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We should probably be talking about Luis Castillo more

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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.

Shohei Ohtani medically cleared to begin throwing progression

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The Angels released a medical update on P/DH Shohei Ohtani Thursday evening. Ohtani was reevaluated by Dr. Steve Yoon at the Kerlan Jobe Institute. The right-hander’s sprained UCL showed improved healing and, as a result, he has been cleared to begin a throwing progression.

Ohtani, 24, was diagnosed with a Grade 2 sprain of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow after his June 6 start against the Royals and hasn’t pitched since, though he has been in the lineup as a hitter since July 3. It was initially believed he would undergo season-ending Tommy John surgery. Then the thought was that Ohtani wouldn’t pitch again for the rest of the season, but this update suggests a possibility he could return to the mound before the season is over.

In nine starts, Ohtani put together a 3.10 ERA with a 61/20 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings. As a hitter, he batted .283/.365/.522 with seven home runs and 22 RBI in 157 plate appearances.