Luis Castillo racked up eight strikeouts and a 4-run first inning was enough for the Cincinnati Reds to outlast the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night in a 5-3 win. The victory guarantees at least a series split for the Reds and they’ll go for the series win on Thursday afternoon.

Final R H E
Miami Marlins (46-52)
3 7 1
Cincinnati Reds (38-59)
5 8 0
W: Castillo (4-4) L: Garrett (2-4) SV: Strickland (6)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Cincinnati wasted little time jumping in front of the Marlins on Wednesday night. The first three batters all reached, but Jonathan India was thrown out trying to steal third base. It would come back to cost them a run as Kyle Farmer and Donovan Solano came through with back-to-back doubles, and then Matt Reynolds singled in a run to make it 4-0.

The Reds would add to their total on another Matt Reynolds hit in the 3rd that brought Tommy Pham in and made it 5-1. The Miami pitching settled in from there and Cincinnati didn’t score again the rest of the way, but they didn’t need to as the Reds pitching was able to hold onto the lead.

The Pitching

Luis Castillo gave up solo home runs to lead off both the 3rd and 4th innings, marking the first time he’d allowed two homers in a game all season. He was cruising until the top of the 7th inning when he allowed a leadoff walk, a single, and then an RBI double to start things off. After a mound visit he settled back in and struck out the next three batters. That would be the final inning as he exited the game to a standing ovation after 7-innings of 3-run, 8-strikeout baseball with a 5-3 lead.

Alexis Diaz entered the game in the 8th inning and he did what he’s done much of the year, tossing a perfect inning and keeping the score where it was. Hunter Strickland came out for the 9th inning, and after a leadoff single he induced a ground ball that led to a game ending double play.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Miami Marlins vs Cincinnati Reds

Thursday July 28th, 12:35pm ET

TBA vs Graham Ashcraft (4-2, 4.70 ERA)

73 Responses

  1. Mark Moore

    A couple speed bumps, but a solid performance. If it’s the last one as a Red, he went out on top.

  2. Michael B. Green

    Probably Castillo’s last start in a CIN uniform. He always pitched with a smile, credited his defense on good plays, and offered to pick them up after an error. Good luck, LC!

    • Grand Salami

      Watching it live, it certainly felt like Castillo’s last start. As he exited the field after striking out 3 consecutive, it seemed like the crowd and players were saying goodbye.

  3. Ryan

    Not to worry as the Reds will get super prospects and continue to build a winner

    • Oldtimer

      They haven’t done so before. Cueto, Chapman, Leake, Frazier to name a few. Squat in return.

      • Rut

        When my daughter was 5 she once asked me if I was “being the sarcasm”.

        Willing to bet she would ask the same of Ryan here, I sure think he was!

      • MBS

        Castillo, DeSclafani, Suarez, and Gray to balance out the ledger. The Leake deal did net us Duvall, and he was pretty good.

      • JaxDan

        I don’t understand why the trades of Cueto and Chapman are always being brought up. Cueto was a 2 month rental and on paper it was a good trade but unfortunately injuries happen. For Chapman his off season issues caused the bad trade. I will say after the 2015 AS game both Chapman and Frazier should have been traded since the Reds were going nowhere. That is why the Reds are being smart to trade Castillo and Mahle now and not next year at this time.

      • Oldtimer

        To MLB above. Dan Strailly, Alfredo Simon, and Shed Long were not stars like the others I mentioned. Duvall starting be starting OF for Reds now.

  4. JC

    Been fun to watch LC. They should not take anything that is not a high return. You have Votto salary off the books after 2023 and signing LC should at least be a thought if he enjoys playing in Cincinnati. Got to love that smile and pure joy of playing the game-

    • Ryan

      Moustakas is also hopefully off the books, so a competitive stay here offer is not impossible

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I highly doubt this team will offer any more than three or four years to a pitcher of Castillo’s age. He will certainly be offered more years than that on the open market someday.

  5. Dennis Westrick

    Some team is going to get a top notch starting pitcher! If LC is traded it will remind me of when the Reds let Johnny Cueto go when he was the ace of the Reds staff!

    • LDS

      Hopefully, the return would be better than Finnegan, Lamb, and Reed. Not another, “this was the best value we could get” trade.

