Luis Castillo’s comforting success, unusual armhole earns him a call from the Detroit Tigers

Luis Castillo has waited 11 years for this moment.

Triple-A Toledo manager Lloyd McClendon called Castillo—a 27-year-old right-handed man—to his office after Friday’s game in Iowa. The Detroit The Tigers had picked right starting player Brian Garcia and wanted to boost their fortune after they used six cutbacks in Friday’s loss to Tampa Bay rays.

Tigers chose Castillo.

“This is a dream come true,” said Castillo, with the bilingual translation of Tigers’ media coordinator Carlos Gillin. “I’ve always worked hard out there. There have been times and some moments where I thought I would never do it because of the decisions out of my own hands. With hard work and all the support, I was finally able to do it he-she.”

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Detroit Tigers, right-hand ball prospect, throws Luis Castillo during a minor league camp on Sunday, February 20, 2022, in Tiger Town in Lakeland, Florida.

Castillo joined the 40-man squad and entered the Tigers on Saturday ahead of his much-anticipated MLB debut. He made his way into the major leagues by posting a 1.42 ERA with 10 walks and 35 strikes over 38 runs in 36 games with Double-A Erie (three games) and Triple-A at Toledo (33 games).

For the mud chicken, Castillo scored 1.56 afternoons over a 34-degree course.

“It was very good from a different angle,” said Director AJ Hinch. “He just kept coming out. We’ll have a different look in our office and we’ll give him a chance to see what the big leagues are like.”

An armhole separates the castello.

It doesn’t throw a full hand raise, nor is it a side soldier. Castillo shoots the ball somewhere between a three-quarter hole and a sidearm hole. The way he plays is unlike anything Tigers offer outside of the battlefield.

His pitches – fast ball, passing and changing – aren’t elite, but that didn’t stop the organization from giving him a chance. Tigers want to look at something different from what they already have from their thinners.

“No matter what I’m up against, right hitter or left hitter, all shooters, we trust our fastballs, no matter what angle of arm I’m shooting from,” Castillo said. “I have to rely a lot on my Fastball because it sinks naturally. But in addition to that, like every shooter, I have to use all of my arsenal, so I change the slider as well.”

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Before Castillo signed with the Tigers in the off-season, he spent his first ten years as a professional (nine seasons) with Arizona Diamondbacks, who reached Triple-A but struggled with a 6.63 ERA in 2021.

He has bid for Aguilas Cibaeñas in the Dominican Winter League for the past four years. He displayed a 1.27 ERA with four runs and 18 strokes over 21⅓ innings in away last season and dominated the Dominican Republic in three games in the Caribbean Series.

“It’s very hard on the right,” Hinch said. “He’s got a heavy slide combination from a lower arm corner. You see that’s starting to be a trend across the league, giving different looks to different hitters.”

The Tigers signed Castillo in February for a minor league deal.

“I made some adjustments,” Castillo said. “Playing in the Dominican Winter League has helped me a lot. There, I was up against big league hitters, and professional hitters. Adapting with them helped me improve. It helped me come here.”

Six months later, the Tigers promoted Castillo to the highest level in baseball.

He called his family in the Dominican Republic on Friday night, but his parents were already asleep. A phone call with his brother succeeded, and he woke up the rest of the family. The whole family celebrated the completion of an 11-year journey.

“My father tried to laugh and smile, but he started screaming, and my mother was very happy,” said Castillo.


Right-hander Beau Brieske completed the second and final start to his rehab job on Friday, firing 4 innings of one-ball runs for Toledo. He didn’t walk, scoring eight hits and making 49 of 66 throws for strikes.

His Fastball sat around 96 mph.

The 24-year-old is likely to start on Wednesday vs. Cleveland Guardians in Comerica Park.

“Things were good,” Hinch said. “He was relieved. He ticked all the boxes we needed so he could go for five or six rounds in a few days.”

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Tigers pitcher Beau Brieske delivers against the White Sox during the fifth inning on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Chicago.

Tigers pitcher Beau Brieske delivers against the White Sox during the fifth inning on Thursday, July 7, 2022, in Chicago.

Briske threw 7 runs in two rehab runs. Tigers put him on the injured list on July 21, retroactively to July 18, with right forearm pain, which had more to do with limiting his roles than the actual injury.

“Part of this quiet period for him is booking some roles for us later in the season,” Hinch said. “We will be keeping an eye on him and keeping him for five rounds and playing his roles in August and September. We have tried to meticulously deal with the middle part of his season so that he can play more deeply into the season than ever before.”

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This article originally appeared in Detroit Free Press: Detroit Tigers RHP Luis Castillo’s Unusual Arm Slot Earns Him a Summon

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