I know, I know, you want to call us out for clickbait exaggeration here. You want to comment, “STUNNINGLY different?! I’m NOT stunned and you’re a LIAR. Go Yankees!” I know you do. Your itchy fingers are on the trigger.
And all I can say is … I recommend you scroll down and check out the before/after. Then, tell me you’re not stunned.
When the Yankees dealt Joely Rodriguez to the Mets in exchange for sinker specialist Miguel Castro on Sunday afternoon, the discourse was split into two camps. One party was excited to be adding another erratic guy with a turbo sinker who gets ground balls (Clay Holmes 2.0, and the fourth member of the top 30 relievers in 2021 ground ball rate to be joining the Yankees’ bullpen, alongside Holmes, Jonathan Loaisiga, and Wandy Peralta).
The other party? They were excited to see what Castro would look like beardless. But they probably hadn’t considered he would also soon be … dreadless, just like Andrew McCutchen.
Say what you will about the Yankees’ policy. Outdated, not for the modern game, and nobody’s really in favor of it.
This, though, is astounding.
Yankees reliever Miguel Castro looks completely different
First off, that blue-and-orange glove has got to go. Luckily, according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera, that’s being handled, and Castro will be given some new webbing by end of day Monday.
Maybe just ship it to the Bronx, at this point, though? He’s coming north. Supply chain stuff. Don’t make this more complicated than it has to be.
And, secondly, without the long locks — Miguel, be careful, man. If you went too short on the hair and left some bare skin, that mesh spring training cap could leave you with a burn/tan the likes of which you’ll never be able to unsee.
Want a side-by-side view of the New and Old Miguel? Of course you do.
Hopefully, this transformation also includes a Matt Blake-led maximization of Castro’s unique talents, from controlling the sinker and dotting the corners to using change-of-pace to keep hitters guessing.
Castro provides upside that Rodriguez, while effective, can’t really match as “just another lefty specialist” in a bullpen full of ’em.
Surprisingly … Castro was already more effective against lefties in 2021 than Rodriguez was, anyway. Hopefully, he didn’t lose those reverse splits when he chopped off the locks.