Baseball

Blue Jays Claim Anthony Castro, Walker Lockett

The Blue Jays have claimed right-hander Anthony Castro off waivers from the Tigers, per an announcement out of Detroit. The move drops the Tigers’ 40-man roster down to 39 players. Toronto has also claimed fellow righty Walker Lockett from the Mariners, according to Seattle. The Jays now have a full 40-man roster.

Castro, 25, made his Major League debut with the Tigers this past season, albeit pitching in just one inning with a pair of runs allowed. Scouting reports on Castro tout his plus fastball and a potentially plus slider, but his command (or lack thereof) has proven a notable issue to this point in his pro career. Castro has 112 1/3 innings under his belt at the Double-A level but has issued 77 walks in that time. He logged a more palatable 3.3 BB/9 in 116 2/3 innings at Class-A Advanced in 2018, but he also plunked a dozen batters in that time

Castro had Tommy John surgery in 2015, wiping out that entire season for him in addition to part of the 2016 campaign. The Tigers have used him primarily as a starter, but as FanGraphs’ Eric Longenhagen pointed out in his scouting report last year, there’s some belief that he could maintain a heater in the upper 90s with that promising slider if used in a short relief role. It’s not clear how the Jays plan to utilize Castro, but he has a pair of minor league options remaining, so they can be patient with him if they keep him on the roster into the 2021 season.

Lockett was a waiver claim from the Mets on Sept. 1, but the 26-year-old didn’t last long in Seattle. He did throw 8 1/3 innings of four-run ball in the Mariners’ uniform, but that wasn’t enough to convince the club to retain him. Before his short Mariners tenure, Lockett – a fourth-round pick of the Padres in 2012 – had difficulty as a swingman with the Pads and the Mets. So far, Lockett has pitched to a 7.67 ERA/5.91 FIP with 6.5 K/9 and 3.33 BB/9 in 54 innings in the bigs.

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