As noted this morning in the Bullets, Rule 5 draftee Lendy Castillo was expected to be activated this weekend from his months-long sojourn on the DL with some kind of groin strain (it was actually an acute case of gaming-the-Rule-5-rules-itis (I wonder if he, too, had to wear a lame wrist brace)). And, indeed, he was activated today, just in time for this afternoon’s game against the Reds.
Castillo, 23, had ugly numbers across the board for the Cubs in his seven appearances earlier this year – kind of what you’d expect from a converted shortstop who hadn’t pitched above A-ball. He was, however, lights out across three levels over the past month or so during his rehab. Between stops at rookie ball, High-A, and AA, Castillo put up a 0.90 ERA and a 0.950 WHIP in 20 innings, striking out 22 and walking just 6. Were he just a pitching prospect, and not a kid that you had to bring back up to the bigs like a lamb to the slaughter, you’d be pretty encouraged by what you were seeing. In other words, don’t expect to see anything too great from him this year, but he could be a legit pitching prospect for the Cubs in 2013.
Maine continues to go up and down between AAA and the Cubs. Since coming up in mid-June, Maine’s been pretty meh – posting a 4.20 ERA and an .804 OPS against in 15 innings of work. He continues to strike tons of guys out (16 in that stretch), but he walks almost as many (9). If he could just sort that issue out, he’d be a great reliever. But, unfortunately, it’s been an issue for him for a while.
Castillo will head to the bullpen, and, if he stays healthy the rest of the way, the Cubs will get to keep him after the season without offering him back to the Phillies. That would qualify as “nicely done” by the front office.