Castillo will be shut down for the rest of the 2018 season due to an innings restriction, Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. Castillo was expected to make his final start of the season Friday, but the Reds have elected to close the book on his year following a superb outing against Miami on Friday. During that performance, he tossed 8.1 scoreless innings with five strikeouts while allowing just five hits and one walk. On the year, he will finish with 169.2 innings pitched -- the exact same total he had in 2017 split between the majors and Triple-A -- with a 4.30 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 8.8 K/9. Anthony DeSclafani will take his place in the rotation Friday while Michael Lorenzen will pitch Saturday.
Castillo struck out five in 8.1 scoreless innings Friday against the Marlins, allowing five hits and one walk in a no-decision. Castillo was outstanding in Friday's outing, allowing just one extra-base hit while throwing 73 of 102 pitches for strikes. In his last 10 starts, Castillo has thrown six quality starts and three of those have been scoreless outings. On the season the young right-hander has a 4.30 ERA and 1.22 WHIP to go along with a 165:49 K:BB in 169.2 innings. His next scheduled start will be a matchup with the Pirates at home.
Castillo (10-12) picked up the win against the Cubs on Sunday, giving up one earned run on four hits over 6.2 innings, striking out two and walking four in the Reds' 2-1 victory. It was the third win in his last four starts for the right-hander, who has been faring much better during the second half of the season after a rough start to his 2018 campaign. He wasn't at his best Sunday, with four free passes against just two strikeouts, but he still managed to work deep into the game, needing 98 pitches to make it through his 6.2 innings. His 4.52 ERA through 161.1 innings still isn't especially inspiring, but the young right-hander is at least showing flashes of the ability he demonstrated as a rookie last season, when he posted an excellent 3.12 ERA and 1.07 WHIP over 89.1 innings.
Castillo's two-seam fastball was averaging 97.1 mph in Tuesday's start against the Dodgers, and he topped out over 98 mph, MLB.com's Mark Sheldon reports. This is an encouraging sign for Castillo. His velocity had dipped earlier in the season, to the point where he was averaging 95.4 mph on his two-seamer overall, down two mph from 2017. One consequence of the velocity improvement is that it made his changeup that much more effective. It's been a bumpy season for Castillo, but his post-break numbers are a good reason to be encouraged.
Castillo (9-12) earned the win against the Dodgers on Tuesday, allowing one run on four hits over 6.1 innings. He struck out nine and walked only one. The only blemish for Castillo was Joc Pederson's solo home run during the sixth inning, and the right hander has now allowed only three earned runs in his three starts this month. The 25-year-old has a 4.66 ERA, 1.25 WHIP and 158 strikeouts over 154.2 innings, and is next set to take the mound Monday at Milwaukee.