Max Castillo – RHP
Traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of the package for UTIL Whit Merrifield
Right-hander Max Castillo was one player who really impressed Blue Jays fans this season, as the Venezualan started the year in AA but progressed rather quickly to the Buffalo Bisons after just six starts. Castillo would then make a few starts in Buffalo before making his MLB debut on June 19th out of the bullpen, allowing two solo home runs in his first inning of work.
Over the next month and a half, Castillo flirted with the rotation and the bullpen while riding the options train a few times for the Blue Jays. At the big league level, the 23-year-old amassed a 3.05 ERA through nine games (two starts) while allowing five walks and striking out 20 to the tune of a 4.41 FIP. He also limited batters to a .197 batting average and had a 63% strike-throwing rate.
Max Castillo and his time with Kansas City
At the time of the trade, Castillo was back down in AAA and the Royals also had him report to their AAA affiliate as well, where he remained until August 18th and made a spot start against the Rays, going five innings while allowing one earned run (solo home run) off three hits while striking out three. He would go back down to AAA days later and made another spot start for the Royals back on September 4th against the Detroit Tigers, going 4.2 innings and allowing just two earned runs with five strikeouts. In the Royals AAA system, Castillo has struggled through six appearances, allowing 20 earned runs through 20.1 innings.
It seems like the Royals don’t have a specific role in mind for the right-hander so far this season but it wouldn’t be surprising if next season the club moves him into the bullpen or potentially into a full rotation spot. Considering the Jays are struggling with their fifth starter right now, moving Castillo might be one trade Ross Atkins would want back right now.