The Detroit Tigers optioned infielder Willi Castro to Triple-A Toledo and designated outfielder Nomar Mazara for assignment on Friday.
They will be replaced on the roster by infielder Isaac Paredes and outfielder Derek Hill, both of whom were recalled from Toledo.
Castro, 24, finished fourth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in the abbreviated 2020 season but hasn’t found his groove in 2021.
After batting .349 last season, Castro is hitting just .214 with 10 doubles and six homers among his 54 hits in 74 games. He has 28 RBIs but has struck out 72 times.
“We’ve got to get Willi back on track,” manager A.J. Hinch said, per MLB.com. “Our best team has him involved and has him playing virtually every day.”
Hinch said Castro needs to work on his defense, too, and can do that at Toledo.
“Overall, the defensive metrics aren’t very kind to him, but we’ve seen progress at second base and we want to continue to see that,” he said. “But a lot of it has to do with getting his bat on track. He had such a good breakout season last year in the shortened season and really just hasn’t been able to get on track consistently. He even admitted that to me in my office, that he’s just struggled too long.”
Mazara, 26, signed a one-year, $1.75 million contract days before spring training started. In 50 games, he hit .212 with three home runs and 19 RBIs.
Paredes, 22, appeared in 11 games during two short stays with the Tigers earlier this season, hitting .172. Hinch said the Tigers will see how he fares at second and third base and will get his chances to impress.
“People are going to fight for playing time, and that’s a good thing,” Hinch said.
Hill, 25, was the Tigers’ first-round draft pick in 2014. In 23 games over two seasons (2020-21), Hill has five hits in 25 at-bats.
In 33 games at Toledo this season, he’s hitting .320 with four home runs, 15 RBIs and 62 total bases.
“I really want him back in the big leagues,” Hinch said. “Derek’s defense is really second to none in our organization in the outfield, so I think that will bring a ton of energy out there, a ton of productivity.”
–Field Level Media
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