Luis Castillo (castilu02)
Luis Miguel Castillo
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 170 lb.
Luis was signed by the San Francisco Giants before the 2012 season. He spent that year and 2013 with the DSL Giants, then in 2014 played with the Savannah Sand Gnats of the South Atlantic League, where he went 2-2, 3.07. He joined the Miami Marlins in 2015 after being acquired, along with another pitcher in Kendry Flores, for Casey McGehee. He went 6-6, 3.20 between two teams that year. In 2016, he was having an outstanding season for the Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League, going 7-3, 2.25 after 20 games. On July 29th, he was one of two top Marlins prospects, along with first baseman Josh Naylor, and two established pitchers, in Carter Capps and Jarred Cosart, sent to the San Diego Padres in return for pitchers Andrew Cashner, Tayron Guerrero and Colin Rea. Rea was injured in his first start with the Marlins a day later and the two teams decided to re-work the deal. Thus, on August 1st, the Padres repatriated Rea and returned Castillo to Miami to balance things out. He finished the season with the Jacksonville Suns of the Southern League where he went 0-2, 5.79 in 3 starts. His combined mark was 8-6, 2.26 in 131 2/3 innings.
On January 19, 2017, he was on the move again, this time being traded to the Cincinnati Reds alongside pitcher Austin Brice and outfielder Isaiah White in return for pitcher Dan Straily. Though it was not obvious at the time, this deal was a stinker on the Miami side; Straily was released before the 2019 season, the same year Luis made his first All-Star appearance. Before that, Luis started the 2017 season in AA with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos of the Southern League. In 14 games, he went 4-4, 2.58, then was called up to the bigs on June 23rd. He debuted that day with a start against the Washington Nationals during which he gave up 2 runs in 5 innings and was not involved in the decision. He made 15 starts for the Reds, going 3-7, 3.12 and pitching 89 1/3 innings. The Reds decided to shut him down early following a 7-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on September 6th in which he struck out 10 batters, mindful of limiting his innings total. In 2018, Luis had a very solid season, going 10-12, 4.30 in 31 starts, logging 169 2/3 innings. He led the team in wins, games started, innings pitched and strikeouts (168), his record having been depressed by the Reds' very poor start. He started off 1-4 over his first 7 starts, with a 7.01 ERA, but improved steadily after that and finished with a flourish, going 3-1, 1.09 in 5 starts in September.
That body of work got him named the Reds' Opening Day starter in 2019, a bit of a surprise given Cincinnati had traded for three experienced starters in the off-season in Alex Wood, Tanner Roark and Sonny Gray. New manager David Bell wanted to point towards the team's future with his choice. It was a savvy one, as the season would demonstrate. He had a great game in his second start, facing the Milwaukee Brewers on April 3rd, but unfortunately ended up on the wrong side of the decision. He gave up just a run in 7 innings while striking out 9 but lost, 1-0, as his opponent on the mound, Freddy Peralta was even better. Even more frustrating was that a silly mistake on his part contributed to the game's only run: he attempted a pick-off throw with slow-footed Jesus Aguilar on first base, only to realize that Joey Votto was not holding the runner. He was called for a balk, and Aguilar later scored on a two-out single. Still, Luis was the National League Pitcher of the Month in April when he went 3-1, 1.63 in 6 starts, the first Reds pitcher to earn such an honor since Denny Neagle in 1999. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time and pitched a scoreless inning in the game, played at Progressive Field in Cleveland. On the season, he went 15-8, 3.40 with 226 strikeouts in 190 2/3 innings, making 32 starts.
- 2016 Pitcher of the Year Florida State League Jupiter Hammerheads
- NL All-Star (2019)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (2019)
- 200 Strikeouts Seasons: 1 (2019)
- Bob Nightengale: "Reds pitcher Luis Castillo gets last laugh after brilliant start to season", USA Today, May 9, 2019. 
- Bob Nightengale: "The next Pedro? Martinez says Cincinnati Reds' Luis Castillo pitches just like he did", Cincinnati Enquirer, July 11, 2019.