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Orioles acquire Miguel Castro from Rockies, designate Joe Gunkel for assignment

Dan Duquette picked up another player from another team for almost nothing, acquiring young reliever Miguel Castro from the Rockies.

MLB: Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates
His name isn’t as cool as Joe Gunkel, but hopefully Miguel Castro has more potential as an MLB pitcher.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another spin of the roster roulette wheel for Dan Duquette. In what’s becoming almost the standard Orioles trade, the Orioles picked up a pitcher from another team in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Today’s winner of a shiny new roster spot with the Orioles is 22-year-old right-handed reliever Miguel Castro.

The 40-man roster is a zero-sum game, and sadly, this means that Camden Chat favorite Joe “The Gunk” Gunkel, acquired from the Red Sox for Alejandro De Aza in 2015, has been sent to the great DFA in the sky. The best thing Gunkel ever really had going for him was his name, and having a great name is not sufficient defense to keep one from getting designated for assignment.

Castro himself was designated for assignment recently, which is why he was on the trading block for the Orioles to pick him up so cheaply. He’s young, averages 96mph on his fastball, and has a minor league option remaining, so of course the Orioles are going to love a guy like that.

Results have not quite been there over Castro’s young career. He made his MLB debut at 20, which is impressive, but was not quite ready for the big time yet. Over two years of big league action, he’s pitched in 32.1 innings for a combined 6.12 ERA and 1.670 WHIP. That includes seven home runs allowed. Well, maybe it’ll be better if he gets out of Colorado?

Not that Castro was doing great even before he was with Colorado. It was the Blue Jays who brought him up at age 20. He wasn’t good there. They traded him to the Rockies as part of the Troy Tulowitzki trade.

Castro wasn’t very good in the minors last year either - 10.34 ERA in 15.2 innings, and according to MLB Trade Rumors, he was torched in spring training as well. In every state, country, elevation, and climate, he has struggled. Maybe it was a bad idea for Toronto to call him up right from High-A in the 2015 season.

Our friends over at Purple Row, the SB Nation Rockies blog, wrote this about Castro’s trade:

However, Jerry Schemmel revealed at the Purple Row Breakfast this morning that Castro fell out of favor with the organization due to attitude issues, and was even described as “uncoachable.”

Schemmel is one of the Rockies radio broadcasters.

If Castro is uncoachable in truth, that’s going to be the Orioles’ problem now. They’re not going to make use of him immediately, in any case. Castro has been optioned to Double-A Bowie where they’ll try to work it out with him in the bullpen. You never really know what might happen. It costs the Orioles little to try to turn Castro’s career back around.