Miguel Castro was the only of the three pitchers from the Troy Tulowitzki trade to appear in a Rockies uniform in 2015. This is surprising because he’s two years younger than Jeff Hoffman and only a few months older than Jesus Tinoco, who impressed at Low-A Asheville. But it’s unsurprising because he was the only of the three to come over already on the 40-man roster because he had already debuted for the Blue Jays.
For the Rockies, Castro pitched 5 1/3 innings. His 10.13 ERA doesn’t tell us anything useful. Castro allowed six runs in his innings, but he only allowed runs in his first and fifth appearances. If we cherry pick the three appearances in between, his ERA becomes a shiny ole 0.00. It is encouraging that he also struck out six batters in those innings, but it’s less encouraging that he also walked four. Turning those into per nine rates is silly because he didn’t even reach nine innings. In the end, we have to revert back to the innings pitched: the sample is too small to be of much use.
So the numbers don’t reveal anything. Instead, let’s look at a couple of .gifs of Castro pitching on September 8 against the Padres and dream a bit about what the 20 year-old might be able to do in the future.
Note: Due to Major League Baseball Advanced Media's .gif crackdown, it is necessary for included .gifs to be accompanied by analysis that demonstrates that the point cannot be made without the .gif. Thus, each .gif comes with an entirely overwritten description.
Pitch 1: Castro strikes out Myers with heat:
Loose and sticklike, Miguel Castro winds himself up and verges forward in his delivery. His motion and release is picnic like, as in, as easy as. The ball is then liberated from Castro's lithe fingers as it traverses the thick San Diego clime at approximately 82.5 knots per hour—or, 95 miles per hour. But it does not stay still. Sentiently, the baseball moves like a radiant bumblebee and finds its home, across home plate. Wil Myers cannot put his stick—nay, his Castro-esque weapon—to ball. Strike three, and you're out.
Pitch 2: Castro's slider lands for a strike:
Fettered no more, Castro's slider jubilantly bursts away from his limber frame and travels headlong toward the tout and creaky bison, one Matthew Kemp. The ball is adventurous. Intrepid. It does not slide so much as slurp. Slurpilly, the ball arcs sideways like an off-center rainbow after a spring shower. The ball finds leather and figuratively paints the figurative black. It, like the ball, is now polychrome—the color of a rainbow.
It's unlikely that Castro will begin 2016 with the Rockies. It's also unlikely that the Rockies are going to simply accept that the 20 year-old with his stuff is fine in the bullpen. Expect Castro to begin 2016 as a member of the Yard Goats' starting rotation.