The Miami Marlins need bullpen help. We already covered some good relief pitching targets, and The Fish have finally made a move to add a reliever. This is hopefully just one of the multiple moves that are needed, but it's a start. The Fish acquired left-handed relief pitcher Jose Castillo from the San Diego Padres for cash. Castillo has been optioned to AAA Jacksonville for now. So what can we expect from Castillo?
The Miami Marlins acquired some bullpen help.
Jose Castillo is a 27 year old lefty reliever that spent his entire career in San Diego. He debuted in 2018 and pitched in 37 games and 38.1 innings pitched. He delivered an impressive 3.29 ERA, with an even more impressive 2.64 FIP. He had 12.2 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. This was an excellent debut season that hinted at Castillo becoming an elite bullpen arm going forward. Unfortunately for Castillo and the team that didn't happen.
Castillo has barely pitched since then, being able to only pitch in 3 games and 2.0 innings pitched from 2019 to 2023. This was due to a surprisingly lengthy list of injuries. He suffered a torn ligament in his hand in 2019, and missed all but 2/3 of an inning that season. He then missed the already shortened 2020 season due to suffering from a lat strain. He then missed most of the 2021 and 2022 seasons due to Tommy John Surgery.
Jose Castillo has already pitched this season, and he has a terrible 108.00 ERA/30.28 FIP with 0.0 K/9 and 54.0 BB/9. This of course came in just a game and 0.1 innings pitched. Can Castillo return to his 2018 form? I don't know. Long breaks like this rarely lead to a career resurgence, but you never know as he's only 27 years old. The positive thing is that he has a 95.5 mph fastball this season, which is better than the 94.9 mph fastball that he had in 2018.
Jose Castillo was a good acquisition due to his high upside and extremely low cost. It's an excellent high upside move by Miami Marlins GM Kim Ng.