Tuesday, September 05, 2017

Welcome to the Blue, Fabio Castillo!

Another one of the new faces to arrive in Dodger Blue over the Labor Day Weekend holiday is the wonderfully named Fabio Castillo. He is a right-handed pitcher from Samana, Dominican Republic who has both started and relieved at Tulsa and Oklahoma City this season. Per a Dodgers press release:
Castillo, 28, will make his first career appearance on a Major League roster after going 4-8 with one save and posting a 4.04 ERA (41 ER/91.1 IP) in 25 combined games (16 starts) with Triple-A Oklahoma City and Double-A Tulsa. Castillo, who had his contract selected on June 8, has spent the majority of the season with Oklahoma City appearing in 22 games (16 starts) and going 4-8 with a 4.27 ERA, while striking out 85 batters against 31 walks in 84.1 innings.
Castillo, who was a non-roster invitee during this year’s Spring Training and is in his first year with the Dodger organization, has gone 36-59 with 25 saves and a 4.45 ERA in 360 games (66 starts) over 11 minor league seasons with the Rangers (2006-12), Giants (2013), Orioles (2014), Reds (2014), Padres (2016) and Dodgers (2017) systems. The Samana, Dominican Republic, native was originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Texas Rangers on July 2, 2005.

As you may recall, in early June the Dodgers officially placed Fabio on the clubs 40-man roster. From what I understand, he had an opt-out clause in his minor league contract that allowed him to leave the club should he receive outside interest from an overseas team. Apparently, that happened, and the Dodgers thought well enough of him to give him a spot. Now, as a 28-year old he is finally getting a taste of Major League play.

He got into his very first Major League game on Saturday, during the second game of the doubleheader, and did quite well. Fabio came into the game in the fourth inning to spell lefty reliever Edward Paredes, and proceeded to get out all four Padres batters he faced -- striking out two. Unfortunately, his next outing the very next day was not as good. That Sunday he also faced four batters, but was unable to record an out. Castillo allowed three hits, a walk and two earned runs in the seventh inning.

One thing of note about Fabio is his time as a highly sought after 16-year old prospect. Per Harold Uhlman at Think Blue LA:
The Rangers signed him for a bonus in the neighborhood of $250,000. 
Castillo had gained national attention in 2005 when he attended a talent showcase for Perfect Game USA. He consistently hit 93 mph with his fastball and – at age 16 – and was rated a 10, the highest possible rating for a pro prospect. At the time of his signing by Texas he was considered to have the highest ceiling of any Rangers’ prospects. 
Castillo has a four-pitch repertoire which includes a fastball, slider, change-up and splitter. The fastball has remained his dominant pitch but 11 years later it still has a glitch. His fastball, now in the high 90’s, has never really developed into a control pitch. His career K/BB ratio is barely 2/1.
In honor of Fabio Castillo's ascension to the Majors I made the above three fantasy Baseball cards of him.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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