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Adjustments helping rookie Castellanos adapt at plate

Adjustments helping rookie Castellanos adapt at plate

DETROIT -- The transition to life in the Majors hasn't always been an easy one for Tigers rookie third baseman Nick Castellanos, who has had to make adjustments.

For example, at the end of May, during a road series in Oakland, the 22-year-old worked with hitting coach Wally Joyner to come up with some solutions to the pitches that had been giving Castellanos the most trouble. For the most part, these were breaking balls low in the zone that Castellanos simply lacked the plate discipline to lay off of.

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"It's difficult to hit well when you're swinging at bad pitches," said Castellanos, who debuted last season, but still has his rookie status.

Joyner and Castellanos also worked on the placement of his hands and feet.

There's more to it than just positioning and knowing which pitches to ignore. Pitchers at this level are far better equipped to take risks in crucial counts.

"This isn't the Minor Leagues -- you're not always going to get a 3-1 fastball, you're not always going to get a 3-2 fastball," Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said. "These guys throw strikes with multiple pitches. A 3-2 count is no longer a fastball count. Not at the Major League level."

The adjustments have helped -- since that Oakland series, his batting average has risen from a season low of .229 to .274.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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