It was nice knowing ya while it lasted
I could add a few more names to this list, but the last one I wanted to bring up is a player that’s no longer with the Blue Jays. Max Castillo is a pitcher that I had barely heard of prior to this year, and he turned into a crucial depth arm for the Blue Jays while he was here, and also the centrepiece of a trade that brought Whit Merrifield to Toronto.
It was a shaky start to Castillo’s MLB career, but he settled in quickly and pitched well whether the Blue Jays asked him to start or come out of the bullpen. Prior to the trade his appeared in nine big league games including two starts, and posted a 3.05 ERA and a 0.968 WHIP over 20.2 innings pitched while in with the Jays.
Castillo’s emergence was especially helpful because it came at a time when the rotation really needed the support. For that reason, I was a bit surprised that the Blue Jays traded him to Kansas City prior to the Aug 2nd deadline, but they did get a versatile and experienced veteran in Whit Merrfield in return. He might not be the star he once was, but he ability to play in the outfield and also at second base is really important for this roster. He’s also a 2x All-Star who has led the American League in hits twice before.
For a player like Merrifield that the Royals had resisted traded for years, I was surprised that they moved him for Castillo and another prospect by the name of Samad Taylor. Again, I’ll recognize that he may not be in his prime anymore, but it’s also fair to say that the Royals may have held on too long as they have rebuilt their roster. Fortunately for the Blue Jays they received such an encouraging first nine MLB outings from Castillo that it caught the attention of some folks in Kansas City.
As you think about all of the players that have helped the Blue Jays get through the first 3/4’s of this season, who do you see as the unsung heroes of this team?