Detroit Tigers: Luis Castillo offers intrigue to the bullpen

Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Luis Castillo helps bolster the bullpen.

The Detroit Tigers pitching staff has come out and gotten the job done when asked; starters and relievers. Oddly enough, the team’s bullpen has been a much more firm part of the team’s make-up. For the Tigers, call-up Luis Castillo has been a player who provides upside.

While Castillo’s tenure in the big leagues has not been a lengthy one, there are things to like about what he can bring to the table moving forward. The Detroit Tigers signed Castillo to a minor league contract ahead of the 2022 season.

He’s been in the farm system for the season and has finally made his way to the big leagues. The primarily sinker/slider reliever has some intrigue as the team continues to find new arms to add to their bullpen.

Castillo is one of the arms who should be able to provide some meaningful outings out of the bullpen. The question is if he will be able to stick with the team moving forward. He’s spent the bulk of the season in the minors between the team’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliate.

Detroit Tigers reliever Luis Castillo could be something.

Castillo is 27 years old, and after time in the minors, he has gotten to make his big league debut. While still in the minors, he accumulated 43.2 innings pitched with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He punched out 41 opposing hitters and was able to be an efficient reliever.

His big league stats are minimal, with just three outings under his belt. He’s totaled just 3.2 innings pitched, allowing just two hits, and punching out four opposing hitters. He has been able to get the job done when called upon.

That being said, let’s take a deeper look into Castillo’s stuff itself. He’s got a three-pitch repertoire where he has a fastball-slider-changeup pitch mix. His fastball is a sinker profile that worked into the low-90s, averaging 93.5 mph on the pitch.

It’s a pitch that rides through the top of the zone and can be heavier when thrown arm-side. He locates the pitch arm-side often, attacking hitters, which can be tough for right-handers, forcing some bad swings.

He pairs the fastball with a slider. It spins around 2,100 RPMs and has good depth to the pitch. The pitch gets 41.0 inches of vertical break, according to Baseball Savant. It’s tighter horizontal, but it drops and gets that tilt to it. It helps him miss barrels and tunnels well with the fastball.

The fastball/slider combination plays well from his low-three-quarters arm slot. He also has a changeup that he’s able to kill spin on but use the spin to his advantage at the same time. It’s another pitch that tunnels well off the fastball, with tumble to it.

He gets 96% active spin on the changeup, and overall it plays well when located arm-side and in the lower third.

What’s next for Luis Castillo in the Detroit Tigers bullpen?

There are reasons to like Castillo. While he may not be the next flame-throwing right-hander or the next big-time closer, he’s got the intrigue to be a tough-to-hit bullpen arm. The Tigers need to keep stacking depth in the bullpen, and it may not be all that bad to have Castillo around.

The Tigers should be hoping that Castillo settles into the bullpen. The stuff appears like it could play coming out of the bullpen with intrigue to see what happens. The team needs to keep trotting him out there.

They need to test out the right-handed pitcher to see if he has what it takes to be a valuable piece for the Tigers bullpen.