Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Castillo proving Reds can count on him in '18

Rookie righty dazzles in tough-luck loss to Pirates, K's 9 in 7 innings
Special to MLB.com

CINCINNATI -- Prior to Saturday's game against the Pirates, Reds manager Bryan Price talked about the importance of being able to sort through the organization's young pitchers and pencil in some names the big league team can depend on in 2018.

There is one guy who looks like he might be past the pencil phase and into the permanent-marker stage.

View Full Game Coverage

CINCINNATI -- Prior to Saturday's game against the Pirates, Reds manager Bryan Price talked about the importance of being able to sort through the organization's young pitchers and pencil in some names the big league team can depend on in 2018.

There is one guy who looks like he might be past the pencil phase and into the permanent-marker stage.

View Full Game Coverage

Luis Castillo continued his impressive rookie season Saturday, allowing only one run over seven innings of a 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh at Great American Ball Park.

"He seems to give us a chance to win every time he takes the mound," Price said. "He has been a bright spot this season."

The 24-year-old right-hander is nicknamed "La Piedra," or "The Stone." That was the nickname on the back of his Players Weekend jersey, the three-day event where players are wearing special uniforms and equipment that will later be auctioned off to benefit the MLB-MLBPA Youth Development Foundation.

"La Piedra" may be the rock upon which Cincinnati's future pitching rotations are built.

Castillo has made 13 starts since June 23. He has allowed two or fewer earned runs seven times and three or fewer earned runs 11 times. He has walked 31 and struck out 83 in 77 1/3 innings.

Video: PIT@CIN: Price discusses pitching in 1-0 loss to Bucs

The Pirates scored their only run off Castillo (2-7, 3.26 ERA) when opposing pitcher Gerrit Cole (aka "Cole Train") connected on a 95-mph fastball and deposited it into the left-field seats for his third career home run.

"It was a mental mistake, and he took advantage of it," Castillo said through translator Julio Murillo.

The only other Pittsburgh batter to reach scoring position was Josh Bell, who doubled down the right-field line in the fourth inning but was later cut down at the plate trying to score on a single by David Freese.

Video: PIT@CIN: Price discusses pitching in 1-0 loss to Bucs

"We saw [Castillo] really well on some video and some other things," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. "He actually didn't pitch all that much up. His breaking ball was really sharp today, and the fastball was real. He threw some changeups, but his fastball-slider combination was very impressive today."

Fans who want to watch Castillo better hurry to the ballpark, however, as he is likely to be shut down before the season ends to prevent extending him past a practical limit for innings pitched. Price said that will be determined by a combination of his innings and the "eye test."

"If he's looking robust and strong, you may get another start or two," Price said. "That's why you keep it a general number."

The Reds acquired Castillo from the Marlins in January in the trade that sent right-hander Dan Straily to Miami.

Andrew Call is a contributor to MLB.com based in Cincinnati.

Cincinnati Reds