Phillies cut ties with Castillo

The Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday became the second team in less than two weeks to release veteran second baseman Luis Castillo, MLB.com reported.

The Phillies signed the 35-year-old infielder to a minor-league contract last week after the Mets released him on March 18 following three seasons with the New York club.

The move to snag the 15-year veteran was seen as a potential fill-in option for an ailing Chase Utley, who has been battling patellar tendinitis throughout spring training. But the club has decided to go forward with the infield options it had before bringing Castillo aboard.

"It’s a testament to the people that we have here," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said about the decision to release Castillo. "The personnel we have here makes us confident."

The fact the Phillies offered Castillo only the minor-league deal suggested the team was not entirely sold on his potential to garner playing time at the big-league level.

"Basically, we had a short time in spring training to watch (Castillo)," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "We have a couple of (other) guys that were there the whole way that we really like."

Wilson Valdez, who looks likely to become the starter on Opening Day, has hit .317 this spring. He made 111 appearances for the Phillies last season, hitting .258 with 16 doubles and 35 RBI.

Castillo is a .290 career hitter but amassed a dismal .235 average in 86 games last season. He hit .273 in seven games for the Phillies this spring.

MLB.com previously reported that the three-time All-Star has lost some speed and quickness, according to scouts who have watched him the past year. Castillo has also had problems staying healthy because of knee injuries.