LHP Daniel Castano
Opening Day age: 26 | Bats: Left | Throws: Left | Listed at 6’3”, 231 lbs.
Daniel Castano was an unlikely contributor to the 2020 big league squad when Summer Camp began, but we all know that nothing went as planned during the pandemic-shortened regular season. Although he was a contributor the 2020 Marlins couldn’t have done without, his place on the 2021 Marlins is still unsettled.
Coming into this year’s Spring Training, the fifth spot on 2021’s pitching staff was up for grabs. Trevor Rogers, Nick Neidert, and Castano were assumed to battle it out. Then, the Marlins signed free agent Gio González, a veteran lefty and South Florida native. It seems unlikely now that Castano will slide in as a starter, making his role for the Marlins questionable as we move toward Opening Day.
So far this spring, Castano has appeared in three games — one as a starter and two in relief. Coming out of the bullpen in his second game, Castano got shoved around by the Washington Nationals in his two innings of work. He bounced back the following week, however, throwing 22⁄3 innings and allowing no one to reach base.
Castano was relied upon heavily in 2020, especially when the Marlins were forced to make up games that were postponed because of the virus outbreak. He would appear in four of those doubleheaders. He held a 3.03 ERA over 29 innings, the second-most among Marlins pitchers that did not begin the season with the team. His year-end numbers were a pleasant surprise, especially considering Castano’s average fastball sits at 89 MPH and he rarely strikes out batters.
2021 ZiPS projection: 4.63 ERA, 4.89 FIP, 1.41 WHIP, 0.5 fWAR
2021 PECOTA projection (50th percentile): 4.66 ERA, 4.82 FIP, 1.39 WHIP, -0.1 WARP
Because of the González signing, Castano won’t be in the starting rotation early on unless injuries pile up or another outbreak arises.
Thinking back to the Fish’s final regular season game last season, Castano was called upon abruptly in the third inning when José Ureña was hit by a comebacker and was removed from the game. Castano went on to dazzle in his relief debut, posting zeroes across the scoreboard as he pitched into the 9th inning. The Marlins also brought on multiple bullpen arms this offseason, so it seems unlikely that Castano would make the Opening Day roster as a reliever.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that Castano will likely begin the season in Triple-A. He will eventually be called upon in 2021, however. More starting pitchers will likely be used this season coming off the 60-game sprint in 2020, so Castano may have opportunities to start for the Marlins as the season goes on and the team tries to give the pitching staff more rest and keep arms healthy.
How many appearances will Castano make with the Marlins in 2021?
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