Miguel Castro: A Blue Jays Prospect on a Fast Track?


Last season, the Toronto Blue Jays showed a new found confidence in promoting their young studs through the system. We saw it with Dalton Pompey and Daniel Norris. The upcoming 2015 season will go a long way to telling us if this is a new philosophy by the Blue Jays. Could there be other prospects they fast track to the big leagues? Maybe, perhaps, Miguel Castro?

Dropping the idea that Roberto Osuna could be ready to toe the rubber at Rogers Centre at some point this season is not really shocking. It seems like Osuna is a name we’ve been hearing about for a long time. Yet, the now 20 yr old from Mexico has not exactly excelled in every stop he’s made thus far. Obviously, the Tommy John surgery and recovery in 2013- 2014 was a setback in his development. Upon return, he ended the season in Dunedin with less than stellar overall numbers, but did collect 32 K in 23 innings. However, this is a player the Blue Jays are still really high on.

But, then there is the case of Miguel Castro. At the State of the Franchise event, GM, Alex Anthopoulos went on record as saying that Miguel Castro is going to be an impact player. He has mentioned several times that Castro is impressing the team’s brass. And, with better numbers than Osuna, it makes sense that they like him so much.

Castro’s 186 K to just 55 BB over his pro career is certainly tantalizing. Despite that, as excited as this club is about Castro, what isn’t easy to see is why they are in such a rush to push him up to the big leagues. It is even more perplexing that they are setting a soft goal of Opening Day.

Castro is just 20 yrs old. And, his ‘career’ thus far consists of 170 innings over 2+ seasons, none higher than A+ Dunedin. One would think that for a player so young, the Blue Jays would like to see more innings from him at a higher level in the system. It is not like he was unhittable and over powering everyone in the low minors. Even with a WHIP under 1 (0.996), we have to remember that he did that against A+ players. Granted, those A+ players are, on average, 4 years older than he is.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

What is even more perplexing is that the whole conversation around Castro has involved sending him to the bullpen. But, his time thus far has been as a starter. He started 30 of the 39 games he’s been in. Despite picking up a save in 2013, it is difficult to see why this transition is on the minds of the Blue Jays. Castro is a starter. But, could the Blue Jays see more benefit from using that 6’5″ frame and mid to high 90’s velocity in an area of need- the bullpen.

With the bullpen being a target for improvements this winter, the Blue Jays pretty much left it alone. Without making an major additions, they’ll be forced to look within their own organization for help. And, with Brett Cecil suffering through some shoulder inflammation, the bullpen situation may be looking that much more desperate. But, is it desperate enough to rush Castro through the system? Is it enough to change him from a starter to a reliever?

It is difficult to figure out the reasoning behind this push. It doesn’t appear to be a forced decision based on Cecil’s situation. AA has been pushing this idea for much longer than that. But, the question is “why”? Does he feel like there are no other options to fill out the bullpen? Does he think an inexperienced Castro is better than, say, Greg Infante? Ryan Tepara? Blake McFarland? Or Arik Sikula? Looking at one of these guys would allow Castro to develop into the high end starter that many think he could become.

Are the Blue Jays rushing into a knee jerk decision? Are they following through with a plan that he been set a long time ago? It is hard to tell unless we’re inside the board room. But, the push for Miguel Castro to join the bullpen, by Opening Day, is certainly one that is confusing.

What do you think?

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