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We should probably be talking about Luis Castillo more


No, not that Luis Castillo. He’s been out of baseball since 2010. I’m talking about the Reds’ pitcher. The 24-year-old right-hander has been well-traveled in his brief professional career. He signed with the Giants in 2014 as an international free agent out of the Dominican Republic. The club traded him to the Marlins in the Casey McGehee trade in December 2014. Last year, the Marlins shipped him to the Padres in the Andrew Cashner trade which also involved Colin Rea. Rea was found to be damaged goods, so the Marlins sent him back and the Padres gave Castillo back to the Marlins. In January this year, the Marlins traded Castillo to the Reds in the Dan Straily deal.

Castillo throws his four-seam fastball in the high-90’s and complements it with a change-up. He also occasionally throws a sinker and a slider, according to Brooks Baseball. Teams were well aware of Castillo’s potential, which is why he’s been involved in so many deals already. His minor league numbers were impressive and he skipped right from Double-A to the majors in June after posting a 2.58 ERA with Pensacola. In 14 major league starts entering Wednesday’s affair with the Brewers, Castillo was a meager 2-7 but sported an impressive 3.32 ERA with an 88/32 K/BB ratio in 81 1/3 innings.

The good times kept rolling for Castillo, who tossed eight innings of one-run ball against the Brewers. He yielded only four hits, walked none, and struck out a career-high 10 batters. Among National League starters (min. 80 innings), only nine starters have a better ERA. His 27.3 percent strikeout rate is ninth-best in the NL and his average of 3.06 strikeouts for each walk is 20th-best.

Wednesday’s outing is Castillo’s last of the season. He’s at 169 1/3 innings combined this season, a career-high for him as a professional pitcher. Castillo hasn’t gotten much fanfare because he’s pitching for the 61-79 Reds, but he’s definitely a pitcher to keep on the radar going into 2018.

Dbacks outfielder Steven Souza injured his right shoulder last night

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Arizona Diamondbacks right fielder Steven Souza dove for a ball in a spring training game last night, missed, and ended up injuring his right shoulder.

It looked bad, too. Center fielder Jarrod Dyson stood over him, frantically waving to the dugout for a trainer as Souza kicked his legs in apparent pain. Souza held his arms awkwardly as he walked off the field. At the moment the Dbacks are calling it a right shoulder strain, but he’ll get an MRI on it today after which a more specific diagnosis will come.

If Souza is out for a while it’s a pretty big blow to Arizona’s 2018 plan. Souza was acquired to help cushion the blow of losing J.D. Martinez in free agency. While not the hitter Martinez is, Souza hit 30 homers in Tampa Bay last year, stood likely to at least match that in the more hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field and, of course, plays superior defense.

Potential replacements for Souza include moving David Peralta from left to right and inserting Yasmany Tomas in left or having fourth outfielder Dyson, or perhaps a platoon of Dyson and utilityman Chris Owings, handle right. Socrates Brito is another internal option.

Obviously the Snakes will wait to hear the results of the MRI before going too deeply into replacement plans, all the while hoping that Souza’s injury is far less serious than it appeared to be last night.