At just 25 years old, it’s not the end of the road for Jose Castillo. But another injury setback is hardly something he or the San Diego Padres wanted to see from him this spring.
In a sim game this week in Arizona, Castillo came off the mound after just a half-dozen pitches after experiencing forearm tightness. This news comes on the heel of teres major strain that cost him the entire 2020 season and a 2019 campaign in which he threw only two-thirds of an inning because of a pair of injuries.
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Now, we don’t yet know the severity of the injury but when a baseball fan hears ‘forearm tightness’ – the first thing that comes to mind is Tommy John surgery. That would cost Castillo the entire 2021 season and potentially push back his start next year, as well.
Three years ago, the Venezuelan native made 37 appearances for the Padres at age 22. He worked to a 2.64 FIP and 0.913 WHIP. Unfortunately, since then, he has been a complete non-factor for the club.
San Diego spent the offseason adding pitching depth on every front, so the loss of Castillo shouldn’t mean much for the team’s postseason odds. Manager Jayce Tingler still has several southpaw options at his disposal, including Tim Hill, Adrian Morejon – who is being stretched out as a starter this spring, Drew Pomeranz, Matt Strahm and Ryan Weathers.
Padres have plenty of depth in the mix this year
That’s not to mention top prospect MacKenzie Gore – who is waiting in the wings should the need arise this summer. Gore, who was billed as the top left-handed pitching prospect in the game, could arrive in San Diego as a bullpen arm before transitioning to the rotation in the future.
We’ve got our fingers crossed for Castillo. But the news we got this week isn’t promising and looks like the latest setback in a long line of injuries that have derailed the left-hander’s career.