CINCINNATI -- It wasn't known for sure at the time that Luis Castillo's best start of the season -- and likely his career -- for the Reds would be his final one of 2018. Interim manager Jim Riggleman revealed on Wednesday that Castillo would not make his last scheduled start
CINCINNATI -- It wasn't known for sure at the time that Luis Castillo's best start of the season -- and likely his career -- for the Reds would be his final one of 2018. Interim manager Jim Riggleman revealed on Wednesday that Castillo would not make his last scheduled start on Friday vs. the Pirates.
During a no-decision that was lost by the Reds, 1-0, to the Marlins in 10 innings on Friday, Castillo pitched a career-high 8 1/3 innings with five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Of his 102 pitches, 73 were strikes.
"We are going to shut him down right there. He's had a really nice year for us," Riggleman said. "His innings are at a point -- about 170 -- just going to let him finish on that last one that he had and let him go into the offseason and prepare off of that. Maybe we get more innings next year, who knows? But that's a good number for him to finish at."
Castillo, 25, finished 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP in 31 starts over 169 2/3 innings. It's the exact same innings total he compiled last season combined at Double-A and the big leagues.
"I have gotten a lot of experience this season. Obviously, I wanted to go out there and pitch," Castillo said through translator Julio Morillo. "Overall, it was a good season for me to learn. I will try to get ready for next season."
The second big league season for Castillo was an up-and-down affair on the heels of his impressive 2017 rookie year, when he had a 3.12 ERA in 15 starts. There are mechanical adjustments after his velocity dipped, and he was prone at times to the long ball, with a team-high 28 home runs allowed -- third most in the National League.
However, Castillo will still go into the offseason with plenty of reason for optimism after he went 3-2 with a 1.09 ERA over his final five starts.
"I think the key to succeed out there is you have to trust yourself," Castillo said. "You have to believe in yourself. If you go out there and you trust your stuff and know you can do well, you're going to do a really good job. I think my preparation this offseason is going to be more than physical -- [it will be] mental. I know for next year I have to 100-percent mentally prepare, knowing what I have to do, and know what it takes to perform at the big league level."
Physically, Castillo felt strong considering it was the end of the season.
"I think my arm strength has developed a lot. I feel 100 percent," he said. "This is how you want to finish. You want to start the season good and finish without injuries. I feel really good."
Sunday's starter TBA
With Castillo not starting, the Reds moved up their rotation to have Anthony DeSclafani start Friday vs. Pittsburgh on his normal four days' rest following Thursday's team day off. Michael Lorenzen will make his third start of the season on Saturday. Sunday's starter is not officially known, but Riggleman was leaning toward Sal Romano.
"Romano is an ex-starter, he could certainly start that game," Riggleman said. "It depends on if he pitches in relief Friday, he might not be the starter for that day. We've got a lot of guys who can pitch, a lot of guys who need to get a little work. It could very well be a bullpen day, unless Sal is totally available to start it and maybe give us more than anybody else."
Neither Homer Bailey nor Tyler Mahle are candidates to make the start, Riggleman said.
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.