Willi Castro Played With a Bean Ball Magnet in His Pocket vs Pirates

Willi Castro, Minnesota Twins
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Twins finished a series with the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend, and wrapping up a road trip is always a welcomed reality. Coming home though, no one was more ready to leave than utility man Willi Castro. Having been plunked by Pirates pitchers four times, he had every right to be irritated.

Rocco Baldelli’s group had shown frustrating levels of ineptitude at the dish during the first two games of their series in Pittsburgh, failing to score runs in either contest. Adding injury to insult in game two, Willi Castro was hit by pitch twice.

Willi Castro wears it vs Pittsburgh Pirates… over and over

Finally, after five straight losses, the Twins got back in the win column on Sunday… and Castro took TWO more bean balls. Pirates pitcher Kyle Nicolas uncorked the first bean ball. Then, in the 10th, reliever Ben Heller forgot how to pitch.

Not only did he hit Castro for the fourth time in two games, but also hitting Farmer and Buxton too. On the inning, Heller gave up seven runs (six earned) on five hits, to go with those three HBP. For Castro, the frustration had boiled over at that point.

The Twins had watched Heller show an inability to simply put the ball over the plate, and while it was an offspeed pitch that got Castro, Twins radio announcer Kris Atteberry put it succinctly in saying that, “there is a reasonable expectation you can throw a pitch over the plate.”

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Minnesota Twins Racking Up Plunkings

Following Castro’s two hit by pitches on Sunday, he is now second on the team with nine. Only Ryan Jeffers has been hit more (10). The team has been hit 44 times, which trails only the Cleveland Guardians 47 times. No other team in baseball has surpassed the 40 hit by pitch mark.

Ryan Jeffers
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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It would be wise for Minnesota to figure out alternative ways to generate on-base percentage. They have struggled to find consistency throughout the lineup this year, and while being hit by a pitch offers a free 90-feet, a less damaging plan to generate production would be a more dialed in approach at the plate. I’m sure they have considered that, however.

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