-- In a perfect world, Vinny Castilla would still be playing for the Colorado Rockies.
"If they offer me something close to what they had in Washington, it would be a no-brainer," Castilla said Friday, before the Nationals beat the Rockies, 4-2. "To stay at home with my kids and my family and finish my career here. But they wanted to go young. They wanted to change everything.
"I don't blame them. That's the only way they're going to find out if this kid can play, this kid cannot."
Castilla, the Nationals' 38-year-old third baseman, signed a two-year, $6.2 million deal with Washington. But he forged his baseball identity in two stints with the Rockies. From 1995 to '99, he hit at least 32 homers per year and averaged 112 RBI. When he returned last season after stints with Tampa Bay, Houston and Atlanta, he hit 35 homers and drove in a National League-best 131 runs. He received a loud ovation when he first came to bat Friday.
"This is the organization that gave me my first shot as an everyday player," Castilla said. "I'll never forget that."
These days, though, Castilla seems to be a shell of himself, in large part because of tendinitis in his left knee. He is batting just .243 and slugging just .384, well off his career averages of .280 and .489.
"It's going to be a nagging injury the rest of the year," he said. "But I'm going to play through it."
Second baseman Jose Vidro said he is battling strains in both his quadriceps muscles, the reason he looks so slow on the base paths. "I been out there because I want to be out there," Vidro said. "But this hurts a lot." Vidro, who missed nearly two months with tendon damage in his ankle, admitted that he should have spent more than just four games on a minor league rehabilitation assignment.
Friday, though, he said he and the athletic trainers changed his massage therapy, and he felt much better. "I'm happy," he said, "because I think it might get better now."