Luis Castillo will make his season debut on Monday, as the Reds will activate the right-hander from the 10-day injured list to start their game against the Brewers. Castillo suffered soreness in his throwing shoulder during Spring Training, which required an IL visit and a late start to his 2022 campaign.
The former All-Star has allowed only a single earned run over 10 1/3 innings during his minor league rehab assignment, albeit with a troubling eight walks. Nevertheless, the focus on rehab assignments is more health and tune-up work rather than results, and after three rehab outings, Castillo appears to be ready to return to the Show.
Counting Castillo since he has yet to be officially activated, the Reds have a whopping 14 players on the injured list, which has been a big factor in the team’s disastrous start. Even after winning two of three games in their weekend series with the Pirates, Cincinnati has only a 5-23 record.
It is a lot to ask of Castillo to try and turn things around for the Reds by himself, and it remains to be seen if the right-hander will immediately be in good form once he takes the mound. Castillo has traditionally been something of a slow starter, as April and May are his worst months by ERA. If it takes him a while to really get going, it will not only impact whatever tiny chance the Reds have of getting on track, but it would also hamper Castillo’s value as a possible trade chip heading into the deadline. Since Castillo is controlled (via arbitration) through the 2023 season, the Reds should be able to command a nice trade return for Castillo, assuming that he is pitching like his usual self.