SF Giants: Kervin Castro bolsters bullpen with promotion

SF Giants, Kervin Castro

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA – MARCH 28: Kervin Castro #76 of the SF Giants pitches in the sixth inning against the Oakland Athletics during the MLB spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium on March 28, 2021 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

The SF Giants switched out a pair of relievers on Monday, optioning Jay Jackson and promoting Kervin Castro according to Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. The Giants employed bullpen games on Saturday and Sunday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, so they are in need of a fresh arm.

SF Giants: Kervin Castro bolsters bullpen with promotion

When Castro (No. 22 prospect per ATF) appears on the mound for the Giants, it will be his major league debut. The right-handed hurler was added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, but surprisingly, he has not been called up until now.

Interestingly, the 22-year-old was originally scouted as a catcher but transitioned to the mound due to a request by his coaches in Venezuela. That is one suggestion that has paid off for Castro as he prepares for his first cup of coffee with the Giants.

The decision to add him to the 40-man roster was mildly surprising. After all, he had never pitched above High-A ball and had a total of 89.2 innings as a pro under his belt. However, he was eligible for the Rule 5 draft, so there was some concern that he would have been plucked by another team.

Castro began the year in Triple-A and he has put together a strong campaign, registering a 2.86 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 12.3 K/9, and a 2.73 SO/W ratio across 44 frames. Triple-A West is a hitter-friendly league, so Castro’s performance has been even more impressive than the numbers suggest.

The young reliever flashes a fastball that sits comfortably in the mid 90’s and can reach as high as 98 MPH that he pairs with a 12-to-6 curveball. He has demonstrated subpar control as a pro, but that is likely a product of having such little experience on the mound. It could be a trait that develops as his career progresses.

The decision to option Jay Jackson is a tough one. After all, he has been pretty reliable with the exception of a couple of poor appearances. Most notably, he recorded just one out while allowing three earned runs as the opener against the Dodgers on Saturday night.

That said, the decision to swap him out with Castro gives a bullpen that has been worked pretty heavily recently a fresh arm. Castro joins Camilo Doval as rookie relievers who will be helping the Giants down the stretch in September.