Luis Castillo will begin the 2022 season on the Injured List - that much we know. But, the Cincinnati Reds might not be without their ace for as long as you would think. MLB.com's Mark Feinsand revealed the rule changes for the upcoming season, and the Reds may stand to benefit from an intriguing loophole that would allow Castillo to return the Reds after just 10 days.
According to the announcement, which was jointly agreed upon by Major League Baseball and the MLBPA, pitchers and two-way players are eligible for placement on the 10-day IL prior to May 2nd. After May 2nd, however, those players are only eligible to be placed on the 15-day Injured List.
Luis Castillo may return to the Reds roster sooner than expected.
This could afford the Cincinnati Reds the ability to have Luis Castillo back on the bump, provided he's healthy, on April 17th against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. Under the new rules, that will see pitchers placed on the 15-day IL, Castillo would not have been able to return to the field until the weekend series versus the St. Louis Cardinals on April 22nd.
Castillo arrived late to spring training because of travel issues, and while he's healthy, the right-hander has not had the opportunity to get stretched out. La Piedra has not taken the mound during Cactus League play this spring, and the Reds may even desire to get him a rehab start in the minor leagues before allowing he right-hander to return to the rotation.
Mike Minor is in the same boat, but it's been said that the former Kansas City Royals starter is further behind than Luis Castillo. However, this could also be good news for Lucas Sims, who, like Castillo and Minor will begin the 2022 season on the IL.
The Cincinnati Reds should take full advantage of this loophole and place all three pitchers on the 10-day Injured List. If one or all three return before being on the IL for 15 days, it's a win. This gray area may also affect Nick Lodolo's MLB debut, but that's a wait-and-see approach for now.