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Ryan Castellani recalled from alternate site, will start Game 2 of doubleheader

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The right-hander debuted in 2020 and returns to the bigs after a dismal spring training

Ryan Castellani will start Game 2 of today’s doubleheader with the San Francisco Giants, beginning shortly after Game 1 (3:40 p.m. MDT). The right-hander has been recalled from the alternate site just two days before the start of the Triple-A season.

Castellani, 25, made his MLB debut in a start on August 8. He would go on to make nine starts in a Rockies rotation that was without Jon Gray to conclude the season (shoulder). Castellani held a 5.82 ERA (1.454 WHIP) last year, just months removed from working a 2.16 ERA (1.380 WHIP) in 13 13 innings in the Arizona Fall League. The right-hander pitched all of 2019 in Triple-A Albuquerque and was confined to the alternate site in 2020 when he wasn’t with the big league club.

His work in 2021 spring training took a bitter turn, however, as his spring ERA spiked to a 31.50 (3.500 WHIP) in just two innings. Castellani was designated to the spring backfields after his second outing in the Cactus League and hasn’t pitched in an ‘official’ game since his last spring appearance.

His call-up suggests he has done a commendable job on the backfields and in alternate site work since then.

Under MLB rule, each team is able to recall one additional player — a “27th man” — to join the team for a doubleheader (as long as said player is part of the 40-man roster). The rule requires the big league roster to be cut back to 26 after the doubleheader, so this stint in the big leagues could be short-lived for Castellani unless the Rockies make an additional move to keep him around.

Castellani was initially placed on Triple-A Albuquerque’s roster to begin the minor league season. His long-term outlook on the big league roster could be dependent on his performance today and the status of other starters; the Rockies are currently down two of them with Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela on the injured list.

It further appears that Jhoulys Chacín, 33, will remain a long reliever. Minor league pitchers Dereck Rodríguez (28), Jose Mujica (24), Antonio Santos (24) and Ryan Rolison (23) are presumable starters in line after Castellani.