Juan Castro rarely plays like a 38-year-old and apparently he heals faster than someone his age as well.
The veteran infielder returned to the Albuquerque Isotopes’ lineup in Saturday’s 7-6 win over Memphis. He went 2-for-3 while playing flawless defense at shortstop.
“He’s gone almost a month and comes back and gets two hits right away, so I would say he’s on the road to recovery,” manager Lorenzo Bundy said. “He has to get his legs back under him.
“But he’s going to play five innings (Sunday) and we’ll see where we are after that. He fielded his position like he always does.”
Castro played third base Sunday and while he was fine in the field, he went 0-for-3 at the plate. He will take Monday off and continue to work his way back to being able to play nine innings.
The cast of the Albuquerque-set TV series “In Plain Sight,” bolstered by other local celebrities including Albuquerque Journal sports editor Randy Harrison, defeated the the cast of “Breaking Bad” 5-4 in a softball game prior to the Isotopes game on Sunday.
Star Mary McCormack’s squad rallied with two runs in the top of the fifth before the game had to be called so the Isotopes and Redbirds could start on time.
Some of the Isotopes snuck into the game as pinch hitters, including John Lindsey, Justin Sellers, John Ely and Tim Redding. None of them were starting Sunday.
Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry pitched for the “Breaking Bad” team, which also saw some great defense from actor Giancarlo Esposito at third base, but did not get much offense from team manager (and three-time Emmy winner) Bryan Cranston.
Around the Lab
- Closer Roman Colon was activated from the bereavement list prior to Saturday’s game. To make room on the roster, Albuquerque released right-handed reliever Jon Huber, who was 0-1 with a 10.24 ERA in eight games.
- Infielder Joe Becker was reassigned to rookie-level Ogden, a paper move only as the Raptors’ season does not start until late June. Becker was deactivated to make room for Castro.
- A total of 105 Little League teams participated in Saturday’s pregame banner parade. It was the most in the history of the annual event.
- Saturday’s crowd of 12,870 fans was the largest to date this season. Only three crowds were larger last season, topped by a crowd of 15,276 on July 3.
- Sunday’s crowd topped out at 9,382 humans and 152 dogs in the Isotopes’ first “Bark in the Park.” The canines enjoyed the game from the right field berm, but sadly, no player hit a home run to right for them to chase.