Bryan Price announced this morning the Reds are calling up Luis Castillo from AA-Pensacola to pitch in Friday evening’s game in Washington, D.C. against the Nationals. Castillo has been outstanding this season for the Blue Wahoos. 81 strikeouts and just 13 walks in 80 innings pitched. ERA of 2.58.

The Reds acquired Castillo in the Dan Straily trade this offseason, along with RP Austin Brice and OF Isaiah White.

Here’s what I wrote about Castillo this spring from Arizona:

It would be hard to overstate how dominating Luis Castillo (Straily trade) was today. I stood behind the Reds and Dodgers radar guns and they had Castillo at 97 mph all day, occasionally higher. He had great control working his way through the AA Dodgers. What made him especially dominant was the control he had over his off-speed pitch (80-83 mph). No walks, lots of strikeouts, many weak ground balls and pop-ups. He has a long way to go, but Castillo may end up being the best acquisition of the rebuild. For Dan Straily.

No doubt that this is a tough first start for Castillo. On the road against the Nationals imposing lineup – best in the NL right now. Still, it’s don’t-miss viewing.

In promoting Castillo for this opportunity, the Reds are sending yet another signal to Robert Stephenson about the importance of not walking batters.

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky’s Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve’s thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.

Join the conversation! 33 Comments

  1. This is great news!! I’m super excited to see this guy pitch! I think the rotation once they get everyone healthy should be: Homer, Disco, Finnegan, Castillo and Mahle.

    • I would not eliminate Garret at this time.
      He may need one more stint in the Minors, but he has the ability to be a #1.

      • Uh no. Garrett may become a good starter at the major league level, but his stuff is not of ace caliber.

        • Your view is right on. He has to keep it low, and doesn’t like to pitch inside.

        • Agreed. When Garrett is on, he’s a high #3 or low #2 type guy. I really think he needs to work on his game from the neck up right now. He seems to get frustrated easily and that leads to walks, poor pitches and hits.

          • Not sure what his head has to do with his 91.3 mph average on his four seamer or his below average rpm rate. Ya he looks like he should throw harder but the fact of the matter is he doesn’t, whether this is due to an injury we don’t know. When he throws strikes they are getting hit hard, particularly those in the lower middle of the plate, 97.3 mph exit velocity. His HR/9 is actually higher than Bronson Arroyo’s. His two good games were against the Padres, 27th in offense and the Orioles, 22nd so it’s hard for me to say he could be a #2. If his stuff doesn’t get any better or he doesn’t somehow find pinpoint control, it’s hard seeing him as anything more than a #4 or #5, BOR guy.

          • As a LHP, I believe a little lower velocity is actually the expected norm. We’ve seen him look very sharp and I maintain his “head game” is a major part of why he’s failing right now.

            Then again, neither of us are more than fans, are we?

          • You should look into Garrett stats some more. Here are a couple of scary ones: After a 1-0 count, batters are slugging .798 against him, after 2-1 it goes up to 1.025, 2-0 it goes up to 1.103, ya we aren’t talking a large sample size here but those numbers are pretty bad. Lefties have an .928 OPS against him, righties .940 OPS so basically everyone turns into Joey Votto light when they face Garrett.

            You say his head is the root of his problems but he is actually better in medium leverage situations, 5.80 FIP, than he is in low leverage situations, 7.81 FIP. His FIP when the bases are empty isn’t much different than it is when runners are in scoring position. The thing that is the most alarming is that he has progressively gotten worse as the months go by, presumably because teams now have him on tape. Also, you can take anyone’s best game and say they look like a #2 or #3. Arroyo had a good game against the Cubs does that make him a #2 or #3?

            I want him to succeed too but at this point it doesn’t look like he is anywhere near a #5 let alone a #2. At least with Reed and Stephenson you could say they are able to strike people out at a good clip and they have plus velocity. You can’t really say that with Garrett. I’m not saying he is always going to be this bad as he can still be a decent #4 or #5. Maybe he has some sort of injury right how will add a couple of ticks to his fastball later. I don’t know. I’m just saying someone with his current profile isn’t going to be a #2.

          • Never said the “root” … said it is a major factor right now. Saw it last night and that’s what I meant. I agree that with his current profile, he’s not going to cut it. I’d say he needs to go to AAA and work things out on all fronts.

  2. Very interesting news. Castillo on Friday and Homer Bailey on Saturday. What a weekend to be in the Nation’s Capital.
    Big Sal Romano should be the next man up after Castillo.

  3. A few weeks ago, when I got my tickets for Friday and Saturday games, it was Arroyo and Wojo. Now I’m getting Castillo and Bailey!!!

  4. YES!!! Now things are getting serious for 2017 & 2018.

    • The reports from everyone, catchers and coaches, simply rave about his command for all his pitches. This may be a one-start opportunity, but its a well deserved opportunity. If Castillo does not stick on the 25-man roster, I hope he is optioned back to AAA rather than going back to AA.