      • Michael E

        Besides trading players WAY too late, the other issues for some of those recent past trades (pre 2020) was Walk Jocketty asking for “MLB ready” players. I am now seeing some of that on this board.

        We got back older prospects that obviously were not going to be stars, but they were either old for AA or AAA or in MLB already (nothing special). I hope we ask for NONE of that crap this time.

        If you see them get fleeced, check ages, if their all 22 or 23 or 24 year old prospects in return, then probably the high floor/low ceiling, “MLB ready” fleecing that Jocketty preferred.

      • AllTheHype

        Exactly Michael, Walt J always waited too long to trade, until the player’s walk year when the value was minimal. Trading Castillo (and Mahle) now with 1.5 years and 2 playoffs left for the receiving team is light years different from when WJ trade Cueto in his walk year.

      • Bill

        I think everyone forgets that at the time that was viewed as a good return for three months of Cueto. Those three guys were too prospects with the Royals, Finnegan was a top 50 prospect, Reed was quickly rising the rankings, and even Lamb at one point was a top 20 prospect before TJ surgery.

        Unfortunately Finnegan never reached his potential and Reed who probably had the most talent could never put it all together.

        Castillo should have a better return, but it is still possible all the prospects fail. That is the reason they are prospects instead of starters on a MLB roster. However it is a risk the Reds have to take to have any chance in the next few years.

        The Chapman, Frazier, and Bruce trades were complete disasters. Had the Reds traded those three and Cueto at the 2014 deadline they probably wouldn’t be still rebuilding the 2010-2013 team

      • Earmbrister

        Cincinnati’s hosting of the 2015 messed with two years of trade deadlines starting in 2014. It was unfortunate timing for the Reds. From the outside it seemed that the Reds did not want to be sellers and have a non-competitive team during that time period.

  6. Jeff Morris

    Reds really need to be picky, and not settle at all on getting top notch players or highly rated players for L Castillo. Don’t just trade for some players, just to save money! Reds have done this in the past with players, and you can see now, how it has not worked out for them!

  7. Redsvol

    Amazing how much better a bullpen looks when it only has to pitch 2 innings a night instead of 5.

    Will miss Luis Castillo. A truly good development story but he has priced himself out of our market. If we don’t get 2 prospect studs and a young major league reliever in return then I would rather hold out for an off-season deal when more teams will be willing to bid. The buying team needs to feel pain for this pitcher. Prospects are just what they are, unproven minor leaguers.

  8. Tom Mitsoff

    The trade deadline will be interesting, but no matter what prospects they get for Castillo if they trade him, I will not consider it to be good for the team. There is no way this team gets better by trading away a pitcher like Castillo. We’re forced to think in those terms because of this team’s ownership, but it’s not enjoyable.

    • Indy Red Man

      True, but watching 34-35 yr old Luis struggle on 5-6 year deal wouldn’t be much fun. We already have guys getting paid well for what they used to do

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I am with you on that point. We are seeing first-hand the impact of long-term deals to players in their mid- to late-30 years.

      • Redsvol

        I hear ya IRM, but I just watched max sherzer at age 37 toy with the Yankees lineup for 7 innings of shutout start. That guy is amazing. I’m not saying Luis is mad max but he’s been very durable- like sherzer/ and can paint the corners a lot like him. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Castillo pitches well into his mid 30’s and remains healthy. But, if I were a team with reds resources, I wouldn’t be willing to bet a 6 or 7 year contact on it / which is what he will get.

      • VaRedsFan

        Verlander, Charlie Morton, Wainewright as well

      • Jim Walker

        @Redsvol, I agree. Depending on the pitches a pitcher relies on and how he uses them, with the luck of good health he can continue to be productive at a level that would seem to belie his age.

        If Castillo can locate a fastball even in the low 90mph range and command his changeup moving away from LH hitters, he should be capable of continuing to prosper. He won’t be the same pitcher as now; but, he should be able to succeed.

        Recall that Bronson Arroyo accurately stated that with his mix of pitches he could prosper as long as he could locate his fastball at 87-88 but not at 85-86. And he did.

