The Marlins have designated left-hander Daniel Castano for assignment, tweets Daniel Alvarez Montes of El Extra Base (Twitter link). Castano’s spot on the roster will go to right-hander Johnny Cueto, whose previously reported one-year, $8.5MM contract has now been made official. Cueto was formally introduced this morning at Miami’s loanDepot Park.
Castano, 28, was one of four players the Marlins acquired in the heist that sent Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis, coming to Miami alongside Sandy Alcantara, Zac Gallen (since traded for Jazz Chisholm Jr.) and Magneuris Sierra. The left-hander has appeared in each of the past three seasons with the Marlins, logging a combined 3.89 ERA in 85 2/3 innings of work.
That solid ERA, however, has been accompanied by a 12% strikeout rate that ranks as the lowest of any pitcher in baseball dating back to 2020 (min. 80 innings). Castano has partially offset that lack of missed bats with a better-than-average 7.5% walk rate, a solid 44.7% ground-ball rate and a repeated knack for avoiding hard contact; his career 87.6 mph exit velocity, 7% barrel rate, 35.9% hard-hit rate (all as measured by Statcast) are each better than those of the average MLB hurler. Still, fielding-independent metrics like FIP (4.86) and SIERA (5.28) are more bearish on the left-hander than his more rudimentary ERA.
Castano’s 12.8% strikeout rate in the big leagues this past season was right in line with his career mark, but that’s a bit odd to see, given that he also overhauled his pitch mix and experienced a sharp uptick in strikeouts in Triple-A. Castano moved away from his four-seamer and sinker in favor of a cutter that he tossed at a hefty 41% clip. In Triple-A, the shift in his repertoire perhaps contributed to a career-best 26.4% strikeout rate. That wasn’t necessarily in a tiny sample, either; Castano’s 34 Triple-A frames were almost an exact match for his 35 2/3 Major League innings. It stands to reason, then, that even if Castano won’t see his MLB strikeout rate climb to quite those same heights, there’s perhaps reason to believe there’s more bat-missing ability in the tank than he’s shown in the Majors just yet.
Unfortunately for Castano, injuries robbed him of the chance to display more of that new-look cutter down the stretch. Castano landed on the shelf with a concussion in late July after being struck in the head by a 104 mph liner, and while he was working his back from that frightening scene, the Marlins discovered a small tear in his shoulder. He didn’t require surgery but also did not pitch again in 2022.
The Marlins will now have a week to trade Castano or attempt to pass him through outright waivers. He’s out of minor league options, so any team that acquires him will need to carry him on the roster or else try to pass Castano through waivers themselves. That said, he’s a lefty with a starter’s pedigree and some success in the upper minors, solid command and weak contact rates in the big leagues, and a somewhat intriguing new pitch that he began to lean on this past season. He can also be controlled for five more seasons. It’s certainly feasible that a pitching-needy club could place a claim or work out a small trade to acquire Castano.
Lewin Diaz is praying for you Castano. People like to catch fish but release them rather quickly.
Cardinals should pick him up 😉
deGrom Texas Ranger
That Ozuna trade was awful. Perhaps one of the worst of this century? The Ryan Dempster trade to Texas was also pretty bad, but this goes above and beyond that.
It was pretty bad, but the cards did get burelson with that comp pick for ozuna and made the playoffs twice. I dint expect burelson to win a batting championship or homerun crown but if he turns into a good outfielder or is traded for a valuable piece it will soften the sting
deGrom Texas Ranger
Bref should add something about comp picks. CJ Wilson was one of my favorite players. He left, and the Rangers drafted my favoirte post-Kinsler player, Joey Gallo, for him. They now have 4 prospects due to Gallo, so drafting CJ Wilson has continued paying dividends. Your insight is not something one would easily pick up on. Great comment!
Like Chris Rock said: I don’t agree, but I understand.
I would have DFAd Nance instead.
Agree. What is going on with the Marlins decision makers is beyond any sense. Has the ability to start once in an emergency, a good long reliever. So Nance should be the one. But this are the Marlins. An old friend of mine wrote a book with the title ” The Geniuses of Insufficiency”. My sense there is a bunch if then running the fish.
You know what? I wouldn’t have minded if it was Nardi either. Too many LH relievers and you know for sure that Dan can give you some 5-10 starts with 4.50ish ERA in a year. That is not an awful output, much better that what Nardi showed last year (though in a tiny sample).
I hope Castano doesn’t get claimed, the Fish will most probably need him for those spot starts.
Rays will get him
Orioles should go after him. Detroit, Cinci. Will be a good pick fir the Giants in that ball field, he can be very good. I just don’t get it with the Marlins philosophy. Plenty of young pitchers but they go spend 8 mil on Cueto. They just need a closer and plenty of good bats. Segura was okay but they should had add someone like Turner or Drury. Especially when they gave Cueta 8mill. Sad to say but no way getting a wild card. So I see it as wasting money and financial resources.
Solid long man out the pen. Someone will claim him.
Mets should grab him and not sign another lefty if Eppler is smart but he isn’t so we will see what happens.
There you go Chaim!!! Theres your trade from the Fish.
Good luck passing a physical.
seems like a lot of teams would like to pick him up assuming he is healthy.
I was worried he was gonna get DFA’d until I realized only the Astros and White Sox have open spots on their 40-man rosters. Hopefully he’ll clear waivers, should be a nice depth piece in case the Marlins trade Pablo Lopez or another SP
Or could be included in a scenario where they outrageously trade 1 of their arms, like Lopez, to solidify the return. Definitely not someone I want to lose for free
Castano is decent organizational depth. Nice to have, but I’m not crying if we lose him. I’d prefer to keep him though. Perfect guy for spot starts and doubleheaders… and of course, long relief and extra-inning games.
I’m cool with moving him in a deal, but not losing him for free, as with others already
Wow…just lose all your depth for free again. Good job. Couldnt have included him, 1 of the multiple additional LHRPs they could move, 1 of their many similar infielders, guys like Brian Hoeing as other close to the big leagues depth into some sort of deal? This guy is going to be really useful as a swing option for someone in my opinion