Baltimore Orioles: Three Players Who Must Show Up In 2020
How long of a leash will the Baltimore Orioles have on Miguel Castro?
All the talent to be a successful bullpen piece, but a lack of results to back it up. That’s been the story for Baltimore Orioles reliever Miguel Castro since the Orioles acquired him from Colorado back in 2017.
His strikeout rate has risen from 14% in his first year with the Orioles to 22.3% in 2019, however, his walk rate and ERA have also ballooned. Overall, Castro finished with a 1-3 record, a 4.66 ERA (4.73 FIP), and a 1.42 WHIP this year. Like Sisco, a hot stretch during 2019 provided fans with a glimpse of how dominant Castro can be, but consistency is the key.
With 2019 being about development and players showing improvement, Castro was one of the few bullpen pieces to do just that this year. Below is a comparison of his pre-All-Star break numbers with his post-All-Star break numbers.
Pre-Break: 5.28 ERA, .262 average against, .429 slugging against, 8.32 K/9 IP, 1.51 WHIP
Post-Break: 3.72 ERA, .183 average against, .317 slugging against, 9.21 K/9 IP, 1.28 WHIP.
Castro appeared in nine games in September, holding opponents scoreless in eight of them. He allowed one hit in two of them and struck out 12, compared to just five walks. Unfortunately, Castro gave up five earned runs on three hits and two walks in one of his final outings against Toronto. Take out that one dismal outing and Castro was…good.
He did what he has done numerous times before, sucked me back into being a believer. Opponents hit .154 against his slider and .093 against his changeup, while both pitches produced a whiff rate of nearly 40%. If he can figure out his fastball (.346 average, .583 slugging, and a .429 wOBA against) and hone in one his command, Castro can be a valuable piece to this Orioles bullpen. However, we have been saying this for a while now. Is there still a chance Castro turns things around or should we move on from this storyline?
Finally, 2020 will be a crucial year for this outfielder.