Keeping a close eye on Miguel Castro

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Since being sent down to Buffalo on May 4th, Miguel Castro has started 3 games for the Bisons. He is 0-1 in those three starts with a 3.38 ERA. Castro has pitched 5.1IP and has thrown 60% of his pitches for strikes.

In his Herd début, May 7th against a very good Durham Bulls team, Castro throw 22 of his 35 pitches for strikes, lasting one inning. He allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, a walk and struck out 2 batters. Nothing special, but what else could be expected from a guy who was used primarily out the bullpen all spring and later being slotted into the 9th inning.

Castro’s second outing came on May 12th were he once again faced off against the Durham Bulls. In this outing Castro would walk 3 batters over 2.0IP on 43-23. He managed to throw slightly over 50% of his pitches for strikes, which just won’t cut it in the majors; however, some positives can be taken from this outing. Miguel did strike out one third of all batters he faced, strucking out 3 of the 9 batters he faced. He no-hit the Bulls over his brief outing, and he induced 3 ground ball outs versus zero fly ball outs. The fact that Miguel managed to keep the ball on the ground is enough to walk from this outing with passing marks.

His most recent start against the West division leading Columbus Clippers (23-16) on May 18th saw him face Cleveland Indians Top Prospect Francisco Lindor, slugging 1st baseman Jesus Aguilar, and a rehabbing Yan Gomes. Of his three Triple-A starts, this was his worse. He allowed 2 long balls in the first inning, but because of a Matt Hague throwing error, none of the 3 runs that cross the plate in the inning were earned.

He would narrowly escape the 2nd. He allowed two singles and a walk to load the bases with one out, before getting the next two batters to fly out and ground out to end the inning. He struck out 2, but walked 2 and allowed 5 hits. The young right-hander allowed 7 of the 14 batters he faced to reach base.

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  • Could Miguel Castro benefit from being sent further down in the farm system, instead of heading to Buffalo?

    Maybe.

    Are the Jays being too aggressive with a promising and potential star and risk stunting his development?

    I think so.

    It’s not as though he’s pitched horrible or appeared over matched in Toronto or in Buffalo. It’s not like the league will continue to hit .370 or have a .444 BABIP through an entire season. These number are bound to level out because Castro is not a 8.88 FIP pitcher.

    These inflated numbers have a lot to do with a small sample size. A lot has to do with Castro being stretched out after being utilized as a late inning reliever to start the year. Miguel has seen his pitch count increase from 35 pitches in his first start to 43 in his second and 57 in his last start, so it’s clear that Castro is being stretched out. It is this yo-yo act that is infuriating to watch.

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    I know that baseball is a game of adjustments. I know that circumstances may require plans to be changed and development plans to be altered. Castro won a job in Spring, but the league caught up with him and now he needs to make adjustments, but not as a member of the Buffalo Bisons.

    I would have put Castro down in Dunedin for 5 starts or until his pitch count reached 80. Allow him to dominate and dominate with his secondary pitches that he wasn’t able to use while in Toronto’s pen. With Toronto, Castro relied on his overpowering fastball to get major league batters out, which did nothing for refining his change or slider.

    Against lesser competition throwing only 82 of your 135 pitches for strikes would be less of an issue and would build his confidence, not that I really think this young man has any confidence issues.