        Castillo profiles similar to Mario Soto. Something popped in Soto’s shoulder, and he was done at age 31 after 1700-1800 MLB innings. However, by way of comparison, Castillo is only at half that many innings at 29. And it goes without saying that medical technology related to throwing a baseball has come a long way in the 40 years between these two guys.

        If the doctors and trainers say Castillo’s physique looks like a good risk over the long haul, why not go 5 years on him?

    • Votto4life

      I hate to see him Luis go as well. You are right the Reds won’t get fair value for him.

      I do hope Luis will go somewhere and get a chance to pitch in the World Series. It’s just not going to happen in the 513.

    • greenmtred

      Not good for the team in the short run, certainly, and that could sting if the Reds are truly otherwise competitive in ’23 or ’24, but we won’t know how good the return is for awhile.

    • AllTheHype

      Tom, according to your logic we would have never traded Straily for Castillo in the first place. Straily was pretty darn good that last year as a Red so how could the team get better by trading him away for a “prospect” like Castillo?

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Respectfully, you have cited the rare instance in recent Reds history when an established-veteran-for-prospects trade worked well for Cincinnati. Far more of these types of trades have been flops for the Reds. Without copious research at my fingertips, I would argue that the vast majority of this type of trade does not work for the team receiving prospects. Why? Because you’re trading away a player who has proven he can play in the big leagues for a group of players who, according to history, the majority will not make it. The good teams that spend money don’t find themselves in this position because they hold on to proven major league talent in an attempt to win, rather than shedding payroll in an attempt to have a highly rated farm system.

        I do not question the need for a bountiful farm system. Good teams have it more often than not. But not by trading away the likes of Justin Verlander, Max Scherzer, etc.

        If Castillo is traded, what is the net return on five to six years of time spent on his development both in the minors and the big leagues? The chance that a new prospect might be as good as evaluators say he will be? If that happens, cool. But it’s clear to me that the chances are anything but certain.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Let me add that if we find out that Castillo will be asking for some crazy contract, then yes, it makes sense to try to get some value for him. But we’re still probably at least six months to a year before we get to that stage. He has said more than once he’d like to remain a Red for life.

      • Bill

        If Castillo isn’t asking for a huge deal next year it will be because he was bad or injured in 2023. I don’t see a scenario where Castillo would choose a three year $60 million contract with the Reds over a six year $150 million with a big market team because he really likes the color red.

        I am confident if he really wanted to be a Red and told his agent, he would already have signed a three year extension

  9. RedsGettingBetter

    I really would like if the FO extended Castillo and he continues being a Red for the next years…
    The Reds strucked out 15 times but they win despite of..

    • Tar Heel Red

      I’m with you, RedsGettingBetter. I am holding out hope they don’t trade Castillo. In my opinion doing so, regardless of the return, will set this team back 2-3 years. My reasoning? If you have a number one starting pitcher who is in what is generally considered his prime (28-32 years old) you do not trade him…you lock him up and count your blessings.
      Who takes his place? Mahle, if he stays, is not a number one. He is more of a #2/3 (closer to 3, IMO). Of the three current rookies I believe that Ashcraft could be a #2, in time. Lodolo appears more like a #3, as does Greene. And who moves into the rotation from the minors next year? Williamson? Abbott?
      Don’t misunderstand…I am excited about the Reds young pitching. But I am also of the opinion that trading Castillo creates a huge void at the top of the rotation and I worry that it could stunt the development of the youngsters.

    • Roger garrett

      Barrera last night fanned 3 times but hit his 8th home run.Aquino went 2-2 with a walk.Reds concerned about high strikeouts for Jose.As stated Reds fanned 15 times last night and 11 against Lopez the night before.Suarez will lead AL with strikeouts this year with way over 200 and is fanning 38 percent of the time.Get Barrera and Aquino up hereCome on August 2

      • burtgummer01

        Neither one are major league worthy

  10. Votto4life

    I truly hate to see LC go. He was so much fun to watch and did it all with a great big smile on his face.

    Now, go get that ring LC! You will be missed!

    • VaRedsFan

      Except if it’s with the Yankees

  11. GreatRedLegsFan

    Last night game was one of the few this season where strong pitching, timely hitting and solid defense combined. I wonder what return FO is looking, if ever, for Castillo and Mahle. There’re many players that will be FA, but there’re also so many players injured that could impact when healthy, in particular the BP.

