Coffee and Clippings: ‘It’s time’ for Castillo to show his worth

Sean McAdam (@Sean_McAdam) of CSN New England spotlights Rusney Castillo and what the Red Sox are expecting and hoping out of him…

FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was almost two years ago that the Red Sox won a bidding war for Rusney Castillo, lavishing him with a $72.5 million contract.

Yet, after watching Castillo for the final month of 2014 and all of last year, the Red Sox aren’t entirely sure what they have.

They hope Castillo is an athletic player, an above-average defender and baserunner, and a potential impact bat.

But they’ve yet to see that play out on a consistent basis at the big leagues. A series of nagging injuries (hamstring, oblique, jammed shoulder) have conspired to limit his time on the field and deprive him of the opportunity to get any rhythm going.

Jen McCaffrey (@jcmccaffrey) of MassLive covers Rick Porcello on missteps last season with Boston Red Sox…

It can’t get much worse for Porcello than it did last year.

The 27-year-old had his worst season in the majors in 2015, derailed by an atrocious first half and salvaged somewhat by a promising second half.

The righthander finished with a 4.92 ERA in 28 starts, surrendering a career-high 25 home runs. A trip to Triple-A Pawtucket helped him find command of his pitches again and in his final seven starts, he put up a 3.58 ERA.

On Thursday, Porcello returned to the mound in Boston’s second Grapefruit League game against Minnesota with hope and expectation that 2016 will be different.

Rob Biertempfel (@BiertempfelTrib) of TribLive on the uncertain third base role for the Pirates…

BRADENTON, Fla. — The question most often asked in Pirates camp this spring is whether third baseman Jung Ho Kang will be ready for Opening Day. So far, there is no definitive answer.

Kang had surgery in September to repair damage to his left leg and knee after a collision at second base. He began working out at the Pirate City complex in January and this week is ramping up his on-field activities.

“We get reports on (Kang) on a daily basis,” first base coach Nick Leyva said. “Some days, it says it looks like he’s going to be ready (April 3). Other days, it says it might be a week in. You never know.”

Derrick Goold (@dgoold) of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Tommy Phan’s newly acquired clear vision…

JUPITER, Fla. • The first time this spring Tommy Pham tested his new contact lenses when batting against a pitcher, he didn’t need them to recognize the teammate on the mound, or know that Adam Wainwright can leave even the keenest-eyed hitter unsure of what he just saw.

Wainwright worked his way through the live batting practice round, his first of spring, and unspooled his assortment of pitches. He fed Pham a cutter. He showed Pham a sinker. Pham connected with each of them. He saw them, he explained later.

He saw them earlier. He saw them clearer.

“For me, it was just … happiness,” Pham said. “In your mind, when you feel like you’re seeing something better, you’re more confident.”

Kevin Kernan (@WheresKernan) of the NY Post on the Mets tinkering with Yoenis Cespedes’ swing…

Cespedes is focusing on driving the ball up the middle and to right-center. With his immense strength, the results have been remarkable. On Wednesday he drove a pitch high over the batter’s eye in center field. On Thursday he was crushing balls to center and right-center throughout the session.

All with one goal in mind. To make him a more dangerous hitter.

“He’s all in,’’ hitting coach Kevin Long told The Post on Thursday. “Cespedes is very receptive to advice, to working on stuff, he’s great to work with. He’s a baseball player.’’…