Results tagged ‘ Alberto Castillo ’
Can he be a major-league left-handed relief specialist?
Absolutely. He hit a rough patch with the Orioles in 2011 — he allowed five home runs in 10 2/3 innings, leading to a 10.13 ERA — but even with that he has a 4.33 ERA (102 ERA+) in his major-league career. He has a 2.86 ERA in AAA. By defninition, left-handed relief specialists aren’t terribly consistent, because if they were consistent they’d move into a more significant role. He declared free agency when the Orioles tried to remove him from the 40-man roster and signed with the Diamondbacks; he signed with the Dodgers for 2012.
Could he move into a larger role?
He’s pitched well enough in AAA to suggest that he could, but he’s a sidearming lefthanded pitcher, and the conventional wisdom is that sidearming lefthanded pitchers are very vulnerable to right-handed batters. So he probably can’t move into a larger role and almost certainly won’t.
Sometimes, when I work a game, I can get so wrapped up in the individual details that I lose the forest for the trees. It won’t be until after the game that I’ll notice that a player has gone three-for-four with five RBI, or that a pitcher retired fifteen consecutive batters. On the other hand, sometimes something at the microdetail level will strike me. Last night, in the Norfolk Tides’ 5-1 loss to the Columbus Clippers, it was about in the fifth inning that I noticed that very few pitches were swung at and missed by Clipper hitters. I started paying attention, and by the end of Chris Jakubauskas’ seven innings, only four of his 96 pitches had been swing-and-misses. (One more pitch may be recorded as a swing-and-miss, but it was really a non-strike-three foul tip, caught by the catcher.)
I think that the few numbers of swing-and-misses doesn’t bode well for Jakubauskas’ chances. Batters swing and miss because the pitch is overpoweringly fast, or because the pitch breaks substantially, or because the batter thinks the pitch is doing one thing when it’s really doing another. If a pitcher isn’t recording a lot of swing-and-misses, then he’s neither overpowering nor fooling batters. That doesn’t leave a lot of room for error.
The Tides brought in Alberto Castillo to pitch the eighth inning; he ended up facing five batters, retiring them all. Of his 24 pitches, there were four swing-and-misses — exactly as many as Jakubauskas had, facing five times as many batters.
Is he a viable candidate for a left-handed one-out relief pitcher?
Is he a viable candidate for a larger role?
Absolutely not. He is a sidearm pitcher and very vulnerable to right-handed batters, which sort of rules out a set-up or closer role. Nor does he have the stuff to overcome that. His limit is that of the left-handed Mike M.’s, Mike Myers and Mike Munoz.