Simon Castro Bounces Back For White Sox

The White Sox brought in righthander Simon Castro over the offseason, hoping he could rediscover the form that once made him one of the Padres’ top prospects. Castro has had his ups and downs this spring with Double-A Birmingham, but he was outstanding on Monday, working eight innings and allowing one run, which was unearned, on three hits, striking out five and walking none. Castro collected his fourth win of the year to improve to 4-2, 3.74 in 65 innings.

Castro came to the White Sox in the deal that sent Carlos Quentin to San Diego. The 24-year-old had struggled in Triple-A in 2011, going 2-2, 10.17 for Tucson before going down with a lat injury and then being demoted to Double-A in June. Castro struggled with repeating his mechanics and battled extreme wildness, walking 18 hitters in 26 innings before his demotion. He found the strike zone more consistently in Double-A last year, walking 16 in 89 innings.

It’s been an inconsistent spring so far for Castro. In his two starts prior to Monday’s outing, he gave up nine earned runs in 12 innings. He’s had five quality starts out of 10 outings this year, but he’s been touched up for at least five runs in each of his other starts. And while he’s dominated righthanded hitters, he’s struggled to get lefties out, giving up a .323/.351/.480 line against them, which can be traced to his lack of a refined changeup compared to his more impressive fastball and slider.