Mets: What can we expect from reliever Miguel Castro in 2021?
By Tim Boyle
Miguel Castro is still young and someone we should see in the New York Mets bullpen next season. What can he give his new team?
In nine innings with the New York Mets, relief pitcher Miguel Castro allowed four earned runs, walked eight, struck out 14. The tiny sample size barely scraped the surface of what he could potentially offer them in 2021.
For a better idea, we should probably gaze at his career numbers. However, at 8-18 with a 4.29 ERA through 283 big league innings, I’m not sure we’re any closer to knowing what he can give the orange and blue moving forward.
Castro is an interesting case for a few reasons. Although he has pitched at least a handful of major league innings every year since 2015, he doesn’t turn 26 until Christmas Eve 2020.
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His career includes time spent with the Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies, and Baltimore Orioles. All play in notoriously hitter-friendly ballparks which can always play a factor in a young pitcher’s progress.
Still, I’m not sure how much it actually managed to play a role in his career numbers. During his time in Baltimore, Castro had a season ERA as low as 3.53. Two years later, it bumped all the way up to 4.66.
In his case, I like to look at what he has done consistently. Whether good or bad, this is a clearer indication of what is more likely to happen with him in 2021 and beyond. There’s always a chance he improves or falters. Either way, we should remain cautiously optimistic.
Castro has not been a master of striking out batters. In his career, he has averaged only 7.4 strikeouts per nine innings. This is especially low for a reliever and an area he’ll need to improve upon to get better.
Additionally, Castro has struggled in the free pass department. His walk rate of 4.7 per nine innings is also ugly. Add in his 1.2 home runs for every nine innings pitched and we’re seeing a pitcher with some obvious areas to improve upon.
Castro pitches to too much contact. He walks batters, doesn’t strike them out often, and allows far too many home runs. A reliever like this may be able to survive pitching half of his games at Citi Field. However, as we have often seen, the home of the Mets isn’t exactly kind to all who step on its mound.
When the Mets acquired Castro this past summer, they landed a young hurler many believe has yet to reach his ceiling. Nurture him well and maybe he does turn into something special for the bullpen.
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At worst, maybe Castro can eat some late innings for the Mets in blowouts. He has yet to enter the circle of trust. In 2021, he will hopefully get a full year to prove he belongs.