It was a forgettable season for Daniel Castano, who made just five major league appearances and four starts for the 2021 Marlins (0-2, 20.1 IP, 13 SO, 1.48 WHIP, 5.14 FIP). Injuries played a role in holding him back.
Castano’s strikeout rate climbed from his 2020 debut—from 9.5% to 14.1%—but that is still extremely low by current MLB standards. He spent most of his time in AAA Jacksonville (7-2, 3.91 ERA, 14 G, 78.1 IP, 54 SO, 1.09 WHIP). A shoulder impingement sidelined the big lefty for about 2 months. He was trending in the right direction late in the summer upon his return, completing 6+ innings in each of his final 6 AAA starts, including 8 scoreless innings in the Jumbo Shrimp’s season finale. Called up to Miami in the midst of that stretch, he contributed 3 solid innings against the Mets.
Marlins fans’ fondest memory of Castano in 2021, more so anything that he did on the mound, would probably be his April 16 postgame press conference when he addressed the media wearing a 10-gallon hat.
Castano’s career could go in many different directions entering 2022, but the one that makes the most sense is moving him to the bullpen. He’s already shown the ability to work multiple innings at a time. Maybe there is a niche for him in between starting and short relief that allows him to make a positive impact without being over-exposed. Castano still has one more minor league option remaining, so he’s a candidate to shuttle back and forth between Miami and Jacksonville in the event of his injuries and inconsistencies that create open spots on the pitching staff.
Daniel Castano barely played a role for the Marlins during the 2021 season, but he has the pitch mix and work ethic to provide more value next year if used correctly.