Branch Rickey uttered one of the most famous sayings about baseball when he stated, “Baseball is a game of inches.” If this is true, then one cannot measure such qualities as heart, hustle, and extra effort. These ingredients can make it difficult to defend against as an opposing team. The scouting report may indicate one game plan. That can be executed to a tee, but the end result: Tim Locastro head first dives safely into first base on an infield single to win the game for the Drillers in extra innings. Not many other players in the Texas League would have been safe on that play.
Just glancing at the Tulsa Drillers stat page every now and again will not tell you the whole story on Tim Locastro. The Bomber Alum is tied for 4th in Runs Scored in the Texas League with 33. He has been an outstanding leadoff hitter for the Drillers, Locastro is 10th in the league with 53 hits. He is in the top 10 in 2B’s (Tied 5th with 12), 3B’s (Tied 3rd with 3), and SB’s (Tied 6th with 7). Of course, if you know Tim Locastro at all, he will do whatever it takes to win, he has been HBP 9 times already this season. He is on pace to “take one for the team” roughly 22 times.
In addition to providing as a stellar and steady leadoff hitter, Locastro has served many roles in the field as well. Recently, I asked him about how tough it is for him to play short stop, second base and center field. “It hasn’t been that difficult, I have gotten to the point where my role is to be able to play a bunch of different positions. I am ready to play everyday, where ever I am needed.” The Dodgers Front Office have placed a large value upon utility and players being able to have multiple roles within the team, with this in mind, Tim Locastro fits that mold. How many gloves does a player like that need to carry at a time. “I have 4 total gloves that are ready to go. I have my infield glove, my outfield glove, a back up infield glove. Then I have a first base glove if I’m needed at first. Always gotta be prepared!” With that sentiment in mind, would you be willing to put on the catcher’s gear or get on the pitcher’s mound? “I would definitely give both catching and pitching a try if I was needed there. I think with some practice I could find a way to catch, although it might not be pretty. The same goes for pitching; I wouldn’t throw hard, but I’d try some funky wind ups to try to mess with the hitter to get them out.” Anything to be on that field, helping his team to victory.
Tim Locastro is playing excellent baseball for the Dodgers Double AA affiliate. For those who may wonder about the mindset of this young man, look no further than his response to this query: Are you playing at the level you expect out of yourself? “I’m never satisfied with my level of play, always looking to get better and do better. I feel like I should hit a thousand and never get out, but baseballs a tough game and it’s a game of adjustments. Hopefully we can start winning more games here in the coming weeks and we can get hot as a team and make a playoff push for the first half.” He is a terminator when it comes to beating the other team, relentless. Great news for the Drillers now and the Dodgers in the future!
Tim Locastro was acquired by the Dodgers in 2015 from the Blue Jays organization. Easily one of the most likeable players in the entire Dodgers system, well, unless your playing against him. The New York native has a reputation for doing whatever it takes to beat his opponents on the field. Locastro, who has a knack for “taking one for the team,” also accomplished the rare feat of hitting for the cycle in May of last season.
Tim is one of our favorites at Dodgers-LowDown, so we wanted to find out how his spring training was going to this point.
1. Coolest experience of camp so far for you??
The coolest experience so far of camp was when I played in the big league games Vs the Cubs at their facility in Mesa. It was a Saturday game with a sell out crowd of 15k. The atmosphere was amazing and fun. Looking forward to playing in some more big league games this spring.
2. I know all the instructors are amazing, but who do you feel is the one or two coaches that just make the game easy for you to learn??
I wouldn’t be able to choose just one or two coaches that make the game easier because your around so many great baseball minds every day its hard to pick just one or two. I think the best thing is to take one or two ideas from each coach and apply that to yourself. If you do that the game as a whole will come easier.
3. I know your style is very much of a player who does not back down from a challenge, who is the one pitcher that if you had a chance to impress with a tough at-bat against, who would that be??
I would rarely if ever back down from a challenge. If I could pick one pitcher all time to get an at-bat against it would be Mariano Rivera. Growing up in NY I was able to watch him pitch both live and on television all the time. Numerous people have said his cutter was one of the best pitches if not the best pitch of all time. I would love the challenge of seeing just how dominant he was as a pitcher.
4. I know you play many positions defensively, where have been at the most so far this spring??
During spring I have been moving around all over the field. I have been getting a majority of my work between SS and 2B but, still take some live reads in CF during batting practice.
5. For Dodgers fans coming out to Camelback Ranch, where would Tim Locastro recommend we go eat?? Favorite restaurant in town??
The one place I would go eat DeFalco’s Italian Eatery in Scottsdale. I’ve been there twice already and will be going back a few more times. I am a huge sandwich/sub guy and both times I’ve went there the subs have been “on the money”. I would recommend the “Il Purista” or the chicken parmesan sub with a side of tomato sauce to dip.
Already thinking of that sub next time I’m in town, thanks for the recommendation Tim. We all look forward to seeing you playing and succeeding in more big league games this spring and for many years to come. 2017 is promising with players like Tim Locastro setting the table for our big boppers of the future!