For Anthony Castro, a rookie season as a Blue Jays reliever in 2021 has had a bit of everything, from the positives of being part of a team in the midst of the postseason fight to the negatives of injuries and frequent stays at Triple. -To Buffalo.
“A bit of ups and downs,” said the 26-year-old Venezuelan right-wing. “It has been totally different from all the previous years.”
Indeed, after making his major league debut in 2020 with the Tigers — an organization that signed him as a professional a decade ago — Castro was claimed on waivers by Toronto in December of last year and right now, he is in the final stretch of his career. first full season as a reliever after starting most of the time in the minor league. And amid the Blue Jays’ battle for qualification, Castro has had to make adjustments on the fly with his repertoire and his mentality on the mound.
After a difficult stretch of two appearances against the Yankees in mid-June, in which he allowed seven hits (including two home runs) and six earned runs in just two-thirds of an inning, Castro was at Triple-A Buffalo at the end of June. month. There, the Caracas-born was determined to improve his command and fastball location, as well as change his pitching sequence strategy — among other things.
“I worked on my pitching and a couple of failures in my mechanics, and in the mental part,” Castro said. “I said, ‘I’m not going to keep doing the same, because that way I’m not going to improve.’ I went to Triple-A with the mentality of working on the small details. “
A nerve injury in his pitching elbow put Castro another hurdle in July, along with several more stops at Buffalo. But since Sept. 18, the right-hander has met a Toronto team that came just one game away from the second AL Wildcard on Tuesday. And since those outings for oblivion against the Bronx Bombers in June, Castro has 10 strikeouts and a single walk in 8.0 innings for the Blue Jays, with a 3.38 ERA. In total, he is 1-2 with an ERA of 4.56 and 11.8 strikeouts for every nine innings in 24 appearances and 23.2 innings this season.
“I’m still learning,” said Castro, who relies heavily on a 95-mph four-seam fastball, plus a slider. “Those games brought a lot of education to my career.”
EXCITED TO BE IN THE FIGHT FOR PLAYOFFS
As a rookie, Castro is part of a Blue Jays team that not only fights for the playoffs, but now does so in front of their audience at the Rogers Center, after playing the first half of the season in Dunedin, Florida and Buffalo.
With Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and countless other talented young hitters, Toronto is a club on the rise.
“Now in Toronto it’s like now, we’re going to do everything for the fans,” said Castro. “They deserve it and have a lot waiting for this.
“It’s awesome,” continued the pitcher as he analyzed the talent of the Blue Jays. “The future is bright” (the future is bright). Right now, we have an incredible team. It is too good an atmosphere and we are all on the same winning train. At the end of the day, that’s the most important thing ”.