This is the latest setback for Castillo, who missed all of last season because of a teres major strain and threw just two-thirds of an inning in 2019 while dealing with a flexor strain and a torn ligament in his hand. The severity of Castillo’s current issue isn’t yet known, but considering forearm problems often serve as a precursor to Tommy John surgery, he and the Padres are surely holding their breath leading up to Wednesday’s re-evaluation.
Still just 25 years old, Castillo debuted in 2018 with a very productive rookie season, during which he fired 38 1/3 innings of 3.29 ERA/2.53 SIERA ball, managed a tremendous 34.7 percent strikeout rate, and complemented that with a solid 8.0 percent walk rate. Castillo also averaged about 95 mph on his fastball then and held his own against both left- and right-handed hitters. With the Padres expected to contend in 2021, Castillo could re-emerge as an important part of their bullpen if he’s healthy, but it’s once again up in the air whether he’ll be able to contribute.
The news is better in regards to right-hander Dinelson Lamet, who was among the majors’ best starters in 2020 before elbow trouble ended his season in late September. Lamet threw 15 pitches and reached 96 mph on his fastball Tuesday, according to Cassavell, but he may not necessarily be ready for Opening Day. Understandably, the Padres are erring on the side of caution with Lamet, but he has “been right on track” in his recovery so far, general manager A.J. Preller said.