Cubs Roster Profiles: Lendy Castillo


As the 2012 season approaches, Cubbies Crib is profiling each and every member of the Cubs forty man roster. Today, we are talking about Rule 5 selection Lendy Castillo.

The Rule 5 draft does no one any favors. While being selected is a vote of confidence in favor of a player, being left exposed to the draft is a mark against them. The success rate of Rule 5 prospects is not very high, but the potential is always there so long as you don’t set your sights too high. In the case of Lendy Castillo the Cubs took a big gamble, but one that has a very nice potential payoff.

2011 Recap
Castillo has appeared in more games as a shortstop (112) than he has as a pitcher (38). He has only been on the mound for two seasons and 111 innings. Reports say his fastball can touch 96 and that he has a promising looking breaking ball to pair it with, but there is no getting around the fact that he has very little mound experience. His SO/9 looked good last season (9.0), but his BB/9 is cause for concern (3.1). Keep in mind that he put these numbers up against the South Atlantic league. In 2012, he hopes to be facing major league pitching.

2012 Outlook
A Rule 5 pick has to remain on the 25 man roster for the entire season, or else be offered back to the original team for $25,000. The Cubs knew that when they chose an inexperienced pitcher. Every indicator suggests that Castillo is going to have a very hard time sticking in the Majors, but I think the Cubs knew that as well. I suspect the Cubs see enough potential that they are content to keep him around. Eventually he could develop closer stuff – he has the fastball for it – but not in 2012. He is most likely be the 5th or 6th inning guy that links the starter to the meat of the bullpen. If he can stay with the Cubs all season I think we’ll have call it a successful campaign. It may be a few years before we see how good he will actually be.