Reds catcher Barnhart expects to see the real Luis Castillo soon

After strong rookie season, Castillo struggles in first six starts in 2018


Tucker Barnhart hasn’t caught the real Luis Castillo yet. He’s confident he’ll soon see the pitcher who emerged as a breakout star for the Cincinnati Reds in 2017.

“He’s been a shell of who he has been this season,” Barnhart said Tuesday. “When he gets back up there on the mound and is right mechanically, it’ll be the guy everybody saw last year.”

Castillo was 3-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 15 starts last season as a rookie. He gave three or more earned runs six times. He was the only Reds pitcher who made at least 10 starts to have an ERA under 4.00.

» RELATED: Sad stats mount for Reds as Bailey’s struggles continue

This season, in six starts, he has allowed at least three earned runs every time. His ERA climbed to 7.85 with the shortest outing of his career Friday in Minnesota. He allowed five earned runs in one inning. He’s one reason the Reds rank last in baseball in team ERA (5.37).

The Reds believe they have found Castillo’s issue, and the results in his upcoming starts should tell whether Castillo can fix it and turn his second season in the big leagues around.

“Danny Darwin and Ted (Power) and Derrin (Ebert) have identified some stuff from past years where maybe they think his arm angle has dropped a little bit,” interim manager Jim Riggleman said. “Whether that means your arm or whether your hand’s not getting on top of the ball, they’ll just try to make a little adjustment.”

» SPORTS TODAY: Maybe this is just who Homer Bailey is

Riggleman would have liked to have seen Castillo throw two bullpen sessions between starts. There wasn’t time this week with Castillo pitching the series finale Wednesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers. He’ll get an extra day of rest next week.

The Reds, who fell to 7-23 with a 7-6 loss Tuesday at Great American Ball Park, remain confident in Castillo.

“He had a little mechanical issue that was going on,” Barnhart said. “He now knows about it. It’s been pointed out to him. They’ve gone to measures to fix it. When he does fix it, it should help his velocity get back up to where he was last year. Once that happens, everything will fall into place.”

» PHOTOS: Reds vs. Brewers

Barnhart described Castillo as confident and positive. There’s not much he needs to say to keep his spirits high.

“He’s an extremely talented guy,” Barnhart said. “To see him struggle a bit, it’s good because you’ve got to figure out how to get through those struggles but also you want to see him have success, and you want to help him through that as much as you can.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Bengals coordinator on defense vs. Panthers: ‘We just had a stinker’
Bengals coordinator on defense vs. Panthers: ‘We just had a stinker’

Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Teryl Austin wasn’t about to make excuses for how his defense performed Sunday against Carolina. In fact, he placed the blame almost entirely on himself and vowed Cincinnati (2-1) will do better this week at Atlanta (1-2). The Bengals gave up 230 yards rushing in a 31-21 loss to the Panthers , as...
High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?
High School Football State Poll: Which area teams are ranked?

How a state panel of sports writers and broadcasters rates Ohio high school football teams in the weekly Associated Press poll of 2018. Teams are ranked by OHSAA divisions, with won-lost record and total points (first-place votes in parentheses): 1. Cin. Colerain (9) 5-0 217 2. Mentor (8) 5-0 214 3. Pickerington Central (6) 5-0 208 4. Reynoldsburg...
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks
Ohio State QB Haskins wins Big Ten Player of the Week award for second time in four weeks

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Dwayne Haskins won the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week award Monday for the second time in four weeks. Haskins shared the award with Penn State running back Miles Sanders. The No. 4 Buckeyes and No. 9 Nittany Lions play at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in State College, Pa. In a 49-6 victory against Tulane, Haskins completed...
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win
Miami coach praises team’s ‘persistance’ in MAC-opening road win

Even though Bowling Green went into Saturday’s game against Miami with the Mid-American Conference’s worst rushing defense, the visiting, injury-riddled RedHawks hardly seemed poised to run roughshod over the Falcons. Led by Alonzo Smith’s career-high 164 rushing yards, Miami piled up a startling 289 yards on the ground on the way...
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers
Bengals Report Card: Grading Sunday’s 31-21 loss to Panthers

The Cincinnati Bengals couldn’t overcome turnovers, injuries or the Carolina Panthers’ running game Sunday as they suffered their first loss of the season. With running back Joe Mixon out, Cincinnati turned to its passing game but lost standout wide receiver A.J. Green to a groin injury early in the third quarter and quarterback Andy Dalton...
More Stories