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Simon Castro Optioned to AAA

After yesterday’s afternoon loss in Philadelphia, the White Sox made a small roster move, optioning relief pitcher Simon Castro to AAA Charlotte. With the team’s next game not coming until Friday because of the All-Star break, the Sox have a couple of days to announce a corresponding move.

Castro, who had recently been converted to a reliever before being called up earlier this month, did a pretty nice job in his four appearances. He allowed two runs in 6.2 innings, walking three and striking out six.

While he did suffer the loss in game two of Saturday’s doubleheader in Philly, he seemed to be able to hold his own at the big league level. In his major league debut back on July 5, Castro pitched three scoreless innings in relief. He also pitched twice against Detroit last week, giving up one run in two innings in those outings.

So why is Castro being demoted if he’s doing a decent job? We will have to see what the corresponding move is, but it looks like that it’s just a numbers game for him at this point. The 25-year old still has a few option years left, meaning the Sox can send Castro down to the minor leagues without him having to clear waivers and give his approval.

That’s probably the reason why Castro is being optioned, as if the team wanted to open up a roster spot by removing Ramon Troncoso or David Purcey, those players would have to be designated for assignment. However, one could certainly argue that both of those players would end up clearing waivers and accepting an AAA assignment anyways, so that’s why it’s a bit of an interesting move given Castro’s youth and performance compared to those two.

As far as who will take Castro’s place, we will have to wait a few days. Jake Peavy did throw 90 pitches over five innings down in AA Birmingham yesterday, so maybe the Sox are comfortable with just one rehab start. That would likely mean that Dylan Axelrod slides into the long relief role, something he hasn’t really done much in his career.

If the team is going to call-up someone other than Peavy, it’s pretty unclear at this point as to who will get that nod. Andre Rienzo, Erik Johnson, Charlie Leesman, Brian Omogrosso, Jason Berken, Jeff Gray, Jake Petricka, and, brace yourselves, Deunte Heath are all possibilities. All eight of those guys are named that have performed pretty well in Charlotte up to this point, and while some of them are more likely than others to be called-up (I wouldn’t anticipate Johnson or Petricka considering they just came up from AA), it’s hard to say what the White Sox are going to do.

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