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Castellanos keeping it simple in transition to RF

After 21 games in outfield last year, 25-year-old making full-time move
Special to MLB.com

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Nicholas Castellanos enters Spring Training knowing exactly what his position will be -- right field.

With late-summer acquisition Jeimer Candelario expected to become the Tigers' starting third baseman, the team moved Castellanos to the outfield hoping to take presssure off him defensively and increase his offensive output.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Nicholas Castellanos enters Spring Training knowing exactly what his position will be -- right field.

With late-summer acquisition Jeimer Candelario expected to become the Tigers' starting third baseman, the team moved Castellanos to the outfield hoping to take presssure off him defensively and increase his offensive output.

"It's kind of the way it worked," Castellanos said. "Because of all the trades and the way the team was going, and getting rid of this and building for the future and acquiring other infielders, it's kind of the way it worked."

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General manager Al Avila believes that Castellanos can produce bigger numbers with his bat in the heart of the order. Last season, Castellanos batted .272/.320/.490 with 26 home runs and 101 RBIs.

"Hitting is the hardest thing to teach in baseball," Avila said. "And Castellanos has everything you want in a bat in the middle of the order, and we want him to continue to get better there."

Video: Outlook: Castellanos should remain productive

Castellanos still describes himself as an infielder that can play outfield, but manager Ron Gardenhire sees the 25-year-old as a full-time outfielder, as the organization has a surplus of infielders in development.

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Gardenhire would not rule out Castellanos playing third in a pinch, but the manager wants him to focus on being in right. Castellanos has responded positively to the change.

"It's game on with Nick," Gardenhire said. "He's got it going on. He came in and told me what he's going to do and how comfortable he is. He's going to be that guy for sure.

"He's going to be our right fielder, and he's going to be doing all of his work there. We made that decision as an organization. I think this is going to be a great fit for him. He's comfortable there, and I don't want to see him bouncing back and forth."

Video: Nicholas Castellanos sees his role as a leader in '18

Castellanos said he was receptive to the move because he wants to do what he can to make sure the Tigers put their best team on the field.

"I'll do whatever they need me to do," Castellanos said. "Right now, they've just asked me to go out there and catch flyballs, so that's what I'm doing. What happens if your boss was like, 'Hey, we need you to go over here, that's going to benefit the company.' ... Same thing."

Castellanos played shortstop when he was younger and didn't begin playing third base until his professional career. He is looking at this move as another part of his career progression.

As for the defensive adjustments Castellanos will need to make, he said he wants to keep things simple.

"I just look at it like run fast, catch the ball and throw it in and try to win baseball games," Castellanos said. "Everything has its adjustments. All the surfaces and all the different fields play differently. Some are fast, some are slow. Some are bumpy. Some are wet and stay low to the ground. So every field and every position has its things to get used to.

"All the atmospheres are different. Everything is different. So that's why I don't try to control anything, just go out and play."

Ralph Long is a contributor to MLB.com.

Detroit Tigers, Nicholas Castellanos