Luis Castillo still has all the tools to be an absolutely elite Major League Baseball starting pitcher. For whatever reason, though, we’ve just not seen it at all this year, one lone start against the Pittsburgh Pirates aside, and his transition from ‘Cy Young contender’ to ‘worst ERA in baseball’ is perhaps the single biggest reason the Cincinnati Reds are both under .500 and in 4th place in their division.
The honest truth is that the Reds are running out of time for him to completely reverse course on what’s becoming a lost season. Tonight, in Busch Stadium against the St. Louis Cardinals, would be an incredibly good place to start. Doing so would go a long way towards ensuring no worse than a series split for the Reds in a big series on the road, helping them tread water until they get some much-needed reinforcements back of the injured list.
Sharing the mound with him tonight will be lefty Kwang-Hyun Kim, who has seen a spike in his strikeout rate in this, his second season in the bigs. That’s come with a tradeoff of being much more hittable this year than last, in part because lefty batters have still found a way to reach base at a .357 clip against him. Maybe, just maybe, that’ll mean we’ll see yet another brilliant game from Jesse Winker tonight, which is becoming something to expect pretty much each and every time he sets foot on the field these days.
First pitch is again set for 8:15 PM ET.