When the Philadelphia Phillies announced Nick Castellanos as an offseason acquisition, fans were happy about the prospect of a player who hit .309 with 34 homers and 100 RBI with the Cincinnati Reds in 2021 sharing the same lineup as Bryce Harper.
The season went on, and Castellanos’ lousy play started to earn him some boos by Phillies fans.
He was the player with the worst WAR output on the roster, at -0.7.
WAR means Wins Above Replacement, and helps us understand how much a player has contributed (or affected) his team.
In 2022, the slugger hit .263/.305/.389 with just 13 home runs in 558 plate appearances, with some very bad defense in the outfield.
The Hero Of The Day
On Tuesday, though, he was the hero of the day.
“Nick Castellanos: They love him in Philadelphia now. #Phillies take Game 1, 7-6,” MLB insider Bob Nightengale tweeted.
Nick Castellanos: They love him in Philadelphia now.#Phillies take Game 1,
— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 11, 2022
By going 3-for-5 with a run and three RBI, he made sure to keep his team on the scoreboard early and often.
For a day, he felt like an important part of his baseball team.
He is still one, so it will be crucial for him to recover his confidence and play like the talented hitter he is.
Perhaps more importantly, he made a crucial running catch in the ninth inning on a ball that, had he missed, could have gone to the back of the outfield for an inside-the-park home run or at least an extra-base hit.
Here is how impactful that catch was:
If Castellanos lets the ball drop in front of him, the Braves' win probability increases from 11.4% to 20.9%. So, at the very least, the catch was worth 9.7 points of win probability… perhaps as much as 46.8 points if he dives and misses it.
— Devan Fink (@DevanFink) October 11, 2022
He had faith in himself, he ran with all he had, and made the catch of the day for the Phillies.
As a result of his contributions, Philadelphia now has a surprising 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series against the Atlanta Braves.
What a confidence boost for Castellanos.