Exclusive: Colorado Rockies legend Vinny Castilla on his career, future, and grilling

DENVER - JULY 4: Vinny Castilla #9 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Detroit Tigers on July 4, 2004 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies swept the Tigers with a 10-8 win. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
DENVER - JULY 4: Vinny Castilla #9 of the Colorado Rockies bats against the Detroit Tigers on July 4, 2004 at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado. The Rockies swept the Tigers with a 10-8 win. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /
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8 Aug 1993: Shortstop Vinny Castilla of the Colorado Rockies throws the ball during a game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport (Getty Images).
8 Aug 1993: Shortstop Vinny Castilla of the Colorado Rockies throws the ball during a game against the San Diego Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn/Allsport (Getty Images). /

He came to the Rockies as a part of the 1992 expansion draft before the Rockies took the field in their inaugural season in 1993. He started out as a shortstop and was the Rockies shortstop for most of the ’93 season.

However, due to struggles at the plate (71 OPS+), the signed Walt Weiss to play shortstop. Castilla spent much of ’94 as a backup infielder, cutting his playing time in half and having to rove between all four infield positions.

Entering 1995, though, the Rockies let their third baseman Charlie Hayes go via free agency. As a result, the Rockies gave Castilla the starting third baseman job. He flourished as he became one of the Blake Street Bombers in the Rockies first season at the corner of 20th and Blake, as he hit 32 home runs and 90 RBI with an OPS+ of 113.

With the everyday transition from shortstop to third base, you may think that he would have some challenges but he says that, at least for him, that’s not the case.

"“When you play shortstop, I think you can play anywhere in the infield,” said Castilla. “I think that shortstop is the toughest position in the infield so for me, it was an easy adjustment to move to third base. [I] just had to practice it a little bit more but it wasn’t hard. If you’re going from third base to shortstop, it’s going to be harder but from short to third, I think it’s a lot easier.”"

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