ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Cuban outfielder Rusney Castillo will be a man among boys when he makes his professional debut for Boston on Sunday afternoon in Fort Myers playing for the team’s rookie level Gulf Coast League affiliate.
Castillo, 27, will be playing on a team whose oldest players are 22 and has 22 teenagers listed on its roster. He will be playing in a playoff game against the Gulf Coast League Yankees, who will host the GCL Red Sox in the first game of the best-of-three finals Saturday in Tampa.
The GCL Red Sox won a one-game semifinal playoff against the GCL Cardinals, 7-4, on Friday in Jupiter.
Castillo obtained his P-1A work visa from U.S. Custom and Immigration Services on Wednesday, making him eligible to play in games. He has been working out at the team’s facility since Wednesday and will continue to do so on Saturday, Sox manager John Farrell said.
“We want him to go through another day of work tomorrow,’’ Farrell said. “That’ll set him up for his first activity Sunday.’’
Farrell said Castillo is expected to play three innings. The game will not be held in JetBlue Park but in one of the practice fields behind the facility. Field One has been mentioned as the most likely locale, with first pitch scheduled for noon.