Well, that was unexpected.
It seemed to take a while for the Rockies to finalize their 25-man Opening Day roster. Everyone was sure about the names that would be there, but one of those names, Kyle Freeland, required someone to be removed from the 40-man roster. It didn’t seem complicated. The natural move appeared to be shifting Rayan González to the 60-day disabled list. He’s headed for Tommy John surgery, after all. Another viable option would be to DFA Chad Qualls, who is very likely not a good pitcher anymore and is very unlikely to last the season with the club anyhow.
Perhaps the delay had something to do with the ultimate and surprising move. To make room for Freeland, the Rockies designated Miguel Castro for assignment.
The transaction will likely end Castro’s time with the organization. Castro was one of the four players the Rockies received in return for Troy Tulowitzki in July 2015. He was not the centerpiece, but he was a good get. He came over as a 20-year-old fireballer with good secondary stuff. The Blue Jays rushed him to the majors, but the Rockies had the luxury of developing him in the minors, most likely as a reliever.
Castro only pitched about 30 innings between Triple-A and the majors in 2016. He missed a lot of time due to shoulder inflammation. He also suffered from some back issues at the end of 2015. Because the Rockies have more information about Castro and his right arm’s health than anyone else, they might simply think that Castro’s chances of recovering from his shoulder issues are low.
There are a couple other possibilities. As someone DFA’d, the Rockies will have the chance to trade Castro if somebody claims him. If that’s the goal, the Rockies won’t have much leverage, and the return would be minimal. But trading Castro would yield a small return regardless of the situation. Or, maybe the Rockies think nobody will claim him, in which case he’ll just be outrighted to Triple-A and will remain with the team.
He’s in limbo right now, but we’ll know whether or not Castro will stay or go in the next few days.