  12. Soto

    If I were the Reds front office I would demand at least two, top 5 in your organization prospects. If you’re not offering top 5 prospects then talk to us in the fall. You can’t give away a starting pitcher like Castillo. The way he is now locating his fastball, in addition to one of the best cambios in baseball and a plus slider, makes him special. Do not give him away. Someone will bite before next spring. Trading him for mediocre prospects just because you won’t be able to resign him would be stupid. Patience “Bull”… Patience.

    • AllTheHype

      Top 5 in an organization is relative. The Yanks top 5 are all in the top 100 in baseball. The Braves top 5 have none in the top 100. I wouldn’t trade Castillo for all of the Braves top 5.

      • BK

        Totally agree … also who is Top 100 in baseball can be a little difficult to glean right now., for example, has NOT updated their prospect lists since the start of the season. Their list doesn’t reflect the past 4 months of performance. Baseball America has updated their list, but it’s only available to subscribers–their list only has two Yankee prospects in the Top 100.

      • JaxDan

        With Atlanta I would be interested in Vaughn Grissom and Ian Anderson for Mahle.

    • Roger Garrett

      I agree and I mentioned it before.A big market team that can afford him beyond next year should give the Reds their top prospect and a top 5 and a top 10.Too much not when they can go out and buy what they want in free agency.Reds can’t afford Luis unless they want to again commit to 25 mil to one guy a pitcher for the next 4 or 5 years.Reds don’t get it you must sign guys early to have them in their best years.Of course hard to do when you never play them until they are 27 which to some is too old.Barrero,Cruz,Mc Clain and the young first base man need to be here today.

  13. Hotto4Votto

    Thanks Castillo for all the memories. You’ve been nothing short of fantastic here. I enjoyed watching you baffle hitters constantly that could do nothing with that wicked change up. Best of luck.

  14. Roger Garrett

    Yanks get Royals best hitter for 3 pitching prospects.Benetindi I think is how it’s spelled.

  15. Rednat

    i think the reds could be good next year if they could add a left handed bat over the offseason. I feel the chances of the reds having a good season next year are far greater than devising some grand scheme to be good in 2026 and 2027. We reds fans deserve a good season without covid restrictions/ lockdowns. we have not had one since 2013. ( although 2019 was at least entertaining).

    i hope they keep Mahle and castillo for 1 more year. Hopefully Greene, Ashcraft and Lidolo cont to improve and you could have one of the best rotations in the league next year. Then at least we would get a compensatory pick if we can’t resign Louis, so it wouldn’t be a total loss. (at least we would be in control of the pick where as with a trade we are really at the mercy of the other team as far as who we get in return).

    I think the crowds this year have been better than expected for ownership and next year will be much better I think if they field a competitive team

    • Bill

      I don’t see them being good without Bob breaking his piggy bank open. You could assume pitching will improve, but that isn’t guaranteed. You also have to assume Votto and Moose continue to decline. A good year from India, Senzel, and Stephenson is probably realistic if they stay healthy. Maybe Barrero debuts at SS. You still have holes at 3B, LF, and RF when the current starters leave in free agency. Plus the massive question mark in the bullpen.

      That means you have a potentially good rotation, but over half the lineup is either below average or needs replaced through free agency. 2024 seems much more realistic when they can spend 50-60 million on filling those gaps

  16. Roger Garrett

    Line ups out for today’s game.Farmer sets against a lefty which he hits well.Couldn’t he rest against the next righty?Naquin in right and he can’t hit lefties.Fairchild must be on a long run for coffee?Drury at first,Solano at third and Joey at DH.Now that ought to be interesting on defense.Lets recap.Two guys that can’t hit lefties play.One guys that kills lefties sets.Drury moves over to first which he has played what two or three times and Solano is at third which while with the Reds has played there once or twice.Impressive cause as prone as Bell is to do these kind of things he has out did himself this time.Only thing missing is where is Moose?Oh almost forgot if Fairchild makes it back in time its ice cream at Jerry’s around 5 pm

    • Jim t

      @Roger, perhaps Fairchild should stay at the ice cream store. He is 0-5 with 5K’s. He has been cut by 2 teams previously. I think you ‘ll see him sent down as soon as we need the roster spot.

