Phillies' Nick Castellanos enlightens us with yet another hilariously deep quote

As he enters his age-32 season, Castellanos shared his thoughts on aging in the sport and keeping his mind and body fresh.

Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Castellanos shares his thoughts on aging in baseball with a hilarious but brilliant quote
Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Castellanos shares his thoughts on aging in baseball with a hilarious but brilliant quote / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

To be milk, or to be wine — those are the only two scenarios for every baseball player, according to Philadelphia Phillies right fielder Nick Castellanos.

The Athletic's Matt Gelb spoke with Castellanos (subscription required) about his offseason preparation, which included coaching son Liam in baseball, practicing baserunning with him and joining his son in learning jiu-jitsu.

When talking about getting older in the sport, he said: "There's a lot of baseball players that are like milk. Milk is only good when it's fresh. And then as you leave it out a while, it spoils. There are some other baseball players that are like wine. What happens with wine?"

The obvious reply is it ages well, which Castellanos confirmed: "Exactly. Those are the only two kinds. You’re either milk or wine. There’s no in the middle."

The 32-year-old outfielder is entering his 12th season in the major leagues, third with the Phillies, so he knows something about keeping his mind and body prepared for the grind of a long, 162-plus-game season. Last season, he appeared in 157 regular-season games, the most since the 2018 season with the Detroit Tigers.

Castellanos got off to a red-hot start last season, slashing .301/.344/.496 with an OPS of .840, 13 home runs, and 55 RBI before the All-Star Game break. On top of that, he was the only Phillies position player to be selected for the game.

According to Gelb, stats from Stathead show that in 2023, only 17 players were at least 32 years old and eligible for the batting title based on the number of at-bats, the fewest since 1968.

His first-half stats didn't hold, but he put in a solid year overall.

Even though it was his 11th season, his batting average was around his career average at .272 and his 29 home runs were his second-most, while his 106 RBI represented a career high. He also stole a career-high 11 bases in 2023. After putting up the second-worst strikeout percentage of this career (27.6 percent on a career-high 185 strikeouts), though, the right fielder will be looking to cut down on the swings and misses.

The jiu-jitsu training started after the Phillies lost Game 7 of the National League Championship Series against the Arizona Diamondbacks as a way to work out frustration and find relaxation.

After showing out in the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves — to the tune of a .467/.529/1.267 slashline, 1.796 OPS and four home runs — Castellanos' bat went silent in the NLCS. He recorded one hit in Game 1 and was shut down during the rest of the series, slashing .042/.111/.167 as he lost discipline at the plate and struck out 11 times.

As training on the baseball diamond and the mat blended with family life to keep him busy all offseason, Castellanos told Gelb that he feels better than ever.

Castellanos is no stranger to eye-catching quotes and reactions

This isn't the first time Castellanos has made headlines with his quotes and actions since arriving in Philadelphia ahead of the 2022 season.

During the 2023 MLB All-Star festivities, in one of his most memorable quotes, Castellanos gave the only appropriate answer when asked to explain why Scooby-Doo is his favorite superhero:

In 2023, the Phillies and Washington Nationals met in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, to play in the Little League Classic. During an in-game interview with a member of Australia's team, Castellanos delivered a wholesome quote to the kid, saying: "Wow, so just a citizen of the world, I see."

Even in the playoffs, when being informed of his history-making performance of two home runs in back-to-back games, the laid-back outfielder had a very chill reaction.

Earlier in spring training this year, Liam was distracted watching and celebrating his dad's home run. Only problem? He was the team's batboy that game and was slacking on his duties:

After he left the game that day, Castellanos told reporters: "Apparently [he got distracted]. Because my bat was sitting right there. As a dad, I’ve got to hold him accountable."

Any interaction involving Castellanos has the opportunity to become instantly memorable. From moments with his son to taking teammates to psychedelic art installations, there's rarely a dull moment with him on the roster.

Catchy quote aside, though, the pressure will be on Castellanos heading into 2024 after an up-and-down season last year and as expectations are high for the team again this year.

In nine spring training games heading into Friday, Castellanos is slashing .143/.143/.429 with eight strikeouts and no walks. In 21 at-bats, however, he does have two homers.

As he enters his 12th MLB season and is looking ahead to the three years left on his contract, Castellanos and the Phillies will be hoping his continued training and relaxed mindset do indeed prove he is aging like fine wine.