Cincinnati Reds Luis Castillo having trouble in year two

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

After breaking out for the Cincinnati Reds in the second half of 2017, Luis Castillo is struggling in 2018.

Three starts into the 2018 for the Cincinnati Reds, Luis Castillo has yet to find his footing.  He was the best starting pitcher for the Reds the second half of 2017.  In 2018 he is barely pitching well enough to stay with the big league club, but the Reds still have high hopes for 2018.

The Washington Nationals roughed Castillo up the second game of the season.  He went five innings allowing six runs, including two home runs.  He only walked one while striking out six, so there was reason for hope.

His second time out in Pittsburgh was a little bit better.  He went five innings, but only allowed four runs and no home runs.  That still amounted to ten runs in ten innings to start the season.

His third start is his best to date.  He went six innings allowing three runs, including two home runs.  He struck out four without walking any in the start at Philadelphia.

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For the season, Castillo is 0-2 with a 7.31 ERA.  He has thirteen strikeouts against only four walks, but has also only pitched a total of sixteen innings.  As the ace of the staff, he needs to go deeper into games.

The Cincinnati Reds need to see if Luis Castillo has what it takes to be a true ace.

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Last season Castillo made 15 starts for the big league club going 3-7.  He had a 1.07 WHIP to go with a 3.12 ERA.  That was largely due to striking out 98 batters in 89 1/3 innings, while only allowing a batting average against of .202.

That means that he averaged six innings per start and well over a strikeout per inning.  He also only allowed  eleven home runs over the fifteen starts.  He has to get that back under control to make 2018 a successful season.

Those numbers closely match what Castillo did in Triple-A last season.  He had a 2.58 ERA with a WHIP of 1.01.  He also pitched 80 1/3 innings over 14 starts, or nearly six per inning.

In 2016 when Castillo was still in the Miami Marlins organization, he pitched 131 2/3 innings in 26 appearances.  That is just five innings per appearance.  However, he have a 2.26 ERA and a WHIP of 1.00.

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Castillo appears to be the Reds’ best chance to develop a big league ace from those prospects that have appeared in Cincinnati.  He has the stuff, the make-up and numbers to back it up.  However, the Reds need to see if this season has been a bump in the road or a harbinger of things to come.