Rusney Castillo meets the media Wednesday. (

Rusney Castillo sets scene for major league debut

Rob Bradford
September 17, 2014 - 4:05 pm

PITTSBURGH -- He landed in town at 11:30 a.m. Got to the hotel at 12:30 p.m. And hopped the 1 p.m. team bus for PNC Park. Three hours later, Rusney Castillo met with the media in the visitors dugout prior to his big league debut. "I'm very excited, to say the least," the outfielder said via translator Adrian Lorenzo. "Not only to be in the major leagues, but to be in the major leagues with the Boston Red Sox. Very excited." After speaking with the media for approximately 15 minutes, Castillo adjourned to the Red Sox' clubhouse, talked on the phone for a bit and then prepared for his first batting practice with the team. Here is what he had to say during his pregame get-together: THE BENEFITS OF VETERANS OF DAVID ORTIZ AND YOENIS CESPEDES: I'€™m very happy about having guys like that on the team. It'€™s been very helpful to this point, and I would imagine it will continue to be very helpful. I can see it being something that'€™s very important to my assimilation to the big leagues. PREPARATION FOR FIRST GAME:  From all the advice I'€™ve gotten, I'€™ve been told to do what I do, play the game that I'€™ve learned and know how to play. Just give it a 100 percent every day and come out and keep doing my work and hopefully it will go the right way. HOW FEELS HEADING INTO INTRODUCTION TO MLB: Aside from spending the several weeks I did in rookie, Double-A and Triple-A, I was always in very good shape and training very hard leading up to signing with the Red Sox so I actually feel I'€™m in a pretty good shape baseball-wise. FEELINGS ABOUT STINT IN THE MINORS: It was a great experience. It was good to play, not only in minor league games but to play in high leverage games and at that caliber. I think that will be beneficial for me being able to adapt. IMPRESSION OF ENVIRONMENTS THUS FAR: It was actually really nice to see, even at the minor league level, such big crowds. You can obviously tell the difference between the crowds in Cuba and here. But it'€™s been nice to say. I'€™ve enjoyed it a lot. ON HAVING SO MANY DIFFERENT MANAGERS IN SHORT TIME: It was actually a great experience to get a taste of four different managing styles, coaching styles. They all allowed me to let me play my game and give me some space, but also guided me in the right direction. That was a very special experience to learn from several different groups of coaches and staffs. HOW MANY NAMES DID HE LEARN?: I'€™m not going to lie to you and say I learned every single name. A lot has been thrown at me and I'€™m still gaining a grasp of the English language, but I'€™ve learned a fair amount of names and gotten to know a fair amount of people, so I think I'€™m getting there. MOST FANS PLAYED IN FRONT OF?: Probably the highest number of fans, the biggest following, would probably be in Cuba. Especially the team I played for, which was pretty popular. Probably Cuba was the biggest crowds. HOW MANY FANS FOR GAMES IN CUBA?: The stadiums would fill up about as full as they could be. Tens of thousands. Obviously not as big as they are here, but it wasn'€™t just the number of people. Those were a lot noisier crowds., using all different sorts of horns and things like that. But I expect it to much bigger here. SATISFIED WITH PROGRESS THUS FAR?: I'€™ve been pretty happy with the way things have worked out, and not just the success on the field but the relationships that I'€™ve been able to develop with the coaching staff, the clubhouse staff, other teammates, that'€™s been really beneficial as well. WHAT ADVICE HAVE YOU BEEN GIVEN?: I'€™ve been counseled very well to just kind of stay within my own game and not really feel pressure to stay disciplined with what I know how to do and kind of take everything as it comes and not get too overexcited or not feel too much pressure. ON APPROACH: I'€™ve always been a disciplined player. Although I have been counciled on that, it'€™s almost like I'€™ve been counciled on something I was already doing for the most part so I don'€™t foresee myself changing that approach in any way at the big league level. I'€™m just going to kind of play the same game I'€™ve been playing.'€ ON IF STRIVE TO LIVE UP TO EXPECTATIONS SET BY OTHER CUBANS IN MLB: Not really. It'€™s not going to affect the way I approach the game. you obviously, I admire those guys and you respect the success they'€™ve had here and hope for that to happen but it'€™s not going to be '€¦ I'€™m not going to use them as a barometer for how I measure my success. They'€™ve counciled me a lot. There'€™s been a lot of Cuban players that have reached out and counciled me on what the big leagues are going to be like and how to carry myself. It'€™s helped a lot. It'€™s more I admire those guys and what they'€™ve done as opposed to me really comparing myself to them. ON HITTING HOME RUN IN PAWTUCKET'S LAST GAME: It was a very exciting and emotional moment. Obviously I was just trying to make contact with the ball in my first at-bat and get on base and luckily it was able to leave the park. Running around the bases, I was really excited and emotional and it really hit home when I slapped hands with the guy at home and came into the dugout and was able to celebrate with teammates, especially in such a big game.