Cincinnati Reds – Luis Castillo stakes claim on 2018 Opening Day start

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

A year after the Cincinnati Reds started journeyman Scott Feldman on Opening Day, an ace has appeared.

The Cincinnati Reds selection process for an Opening Day start in 2017 was a comedmic endeavor.  The initial plan was for Anthony DeSclafani to start, but he came to camp too injured to pitch.  Brandon Finnegan was the next selection, but was quickly removed because of the team not wanting him slotted after the number five starter.

The Reds ended up selecting Scott Feldman after realizing that Bronson Arroyo wouldn’t be ready in time and having Rookie Davis’ MLB debut be an Opening Day start didn’t make sense.  The Reds didn’t select Feldman, but rather end up there.  Now, the Reds have a chance to select their starter.

Feldman appeared to be the de facto ace for most of the year.  He and underappreciated Tim Adleman were the only two starters to make all of their starts for most of the seasoin.  Recently, Feldman injured his knee and the Reds have pulled Adleman from the rotation.

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On June 23rd, Luis Castillo made his MLB debut.  He came over as part of a three prospect group when the Reds traded Dan Straily to the Miami Marlins.  He wasn’t expected to be in the majors until 2019, but there is little doubt that he is here to stay.

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Luis Castillo is the ace for the Cincinnati Reds because of his talent and his results as an MLB starter.

Castillo spent two seasons in rookie ball and allowed too much contact, but his talent was evident.  When he left rookie ball in the Dominican Republic his strikeout rate began to go up,  As he came up through the minors, his WHIP and ERA maintained at a high level.

Since his MLB debut, Castillo has gone 2-7 in 14 big league starts.  He has a 3.32 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP.

Castillo also has 88 strikeouts in 81 ⅓ innings.

Those are impressive number for a rookie, but perhaps the most important number is the number of home runs.  In 14 starts Castillo has only allowed 10 home runs.  He also has only walked 32.

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The Reds have other options for their Opening Day starter in DeSclafani and Finnegan, if they are healthy.  The Reds do not, however, have a better pitcher to put on the mound on Opening Day for 2018 than Castillo.  Unless something drastically changes, Castillo has earned the right to be the number one starter for the Reds in 2018.