For the first time in years the Phillies did the supplying instead of doing any taking during Major League Babseball’s Rule 5 Draft.
Minor League pitcher Lendy Castillo was selected by the Chicago Cubs Thursday in the annual draft of minor leaguers who have spent at least four years (in the case of players signed at 18 or younger) or five years (for everyone else) in an organization who are not on the team’s 40-man roster.
The cost for the Cubs is a 25-man roster spot and $50,000 to the Phils.
In 38 Minor League games, Castillo is 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA since he was converted from shortstop after the 2009 season. He has 111 strikeouts and has walked 42 in that stretch.
Last year, the 22-year-old right-hander was 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA in 21 games, including two starts, for the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. He gave up 13 earned runs on 37 hits and 16 walks over 46 innings.
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer credited scouting director Tim Wilken and special assistant Dave Littlefield with their work in scouting Castillo. Although the right-hander is new to pitching, Hoyer said he has good velocity and can spin a breaking ball well. Right now, he's projected for the Cubs bullpen.
"Obviously, he's a long way away or they would've protected him, but we like him as a prospect and thought it was a worthwhile gamble taking him," Hoyer said. "We're hopeful it works out."
The Cubs GM sure doesn’t sound very confident that Castillo is ready. Should the Cubs decide that Castillo still has a long way to come then they would need to either trade his rights to another team or return him to the Phils for $25,000.
If I were a betting man I would put money on Castillo being back on the Phillies farm before season’s end -- likely much earlier. He has never pitched above Single-A and only has two seasons of hurling under his belt.
The bigger news though for the Phillies this season was that for the first time since 2005 they didn’t select a player in the Rule 5 draft -- no David Herndon no Michael Martinez no Jim Ed Warden picked by the Phightins this year.
Of course with a roster already packed with veterans they really didn’t have room for a gamble.
Instead for now Martinez, Shane Victorino and possibly Herndon will have to hold down the former Rule 5ers fort for the Phils.