In Spring Training, the pair of 20-year-olds have pitched lights out, and continue to dominate.
Take a look at the numbers so far:
Osuna: 9.2 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 8 SO, .188 BAA, 0.83 WHIP
Castro: 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 8 SO, .103 BAA, 0.30 WHIP
Judging by these stats, the two have been nearly untouchable and have made a strong case to head north with the Blue Jays for the start of the season.
Castro, a 6’5″, 190-pound right handed pitcher, can light up the radar with a fastball ranging from 96-100 MPH. Osuna, who also pitches from the right side, stands at 6’2″, 230 pounds, and possesses the arm to touch 100 MPH with his fastball as well. What is most impressive about Miguel and Roberto is not their big arms, but their ability to keep the ball in the strike zone. With 12.2 innings of work combined, the two young pitchers have walked only two batters. Castro has yet to give up a free base.
Castro has pitched in the minors for three years and hasn’t been able to reach a level above High-A Dunedin; Roberto signed with Toronto in 2011 as a 16-year-old and has been playing professional baseball in Mexico and the United States. Years before signing, Osuna walked away from school as a 12-year-old, dedicating his life to baseball. At 18 years old, while looking forward to his debut in Dunedin, Osuna tore a ligament in his elbow, and is now 21 months removed from Tommy John surgery.
In an interview conducted by the Toronto Star, General Manager John Gibbons spoke on the possibility of bringing the two 20-year-old pitchers back to Canada for the season.
“In an ideal world they might be a year-and-a-half away. In the world today, they may be with us,” Gibbons said. “It really comes down to if you think they’re ready, why waste them down there? Because it’s a big year for us.”
Osuna and Castro have impressed and exceeded expectations this Spring, but is it enough to make the team? If the Blue Jays decide to bring them north of the border, they would be adding to the fountain of youth that is Toronto’s pitching staff. Aaron Sanchez (who came up last year as a fireballer and had success), Drew Hutchison, and Daniel Norris, are all under the age of 25, and are expecting to have a big impact in the upcoming season. Put Osuna and Castro on that list and it is hard to imagine a younger pitching staff in baseball.
Spring Training is coming to a close and tough decisions need to be made. The way these kids have performed, it would make little sense to leave their arms in the minors with a bullpen that is still a mystery.