Pittsburgh Pirates: Revisiting Jose Castillo’s Historic Week in 2006
By Marty Leap
In the last week of May 2006 late Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Jose Castillo put together a historically good week for the Bucs.
During the Pittsburgh Pirates stretch of 20 consecutive losing seasons between 1992 and 2012 they had plenty of players that fans may have forgotten about. One of these players may be infield Jose Castillo. However, hopefully, not everyone has forgotten about Castillo.
First and foremost, Castillo passed away in December 2018. This happened when a car the former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder was riding in was ambushed by highway robbers in his native Venezuela. This alone should cause Pirate fans to remember Castillo.
As for his playing career, Castillo made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2004. Quickly becoming a mainstay in the Pirate infield, by 2006 Castillo was a well known name among fans of the Pirates.
Then in the last week of May, 2006, Castillo put together the best week of his career. For the year, Castillo finished 2006 with a .253/.299/.382 slash line. His wRC+ was 72, he collected 39 extra base hits, he drove in 65 runs, and he finished with a -0.8 fWAR. Overall, well below average numbers.
However, during his historic week in late May Castillo was a world beater. During this stretch, he appeared to be on his way to potentially emerging as one of the better offensive second basemen in the NL.
From May 26 through June 1 2006, Castillo slashed .458/.500/1.292 in 30 plate appearances. He hit six home runs and collected eight extra base hits, on his way to being named the NL Player of the Week.
When this week ended, Castillo was slashing .311/.359/.500 for the season with a 114 wRC+. He continued to ride this hot through the next few weeks. In fact, he would finish 3rd in National League All-Star voting for second basemen in 2006. So, Castillo was that close to joining Jason Bay and Freddy Sanchez as Pittsburgh Pirates All-Stars at PNC Park in 2006.
Following the 2006 season, Castillo spent one more in Pittsburgh. After splitting the 2008 season between the then Florida Marlins and the Houston Astros, he would not play at the MLB level again. He would then spend 2009 in China and 2010/2011 in Japan before calling it a career.