The Rise of Nick Castellanos: After a rough two month span, he has finally arrived in Philadelphia
It is no secret to anyone in Philadelphia that Nick Castellanos struggled the first half of the MLB season with the Phillies.
Castellanos was acquired as a free agent back on March 18th, just a few weeks before the season. Nick was coming off the best season of his career, slashing .308/.362/.576 in 138 games with 34 HRs, 100 RBIs, 164 hits, 38 doubles, and an OPS of .939 (OPS+ of 137).
Expectations were high from the second Castellanos arrived in Philly, as the Fightins went over the luxury tax to build a team that on paper, had every opportunity to break a decade-long playoff drought.
Castellanos stormed out of the gates with a hit on Opening Day at Citizens Bank Park and a home run the next day, giving Phillies fans a reason to believe this was their year early in the season.
However, after hitting .300 in April, Castellanos fell into a major slump. He hit just .234 in May and .223 in June and went the whole month of July without a single home run.
Yes, Nick Castellanos, the guy who hit 34 home runs last season, in 206 combined at-bats in June and July, he hit just one home run. Castellanos was chasing pitches, something he never did out in Cincinnati. It was obvious his swing was struggling, but his mental approach wasn’t there as well.
There was the typical Philadelphia outrage about how Nick Castellanos wasn’t worth the money. Fans even went as far as to claim that Castellanos should be cut and to “get him out of here”, while media members got in his face and yelled at him after games where he performed bad.
On July 23rd, Nick Castellanos had a chance to knock in a game-tying run but struck out on an outside curveball in the dirt, leaving Philly fans only one option…boo. After the game, Jim Salisbury asked Nick Castellanos if he heard the boos, and all hell broke loose.
Post-Salisbury Nick Castellanos
Over the last 30 days, which leads us to the exact date of the Castellanos vs. Salisbury beef, Nick has slashed .339/.374/.505, with 4 HRs, 13 RBIs, and an OPS of .879. He currently holds a 13-game hitting streak, the highest streak in the National League.
Castellanos’ month of August has been huge for the Phillies, hitting .316/.357/.519 with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs while crushing 25 hits, 4 doubles, and striking out just 18 times, compared to 25+ times in every other month. Nick has seen an obvious boost in his swing since being taken out of the 4-hole, hitting .330 in the 5th spot, compared to just .258 in the clean-up spot.
Castellanos in August (Phillies)
- 2nd in ABs
- 1st in Runs
- 1st in Hits
- 2nd in Doubles
- T-2nd in HRs
- 4th in RBIs
Castellanos’ swing is finally reminding me of his 2021 approach, confident and powerful, and not just throwing the bat out in front, which is how the beginning of the year felt. 2021 Nick thrived in barreling baseballs, and it seems like his swing is slowly inching its way back to that.
Nick Castellanos is a great baseball player, and adjusting to a new team always takes time. The veteran is finally finding his footing again, and he’s already had a huge impact on this baseball team over the last month.
Bryce Harper made his first rehab assignment last night and crushed two homers…it’s safe to say he’s ready to go. Although Harper was supposed to return Monday, don’t be surprised if he comes back Friday (his first day of eligibility).
Phillies Predicted Lineup with Harper
- Kyle Schwarber
- Rhys Hoskins
- Bryce Harper
- JT Realmuto
- Alec Bohm
- Nick Castellanos
- Bryson Stott
- Jean Segura
Up Next for the Phillies
The Phillies look for their third win in a row tonight at 7:05 after a heroic 9th inning, powered by Bryson Stott and Nick Maton. Cristopher Sanchez gets the start for the Phils, going up against T.J Zeuch, who got rocked by the Phillies last Tuesday for 11 hits and 6 earned runs.