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Jays claim RHPs Castro and Lockett off waivers

Detroit Tigers Spring Workout
Anthony Castro
Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Blue Jays claimed two pitchers off waivers. Anthony Castro from the Tigers and Walker Lockett from the Mariners. Both are right-handers.

Bless You Boys had Castro listed as the Tigers #24 prospect before the 2020 season.

Castro pitches with substantial feel and power, despite a lanky frame and an elaborate delivery. He can ramp his fastball into the upper 90s and is comfortable sitting at 93-95 miles per hour with good life. Castro has always had the ability to spin a good breaking ball, and we have seen a few different iterations over the years. However, in 2019, Castro’s low-80s slurve really emerged in a big way, showing consistently nasty break that helped him to a fine 26.5 percent strikeout rate. Both pitches were reliably plus offerings this season and at his best flashed better than plus.

He pitched 1 inning for the Tigers this year. In 2019 he pitched in AA Erie with a 4.40 ERA in 27 games, 18 starts. In 102.1 innings he allowed 75 hits, 65 walks and 116 strikeouts.

Command is the issues. Career, in the minors, he’s allowed 4 walks per 9 innings. He is 25. Born in Caracas, Venzuela.

Lockett will be 27 in May. He pitched 16.1 MLB innings between the Mets and Mariners this season.

In 2019 the had a 3.82 ERA in 66 innings, mostly in AAA Syracuse with a 3.66 ERA in 66 innings, he allowed 83 hits, 11 walks and 45 strikeouts, as well as 22 innings with the Mets. He doesn’t throw as hard as Castro, getting to 92 with his fastball. He gets a lot of ground balls with a sinker and curve.

Baseball America had him #22 on their Mets’ prospect list before the season.

SCOUTING REPORT: Lockett reached the majors for a second straight season in 2019, only to be hit hard once again. He allowed 21 runs and 39 baserunners in 22.2 innings. Despite this, scouts regard Lockett as an intriguing young arm with a three-pitch mix who might find more success if he de-emphasized his fastball. He pitches at 92-93 mph and tops out at 96 with sinking, running action on his fastball and average extension. His low-80s slider has above-average spin and is his preferred second pitch, but his high-80s changeup actually produced more swinging strikes in the majors. Lockett throws strikes and keeps his pitches low in the strike zone, but he’s not overpowering and requires weak contact to succeed.

This brings the Jays 40-man roster back to a full 40.

Dick (Richie) Allen passed away. Allen was 78.

Allen had a terrific career. In 15 seasons, he hit .292/.378/.534 with 351 home runs. He was AL MVP in 1972. Was NL Rookie of the year in 1954 and make 7 All-Star teams.

He wasn’t liked by the press. He wasn’t a fun interview and he had more than his share of fights with opponents and sometimes teammates. He was considered an ‘angry young man’, a bit of 70s code:

In New York during the same period, the foibles of Mickey Mantle and others were hushed and covered up by reporters who knew far worse tales than Allen’s missteps. The double standard was plain to everyone except the public. “That’s always been there for the black player,” Allen wrote in his memoir Crash in 1989. “Through the years, in the underground, with little whispers around the dugout, we thought that was a way baseball kept black players under control.”

Those in management came around late to the line of the thinking espoused by those who played with Allen, who would concede he was a free spirit, a wild card and a rebel but emphasize that he was a good teammate and a fierce competitor.

He really should be in the Hall of Fame.