Cincinnati Reds: Luis Castillo shut down, will be primed for big 2019

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds tosses the baseball in the air while waiting for manager Jim Riggleman #35 to come to the mound during the ninth inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 21: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds tosses the baseball in the air while waiting for manager Jim Riggleman #35 to come to the mound during the ninth inning of the game against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on September 21, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Luis Castillo is done for the 2018 season. The Cincinnati Reds officially shut down Castillo and Anthony DeSclafani will get his start on Friday.

The Cincinnati Reds have shut down Luis Castillo for the season. Anthony DeSclafani will take a Castillo’s start on Friday. Castillo has been dominant of late, and unless the Reds bring in a top-level starting pitcher, he should be the No. 1 starter for Cincinnati to begin the 2019 season.

Luis Castillo is 10-12 with a 4.30 ERA. Castillo pitched 169.2 innings across 31 starts with 165 strikeouts on the season.

Probably the biggest knock against Castillo this season, and something he must fix heading into 2019 is the 28 home runs he’s allowed to opposing hitters. In 2017, Castillo surrendered only 11 deep flies in a little more than half the innings he’s pitched this season.

More from Blog Red Machine

When asked about removing Castillo from his final start of 2018, Reds interim manager had this to say via Reds.com:

"“We are going to shut him down right there. He’s had a really nice year for us. His innings are at a point — about 170 — just going to let him finish on that last one that he had and let him go into the offseason and prepare off of that. Maybe we get more innings next year, who knows? But that’s a good number for him to finish at.”"

I don’t want to sit back and question why the Cincinnati Reds decided to make this move, and it may be the right move. At the very least, Castillo will not suffer an unnecessary injury, in a meaningless game, at the end of a lost season.

During his last time out, Castillo took a shutout against the Maimi Marlins into the ninth inning. He finished with a career-high 8.1 innings pitched and threw 102 total pitches.

Castillo has been dynamite during the month of September. The right-hander is 3-1 in 5 starts with an ERA of 1.09. Wow! Barring a no-hitter on Friday, Castillo would’ve been hardpressed to improve on those numbers.

Going into the 2019 season, the Reds will no doubt have high aspirations for Castillo. He has a fastball that tops out in the high-90’s and his changeup can be virtually unhittable.

Next. Did Harvey make his last start?

The Reds have expressed an interest to spend more money in free agency than they have in recent years, especially with regard to starting pitching. Regardless of who the Cincinnati Reds bring in from outside the organization, they’ll be in a battle to unseat La Piedra as the Opening Day starter.