The Reds will promote young righty Luis Castillo to make his MLB debut on Friday, as C. Trent Rosecrans of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Skipper Bryan Price cited the 24-year-old’s strike-throwing ability as a prime motivation for his call-up over a few other hurlers who are working at the team’s Triple-A affiliate. Castillo, who came over in the offseason deal that sent Dan Straily to the Marlins, has impressed thus far at Double-A. Through 80 1/3 innings over 14 starts, he owns a 2.58 ERA with a healthy 9.1 K/9 to go with just 1.5 BB/9.
Here are some more notes from Cinci and the game’s central divisions:
- In other Reds pitching news, veteran righty Homer Bailey is set to make his season debut on Saturday, Rosecrans notes, so long as a pen session today goes well. Bailey, 31, has turned in three strong rehab outings at Triple-A, allowing just two earned runs on 11 hits through 16 2/3 innings while sporting a 17:3 K/BB ratio. The Reds will hope that can carry over into the majors, as Bailey remains an important player for the organization this year and into the future. He’s owed $19MM in 2017 and another $49MM over the next two campaigns (including a buyout on a 2020 mutual option). Bailey is working back from surgery for bone spurs in his elbow, the most recent of several procedures, and hasn’t turned in a full season’s work since way back in 2013.
- The Cardinals, meanwhile, ought to be preparing to sell at the deadline this summer, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch argues. Ticket sales remain strong despite the club’s scuffles, he notes, but that doesn’t mean 2017 contention is terribly realistic for a club that sits five games under .500. (It is fair to note, though, that the Cards are still just four back in a mediocre NL Central.) As for potential chips, Ortiz suggests that pending free agent starter Lance Lynn ought to be made available, along with relievers Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-Hwan Oh.
- The Royals are seeing some progress from southpaw Danny Duffy, as Rustin Dodd of the Kansas City Star reports on Twitter. Duffy, 28, seems to be one more pen session away from embarking upon a rehab stint, though manager Ned Yost suggested he’ll likely require three minor-league starts before returning to the majors. When he’s finally able to return from his oblique strain, Duffy figures to represent quite an impactful addition for a K.C. team that has pushed back toward contention even without its top hurler.
- As the Tigers struggle to stay afloat in the AL Central, the club is dealing yet again with bullpen woes, as Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press writes. Skipper Brad Ausmus suggested that he isn’t terribly confident in the bulk of the club’s relievers, which isn’t terribly surprising to hear given the numbers. Shane Greene may have eclipsed Alex Wilson as the team’s primary setup option, it seems, but as Fenech notes the Tigers still are struggling to hand off to closer Justin Wilson. While youngster Joe Jimenez is throwing again at Triple-A, Detroit is understandably taking things slowly with him, leaving few clear options for a club that sits six games under .500 entering today’s action.