Left-hander Steven Brault, right-hander Brett de Geus and infielder Starlin Castro have signed with the new and yet to-be-named Atlantic League team based in Frederick, Md., the team announced this week (Twitter links).
Brault, 30, spent the 2022 season in the Cubs organization but was on the injured list for the majority of the season. The former Pirates hurler originally inked a one-year, Major League deal with the Cubs in the offseason, but that was reworked as a minor league pact following some injury concerns. Those proved to have merit, as Brault pitched in just 16 innings between the minors and the big leagues, due in large part to a shoulder strain.
The few innings Brault managed to pitch with the Cubs were solid. He tossed nine frames and allowed three runs on eight hits with an 8-to-5 K/BB ratio. Brault is best known for his six-year run with Pittsburgh, where he frequently bounced between the Pirates’ rotation and bullpen, ultimately tossing 343 1/3 innings of 4.77 ERA ball in 107 appearances (52 starts, 55 in relief).
Castro, 33, hasn’t appeared in the Majors since the Nationals released him in the summer of 2021 on the heels of a 30-game suspension under Major League Baseball’s joint domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. He had a brief 28-game stint in the Mexican League last year, where he batted .240/.312/.323 in 109 plate appearances for los Leones de Yucatan. A stint in the the Dominican Winter League didn’t go any better this past offseason; Castro managed only a .219/.250/.250 output in 168 plate appearances.
From 2010-21, Castro played in 1573 Major League games and logged nearly 6600 plate appearances with the Cubs, Yankees, Marlins and Nationals. He holds a career .280/.319/.412 batting line.
The 25-year-old de Geus was one of the top picks in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft but struggled to a 7.56 ERA in 50 innings between the Rangers and Diamondbacks that season. The former Dodgers farmhand spent the 2022 season in the D-backs organization, tossing 22 2/3 of 5.96 ERA ball with their Double-A affiliate.
hoping for a reunion with the Pirates once he proves healthy
So essentially Castro’s career was over by the age of 30. It’s just puzzling – and I know there are a million different reasons for this – but how someone so incredibly talented in any sport can have those skills abandon them at such a young age. And injury doesn’t seem to have anything to do with his demise.
Read the article. There is a definite reason
Yeah, the domestic policy violation derailed his career, but even afterward he’s not effective against grossly inferior competition.
It happens. There have been lots of really good players in the history of baseball that just fell apart at 30 instead of 35.
Bat to ball skills guy, doesnt get on base much, and probably more of a 2b or 3b with not great defense…dont see how its surprising for that skillset to not carry on. He did a good job for the Marlins, so I have nothing against him, and I thought he was going to accidentally end up with around 2600 hits.
This is a obviously a tough league
Good buddy of mine back in the day had Castro ticketed for 3k hits and the HOF.
First 5/6yrs his outlook seemed plausible, then he left the Cubs and I had to squint a bit….
Now 2k isn’t an option…
There was almost a 2 yr period, where Starlin Castro led MLB in hits.
Low walk rate and poor strike zone judgement was ultimately going to cut his career short. I figured he’d break through two thousand in career hits with his quick start, but he’s short of that too.
An “injury” or its sinister equivalent was directly involved in his demise.
With the fast start to his career at a young age I thought he was going to be the first meh player to join the 3000 hit club. He had nearly a 1000 at age 25 including a 200+ season. An average lengthy career probably would have gotten him there. Would say he was exposed to whatever Andruw Jones was exposed to at 30 but he was never really the star Jones was in his 20s. Guy could stack hits and that’s about it. His plate discipline was lacking, his defense at short was late career Jeter bad and his power disappeared for stretches. He always seemed to have a solid year followed by a rough year then another solid when with the Cubs. Seemed to be turning into that solid average player when the Yankees moved him to 2nd but turned back into a pumpkin in Miami. Baffling player…
His hitting skill set indicated he had a limited shelf life. Not enough power or patience, and wasn’t a great fielder. I did think he’s last long than 31, although the DV stuff probably contributed to an earlier exit.
I thought maybe Johnny Damon would be the first guy to reach 3,000 hits who really wasn’t a HOF caliber player, but he was also quite a bit better than men with 56 career rWAR. Years earlier, I was really hoping Dave Kingman reached 500 HRs because that would have broke the BBWAA! He could have done it too, exiting his last season with 35 HRs!
The Deputy Mayor of Rush Street
Oh, the good ole days, back when Darwin and Starlin were anchoring the Cubs’ middle infield.
Darwin was a very special player on defense. Seemed like a good natured team first guy too. Wish he had a bit better bat. Guys like him deserve a long career.
Smart budget-conscious move by Frederick, as Brault could also DH in a pinch, plus he can sing the national anthem well too. He just isn’t that great of a pitcher.
Wow Castro is only 33???
deGrom Texas Ranger
My thoughts exactly! Just like Elvis Andrus
When you debut at 20 it feels like you’ve been around forever by the time you’re in 30’s.
Castro has the positional versatility to be a solid bench piece if he shows he can still hit.
Good 4Frederick, MD, used2 watch many a gm there @Harry Grove stadium, was home2 O’s highA Carolina league team, was also4 1yr part of 4team winter ball league that was setup2 replace Hawaiian winter league, saw sum of those gms2, saw LHP Steve Avery trying2 resurrect career in same gm as young hot prospect Milton Bradley, took my lil kids now daughters 30, saw young Andrew Jones there the yr he played A, AA, AAA, n made it2 MLB n WS, was cold Easter Sunday, season had just started n he hit the furthest ball I’ve ever seen in person over scoreboard in left n made crazy diving catch coming in on ball frm CF, bet ol Frederick Keys fans R happy pro ball is coming back Home, feel bad4 all those longtime minor league towns who supported teams 4decades n then had them ripped away so unceremoniously, only thing 2do on hot summer nite is sum of those places, was a way of life
I tried decoding your post Rafael and could not…
The new team doesn’t even have a name yet.
That’s gotta sting
Hey, There it is! The Frederick Sting!
Dibs on naming royalties