      • That would make more sense, he appears ready for AAA. But with Garrett’s struggles, if Castillo can have a good start against a high powered lineup like the Nats, then he may in fact be the one to stick around. The Reds should keep Adleman up until one of Reed/Stephenson/Romano can demonstrate they can go multiple starts without walking a bunch of people.

  5. I like this. Reds need to find some guys who can not walk the entire town.

    • Absolutely. I think that’s the message to Reed and Stephenson in them being bypassed.

    • Sal Romano has excellent K/BB numbers. Probably next on the list of promotions once his pitch count gets back up and he proves he is healthy.

  6. Finnegan is starting tonight for the Bats in what should be his final rehab tuneup before rejoining the 25-man roster.

    • MLB (Sheldon) says that he is at 70-75 pitches today and would need one more rehab based on the schedule that they had for Homer

      • Don’t go bursting the Old Cossack’s bubble! Today is shaping up to be the first day of the rest of the season and I’m pretty stoked that we may be seeing a real trial and competition for the starting rotation going forward.

  7. Its about time!! The Nats are monsters so it will probably be tough but hopefully they’ll give him a run instead of 1 random start like they did w/Reed! Castillo’s velocity and control should play well longterm but I still miss Dan Straily (3.58…14th in NL era). He really has some advanced level thinking where he would find guys that weren’t following the changeup or had some bad swings earlier and then pitch around people or even walk guys into scoring position (or bases loaded) to get the key out! He was fun to watch but I’m excited to see Castillo!

  8. Lets get Mahle to Louisville as well! He’s mastered AA already! Lets get this party started! Aren’t they 2-0 in Winker’s starts? You can’t tell me the regulars don’t feel a little more juiced up with some talented new blood on the team instead of patchwork scrubs from the past!

  9. Both Adleman and Feldman have performed well in the starting rotation and deserve to continue pitching as starters on the 25-man roster. We are quickly approaching crunch time regarding spots in the starting rotation with Bailey and Finnegan rejoining the 25-man roster soon. The young starters may need to actually earn a chance to pitch from the 25-man starting rotation and have to wait their turn if someone is pitching well when given the opportunity. Of course Adleman could be moved to a long relief position in the bullpen or Adleman and/or Feldman could be moved for prospects creating more opportunities in the starting rotation.

  10. So the young starters are beginning to stack up…and in no particular order:

    Davis (7-day minor league DL)
    Mahle (not on the 40-man roster)

    Based on his performance this season, Mahle certainly deserves consideration as one of the top prospects, but he i also the only prospect not on the 40-man roster. There may be only 1 or 2 positions on the 25-man roster for starters from this group and I would certainly hope that the best prospects are starting at the major league level or AAA. That leaves roster fillers (Wojo, Wooten, Ross, Mazarro) looking at Pensacola or the bullpen.

    • Oh, listen to that. The Trade Winds are starting to pick up a little.

      Where the Reds might have lost a little patience or opportunity for some of those listed, there are new teams now entering the possible phase of re-building. There may be a new handful of teams that might be willing to extend more patience or have more opportunity than the Reds now have.

    • If they could just develop 2-3 productive guys out of that group then we could compete next year! Hopefully they could get 2 decent 2018 campaigns out of Disco, Finnegan, and Bailey. That leaves Lorenzen as a big question mark! Not to mention Peralta is a former starter w/great stuff and we can’t forget Adleman. If I was Dick Williams…I’d also try to go out and find one affordable & potentially decent starter as well. Like they find in Disco. It would be nice if we actually had a chance next year and its not more “rebuild” nonsense!

      I noticed Zach Davies got bombed for Milw last night. Feldman would be a nice improvement for them!

      • Cozart/Hernandez/Adleman for Kevin Gausman and prospect(s)

        Done….we have our Jake Arrieta!!

    • That’s right. When you add up Bailey, Disco, Finnegan, Adleman & Feldman it accounts for a total of 13 ready or near-ready starters, almost three rotations. I think that at least one full healthy rotation should be available for the 2nd half.

  11. Straily has been good this year (26th in fWAR ) so it looks like this might be one of those trades that worked out for both teams. Well maybe not so much the Marlins because they weren’t as good as they had hoped.

    • The reds have not been as good as I hoped, That offense deserves better starting pitching.

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About Steve Mancuso

Steve grew up in Cincinnati as a die-hard fan of Sparky's Big Red Machine. After 25 years living outside of Ohio, mostly in Ann Arbor, he returned to the Queen City in 2004. He has resumed a first-person love affair with the Cincinnati Reds and is a season ticket holder at Great American Ball Park. The only place to find Steve's thoughts of more than 140 characters is Redleg Nation. Follow his tweets @spmancuso.


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