I admit I have not checked to see if this is accurate but my guess is the Padres lead the league in 22-year-old left-handed pitchers.
A pair of young lefties had impressive evenings in an 8-2 win over the Reds at Petco Park on Friday night.
Eric Lauer bounced back from a very bad outing on Memorial Day and made one of his best starts as a big leaguer. Lauer gave up one run and struck out four in 5.0 innings, good enough to get his first home win. He also helped himself at the plate.
Lauer drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the 2nd inning for the first RBI of his Major League career. It was part of a 5-run inning that also included a 2-run double from Manuel Margot and an RBI single by Travis Jankowski.
The Padres got three more runs in the 7th inning on singles by Eric Hosmer and Matt Szczur and then the real excitement began.
In the 8th manager Andy Green handed the ball to 22-year-old rookie Jose Castillo. The kid was just called up from Triple-A El Paso (Walker Lockett was optioned to their top affiliate) and the first batter he faced was 5-time All-Star Joey Votto.
Castillo struck out Votto on four pitches, then punched out Eugenio Suarez and Adam Duvall on a total of 16 pitches. Perhaps the kid really likes pitching in the East Village.
Keep in mind last year during the World Baseball Classic in San Diego, Castillo struck out USA stars Christian Yelich and Nolan Arenado while pitching for Venezuela. What’s interesting is despite that success Castillo was not even included on the Padres’ Top-30 Prospects list for 2018.
The Friars can win the series on Sunday afternoon (game time was moved back to 3:10 because of expected traffic from the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon) when Tyson Ross takes the mound against Luis Castillo, who interestingly is the guy the Padres acquired in a trade with the Marlins in 2016 but when Colin Rea had to have Tommy John Surgery, San Diego sent Castillo back to Miami for Rea.