White Sox Add Reclamation Project With Castro
CHICAGO—The trade for righthander Simon Castro brought back memories of a midseason acquisition the White Sox made in 2004. They hope Castro can make a similar leap.
In landing Castro from the Padres as part of an offseason deal involving Carlos Quentin, the White Sox hope Castro can make the same transformation that Jose Contreras made in becoming a dominant pitcher in helping Chicago win the 2005 World Series.
"Castro, looking at him on tape, reminds me a lot of Jose Contreras, and a couple of the things that Jose was doing that was counterproductive toward him locating well enough and getting on top of his pitches to the degree that's necessary in the big leagues," general manager Ken Williams said. "There are a lot of similarities, and hopefully he'll get the most out of them."
Williams emphasized that Castro, 23, needed to make adjustments to return to the status that had him ranked the No. 58 prospect in baseball entering the 2011 season.
"This particular guy is 6-5, throws a 92 to 96 mph fastball, he does come from a lower three-quarters angle and gets around his ball sometimes," Williams said. "But he can also throw a hard split on you with some tumble and he can locate when he's right.
"He will be the first to admit last year was not a year that he distinguished himself amongst some guys, some of his peers that also were considered prospects at the time and we've got to get him back there because just one year ago you wouldn't have been able to get this top guy."
Castro's flaws last season resulted in a 5.63 ERA in 22 starts for Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tucson, after he struck out 107 in 130 innings to go with a 2.92 ERA in 24 games for San Antonio the previous season.
"All the background work we've done on him is that he's a hard worker," Williams said, "If anything, he works a little too hard."
• The White Sox backed up their vow to make a stronger presence in Latin America by signing Venezulean righthander Luis Martinez for $250,000. Martinez, 17, has increased his velocity from 84 mph to 92 mph since last summer.
• Dayan Viciedo, who is expected to take over for Quentin in right field, said he has actively recruited fellow Cubans Yoenis Cespedes and Jorge Soler on the perks of playing for the Sox.