Reds: Luis Castillo needs a retooling trip to Triple-A Louisville

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 29: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MAY 29: Luis Castillo #58 of the Cincinnati Reds throws a pitch. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /

The Cincinnati Reds have had the misfortune of being bitten by the injury bug early and often in the young season. No player on the roster has been immune from being at least temporarily banged up, even the former MVP Joey Votto.

Almost four weeks after Votto suffered a broken thumb, the veteran first baseman made his first rehab start in Triple-A Louisville and his return back to the big club is near. Who should get the unfortunate news of demotion to make room for Votto? Personally, I think Luis Castillo needs a trip to the minors to get things right.

The Reds should option Luis Castillo upon Joey Votto’s return.

The Reds probably aren’t ready to completely cut ties with reliever Amir Garrett, although they probably should be. The vocal reliever is out of minor league options, so sending him down isn’t an option.

The only move the Cincinnati Reds could make with Amir Garrett would be designating him for assignment. While a piece of humble pie in the minor leagues could serve him well, unfortunately, it isn’t an option.

With Garrett unable to be moved, there is another pitcher on the roster who could benefit from a temporary change of scenery, and that’s Luis Castillo. The 2021 Opening Day starter with electric stuff has been absolutely abysmal in 2021.

Typically Castillo has been a slow starter, that has been a given since he’s been in Cincinnati. But something just seems off with Castillo in 2021. The youngster is in the midst of one of the worst seasons of his career.

One look at Castillo’s stat line in 2021 would even have the Pittsburgh Pirates reaching for a barf bag. In 11 starts, Luis Castillo is 1-8 with an ERA just north of seven. Not numbers that are indicative of what you would consider an ace.

Reds fans know what Castillo is capable of, which is why this season has left fans wondering what’s wrong. Could a couple starts in Louisville help Castillo regain his confidence and help him get back on track?

Luis Castillo’s teammate received a jolt to his career with a minor league stint.

Many established Major Leaguers have had their careers put back on track after a demotion. Castillo should look no further than his teammate Mike Moustakas. Moustakas struggled monumentally early in 2014, the Royals demoted him to Triple-A Omaha.

After a little more than a week in the minors, Moustakas was called back up and tore the cover off the baseball for the rest of 2014. Moose was instrumental in bringing a World Series Trophy to Kansas City in 2015.

It’s unknown whether or not the Reds will be buyers or sellers at the trade deadline, and Luis Castillo has long been rumored as a player many teams looking to make a playoff push are inquiring about. Castillo has always been an attractive prospect, he’s still young, has electric stuff, and most importantly is under team control until 2024.

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One thing is certain, if the Cincinnati Reds plan on dealing Castillo, his production this season isn’t helping his trade value. If the Reds go into a rebuild, Castillo would be a great asset to keep around in the future. In the present though, something has to be done. Gaining some confidence by making some minor leaguers look silly might be just what the doctor ordered.