Now, the Mets concede that he will.
General manager Omar Minaya said Thursday that Castillo will not return when he is eligible to come off the disabled list this weekend, noting that his second baseman is "just not ready yet."
"We're not concerned -- not yet," Minaya said. "We're hoping that it's not going to be a long-term thing."
Castillo, on the disabled list since June 2 after enduring issues with both feet, has been working out in Port St. Lucie, Fla., hitting and taking ground balls, but otherwise staying off his feet as much as possible.
Rather than activate him this weekend, the Mets will continue to give Ruben Tejada the bulk of the starts at second base. Batting only .200 in 30 at-bats, the 20-year-old rookie has nonetheless impressed the Mets with his defensive prowess -- particularly his ability to pivot at second base, a position the natural shortstop only recently began learning to play.
"That's the one thing I thought that we'd miss with Luis is that turn," Manuel said, "We were just talking about that today, how impressed we had been with [Tejada] turning the double play. He's adapted extremely well."