      • Jim Walker

        Fairchild was traded by the Reds to the DBacks (for a player), traded by the DBacks to the Mariners (for cash), traded by the Mariners to the Giants (for players) then claimed off waivers from the Giants by the Reds.

        Every transaction moved him from one team’s 40 man roster to the 40 man roster of another team. He has never been outright or released.

      • Jim t

        Roger thanks for the details but 3 organizations have looked at him and traded him. Not a huge endorsement. If your a betting person I’ll wager you lunch that he never developes into a regular ML’er.

      • Jim t

        Sorry Jim that last messages was for you.

      • BK

        True, but two of the “trades” were accomplished while Fairchild was in DFA limbo. So, he has in fact been removed from his organizations 40-man roster twice.

        Fairchild has some work to do to move up on the Red’s depth chart. His AAA numbers are solid, but he’s been overmatched in his limited MLB opportunities.

      • Roger Garrett

        Yes we should just let him go.His stats at Louisville were 315 BA 354 OBP with an OPS OF 1039 and his career numbers in the minors are 277/361 and 801.Of course he played regularly in the minors and we wouldn’t even think of trying him out for lets say 300 or more at bats just to see.Of course he is old at 26 and we have so many players that are just better then him.I do agree he won’t never develop cause well you got to play.

      • Jim t

        Roger 3 organizations have looked at him and said no thanks. Giving him 390 at bats to show them what they are ready believe may not be the way to go.

    • Chris

      With all due respect, Fairchild might be the worst looking hitter I’ve ever seen in the major leagues that isn’t a pitcher. Go watch video last night. That kid completely loses his back foot on every swing. He literally looks like a little leaguer that isn’t comfortable in the box. I have no clue why he is on this team and not actually serving coffee somewhere.

  17. Soto

    Good points ALLTHEHYPE and Roger. Top five is definitely relative. I was referring to top teams like the Yankees. What the Reds must do is to demand at least two, can’t miss, young prospects. Older 50/50 prospects with potential won’t do. I think the most likely scenario is that the Yankees and others are not willing to give up what the Reds are demanding. I think he will end up getting traded in the offseason. If they trade him to the Cards??? It might be more than I could take as a Reds fan.

  18. JohnnyTV

    I agree with the go-slow approach.

    How many pitchers have the Reds had of Castillo’s quality in the last 30 years?

    People here talk about “Prospects” as if they are some kind of lock, but as Tom wisely points out, they rarely turn out to be the game changers folks hope for.

    “Top 100” or “Top Whatever” is no guarantee of anything. Folks like making lists and then they become gospel.

    If the Reds haven’t even talked extension with Castillo and they are trading him because “they can’t afford him” then it is comedic management practice.

    Folks here remain conservatively gun shy due to bad experience with the Bailey contract and for some unknown reason the Votto contract.

    Despite the no-hitters, Bailey was never half the pitcher that Castillo is. And his motion was far more strenuous on his arm.

    The Reds signed a contract with Joey Votto so he would play his entire career in Cincinnati.

    So what if he is fading. Votto is a once in a generation ball player for all the tangible and intangible reasons to enjoy baseball.

    Reds fans have gotten to watch Joey Votto for his entire career.

    Folks want to take the risks on “prospects” but get their knickers twisted on the “risks” of having a low-mileage pitcher like Castillo around to lead the staff and provide enjoyable afternoons and evenings of baseball.

    I don’t get it at all.

    I realize Cincinnati is a conservative place. But sometimes conservatism should lead you to spend your money where it counts.

    • Jim t

      Nice post Johnny! I’m with you I want to keep are rotation together. Our bull pen seems to be turning it around and should be better when some injured pitchers return. Ownership has 60 mil + coming off the books after next year. Go find some offense and run this rotation out there minus Minor.

    • BK

      You make a lot of good points. With the Votto and Moustakas contracts expiring as early as next year, the Reds will have room for one, perhaps two larger contracts. First, what’s the success rate of 5-year, $25M-$30M contracts for pitchers over 30? That’s market rate for pitcher of Castillo’s caliber. The Nationals signed two really good 30-year-old starters and are also in full rebuild now. No one would characterize the Nationals as a small market team either. The reality is taking on a “larger” contract poses greater risk to a small market team, because the large disparity in revenue among teams has real-world consequences that simply can’t be wished away. Perhaps there’s less risk on larger long-term contracts for position players.

