Mets Monday Morning GM: Miguel Castro is worth our patience
By Tim Boyle
I’m not sure New York Mets fans really know what to think of Miguel Castro. Acquired last summer by the club in a trade with the Baltimore Orioles, he’s a 26-year-old right-handed reliever without spectacular big league results. He’ll enter this season with a 4.29 ERA and a rather weak 7.4 strikeouts per nine rate.
Something important to keep in mind is where Castro pitched previously to joining the Mets. His other three teams are the Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies, and Baltimore Orioles. Three clubs known for their hitter’s parks, perhaps Castro was a victim of his home stadium.
With a lifetime ERA+ of 104, this suggests he’s a slightly above-average relief pitcher. This doesn’t mean he’ll amount to much. All we need with him right now is a little patience.
Mets can reap the benefits of Miguel Castro with a little patience
Brodie Van Wagenen made a lot of questionable moves as Mets general manager. A LOT.
The Castro trade last summer may end up following into the loss column. New York did send pitching prospect Kevin Smith to Baltimore in the deal. The ultimate winner in this deal has yet to be determined.
In his nine frames with the Mets last year, we saw Castro factor into three decisions despite pitching in only ten games. He had a 4.00 ERA and a 1-2 record during his brief time with the club. Hardly enough to pass much judgment, we saw him strike out batters at a higher rate than he has previously but also walk a whole bunch, too.
Castro is out of minor league options so there’s an almost 100% chance he makes the Mets Opening Day roster. The team had a chance to non-tender him this winter. They opted to pay the man and see if one of the last trades made by BVW can actually turn out well.
There’s definitely something intriguing about a 26-year-old reliever who had one point rose up through the minor leagues so quickly he pitched his first season at age 20.
I can only speculate but perhaps the chance from pitching as a starter in the minors to becoming a reliever in the majors had some ill-effects on Castro. By the time he was with Baltimore in 2017 and pitching in relief almost exclusively, he did turn in two consecutive sub-4.00 ERA seasons.
At the very least, Miguel Castro can eat some innings
Salvaging the Castro trade shouldn’t be the Mets’ mission with this still relatively young yet experienced relief pitcher. If things don’t work out, cutting bait should be an option. He’s not making much money and a placement on waivers or a non-tender after this season should remain on the table.
This doesn’t mean a less than perfect season from Castro should be the end of his Mets’ tenure. He could have a role with this team in 2021 and even 2022 as a go-to option to eat up some innings. Castro managed to pitch 66-86 innings in each season from 2017-2019. Relievers who can get outs regularly, even if not as consistently as needed, do have a spot on big league clubs.
Castro was a realistic non-tender candidate for the Mets this winter. Unsure they could improve the bullpen fully, they kept him around.
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I’m not a patient person in many aspects of life. This year, I’ll make it a point to at least test drive some faith in Castro for a few weeks and see if he can give the Mets 60+ innings of average work.