Monday, the Cubs claimed righthanded reliever Kervin Castro on waivers from the Giants.
Also Monday, the Cubs played with one man fewer than allowed, as only 25 Cubs were on the active roster, 14 position players and 11 pitchers.
Today, the Cubs have rectified that by activating Castro. MLB roster rules currently limit teams to 13 pitchers, but they are not required to carry that many, so the 14-12 split works, for now, anyway.
Castro is from Venezuela and was originally signed by the Giants in 2015. Then he missed most of 2017 and 2018 after Tommy John surgery. He made his MLB debut last year and did not allow a run in 10 appearances (13⅓ innings), with four walks and 13 strikeouts. He threw well enough that the Giants put him on their Division Series roster and he made two scoreless appearances against the Dodgers.
This year, he made San Francisco’s Opening Day roster and had one good outing and then got pounded for five runs in two-thirds of an inning April 29 by the Nationals. After that he was sent to Triple-A Sacramento, where he’s posted an unsightly 5.57 ERA and 1.701 WHIP, with tons of walks (24 in 32⅓ innings).
Here is Castro’s pitch mix (it’s from 2021, as he hasn’t thrown the minimum 100 MLB pitches for Statcast to list him for 2022):
So he’s your basic two-pitch reliever, four-seamer and curveball. Looks like he has trouble throwing strikes with that high walk rate. At 23, perhaps the Cubs’ Pitch Lab can help fix that. In the meantime, he’ll get some MLB experience.