      Second, is Castillo open to an extension? I haven’t seen any reporting on this. Just like with trades, it takes to tango.

      There’s big-time risk in prospects, too. That’s a fact; even top 10 guys, ones we call “elite” sometimes flameout. The reality is that the Reds likely hold the most valuable player available at the trade deadline in Castillo. Soto would be the top player, but it will be hard for almost any team to meet the asking price. To me, the Reds need to take advantage of the opportunity. There’s no such thing as “no risk” strategies, but I think it would be a huge miss to fail to take advantage of the sparse market for starting pitchers and the number of teams that would like to improve.

  19. Michael B. Green

    Was looking at CIN OF for 2023 and beyond.

    While it seems obvious on the surface that CIN will not exercise Pham’s mutual option, if we see Drury and Naquin depart, there is a chance that Pham returns for 2023. Alternatively, I would love to see CIN sign Benintendi as a free agent. He is from Cinci. He could have a ring by the time he signs. Guessing he has one from BOS too.

    The defensive metrics are proving that CIN should move Senzel from CF to RF. His arm metrics so it makes sense. That would open CF up. We could see Friedl, Fraley and at some point, Siani there. Guessing Siani gets added to the 40MR this winter, as does De La Cruz and something tells me he shifts to CF.

    With about 8 spots making up the OF part of the next 40MR, I could see the following 8:

    Pham or Benintendi
    Fairchild or Cerda

    That’s 6, and I’m guessing CIN lands at least 1 40MR OF in its upcoming Deadline Trades (would not surprise me if it is someone like Andujar or Florial).

    A relatively minor signing in the offseason (with options) and you have your 8 (or they keep Aquino).

    De La Cruz will slot in the IF part of the 40MR.

    That OF is designed to see how Hendrick, Hinds and Allen grow in 2023 – not contend. But, nevertheless, it is a realistic assessment as to what to expect from the CIN OF in 2023.


    • BK

      I think Benintendi would be a great target for a free agent signing. He gets on base, plays good defense and there’s not an obvious LF at the ready in the minors. Of course, that may change by next Tuesday.

    • Chris

      These guys below better not even be sniffing the MLB club next year, if you are hoping the team is gonna be playoff bound. Pham is not a good starter, and the rest will never be starters, and really don’t even help much off the bench, unless you want speed and defense late in a game.

    • JaxDan

      I would love to see the Reds sign Benentendi. They drafted him out of HS. I am curious if it would be better for Senzel to play in the IF.

  20. Soto

    For the record I would love nothing more than the Reds extending Castillo. His pitching, not demeanor, reminds me a lot of my namesake and all-time favorite Reds pitcher, Mario Soto. As a lifelong reds fan I just don’t see the FO extending him. I would rather see him pitch out his contract in Cincy than to give him away for the Yankees throw away prospects.

    • Chris

      Throw away prospects? I don’t want Castillo dealt either. He is truly one of my all time favorite Reds pitchers, but to suggest the Yankees prospects are nothing more than throw-away is just being blind. The two SS’s are extremely top-notch youngsters who probably fit in the “can’t fail” category as best as can be given for prospects.

  21. Soto

    Chris, yeh but the Yanks so those two will not be a part of any deal.

    • Chris

      There won’t be a deal with them then. No way Castillo gets dealt to the Yankees without one of those two SS’s.

  22. Gary

    For what it’s worth, here’s my take on the NY Yankees quest for Luis Castillo.

    If I’m Nick Krall, I’m telling the Yankees………no Anthony Volpe, NO Luis Castillo.
    I think Volpe has to be included in any deal for the Reds’ ace.

    If the Reds are able to swing a deal that includes Volpe, they would appear very well set at the keystone combo in perhaps the near future. Remember this name………….
    Elly De La Cruz. That guy appears to be the real deal at short, listed at 6’5″ 225 lbs., can hit, can hit for power, excellent defensive abilities, great arm strength, very good running speed. With De La Cruz and Volpe up and coming………WOW !