positive, that’s how we viewed it and that’s how we explained it. But he’s right in the fact that he’s been moved around a bunch and he’s trying to learn right field.
“He’s right in the fact that the longer he stays out there, the better he’s going to get. … And I told him, I’ve been happy with how he’s played. He had a rough play (Saturday), but for the most part he’s played good outfield for us.”
Gardenhire presented the move as a way to extend Castellanos’ career and maybe make himself more attractive to free-agent suitors.
“It’s always been that it’d be another feather in your cap if you learned to play first base,” Gardenhire said. “It’s means more options for our team and more options for any team if he becomes a free agent, or whatever, down the road.
“Ultimately, he’s a big guy with a long wing span who’d be an easy target over there. It’s something where I just told him, maybe you should do this.”