Jose Castillo (castijo03)
José Gregorio Castillo Tovar
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 4", Weight 200 lb.
Lefty José Castillo was considered one of the top international prospects available when he signed with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, obtaining a signing bonus of $1.5 million as a 16-year-old. The Rays handled him carefully given his young age. He only started his professional career in 2013, going 2-2, 5.87 in 12 games for the GCL Rays as one of the youngest players in the United States minor leagues. In 2014, they only gave him 3 appearances on a professional mound for the same team, limited to 4 2/3 innings, as they preferred to keep him in their training facilities in Florida rather than expose him too much against much older hitters. Still considered a top-rank prospect, Castillo was included in a blockbuster trade involving 11 players and three teams on December 17, 2014, as he headed to the San Diego Padres along with catcher Ryan Hanigan, outfielder Wil Myers and another prospect in return for five players.
He made his major league debut with the Padres on June 2, 2018, pitching one scoreless inning in relief against the Cincinnati Reds. He was 3-3 with a 3.29 ERA in 37 games strictly out of the bullpen. He only made one scoreless appearance in 2019, battling injuries. The Padres were counting on him as the main lefthander out of their bullpen in 2020, but he suffered a lat strain when training camp resumed in July, putting him on the shelf for at least half of the abbreviated 60-game season that was about to begin. His injury prompted them to trade for LOOGY Tim Hill.