During spring training, one of the most attractive prospects on the White Sox was starter Simon Castro. And now, after another failed stint in the bullpen from Brian Omogrosso, Castro is getting his first chance to make an impression with the MLB team.
Last season, Omogrosso pitched in 17 games for the Sox and had a very good 2.57 ERA. And after he dominated this past spring, expectations were high for him to slot in as a breakout middle reliever.
But after multiple stints with the team so far in 2012 (12 appearances), Omogrosso's ERA rose up to 9.37, as he couldn't even handle situations with next to no pressure. So for the first time during this soon-to-be rebuilding season, the team has called up one of their top prospects.
So far in 2013, Simon Castro has struggled in AAA Charlotte. He was very good in AA Birmingham last year and in the spring for our Sox, but this regular season his ERA has constantly been up around 5.00 for the Knights …
Castro has pitched 16 games for Charlotte this year, 12 of them being starts. And it'd be a lie to say he's been bad. In those dozen games he started, he pitched well in seven or eight of them, depending on your statistical standards. But his starts on April 17th and April 29th weighed down his stats. Then, in two consecutive starts on May 15th and May 21st, he got rocked before bouncing back with three consecutive solid outings.
But since then, probably because it's become clear that the White Sox will need young talent to fill into their bullpen for the second half of the season, he moved to the Knights' 'pen where he's made four appearances, letting up four earned runs in 7.2 IP.
In addition to his high ERA (currently at 4.92), he's walked 28 batters through 75 IP. Though that can be manageable, it's worse than we've seen from him in the minors since 2010. He's also only struck out 63 hitters, which certainly isn't bad, but you'd love to see more from a guy like Castro who throws hard and has great stuff.
Looking at his career, he's been much better in A and AA than he has been in AAA, whether it in the Sox' organization or back when he was with the Padres' system before he came over as a major piece of the Carlos Quentin deal.
Maybe it's just mental with Simon … he's a big guy who throws hard and can make a major league hitter (as we've seen in spring training) swing and miss quite a bit. But he's going to have to be much more consistent than he's been this year or throughout his entire career if he wants to earn a job (presumably in the 2014 bullpen) going forward.
Also, with the team's 'pen being taxed of late, it'd be great to see him go out there, battle, and eat up innings even if he isn't dominating. Pitching Coach Don Cooper will certainly be looking for things like that, too, out of the 25 year-old, 6'5 Dominican prospect.