The Pirates Designate Diego Castillo for Assignment

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced the signing of catcher Austin Hedges on Tuesday afternoon. They needed to make a corresponding move on the 40-man roster to open up a spot, but didn’t announce one right away. According to the team’s transaction page, infielder Diego Castillo has been designated for assignment.

Castillo was part of the deal to acquire Clay Holmes from the New York Yankees during the 2021 season. He debuted in the majors in 2022, and spent most of the season with the Pirates. The 25-year-old hit .206/.251/.382 in 96 games, with 13 doubles, 11 homers, a 26.5% strikeouts rate and a 4.9% walk rate.

Castillo mostly played shortstop coming up through the minors. The Pirates gave him a decent amount of time at shortstop, second base and right field, along with turns at first base. 

This winter in Venezuela, the Pirates asked Castillo to use the whole field more at the plate, while also hoping he could get more work at different positions. He mostly played shortstop while putting up a .342 average and a 1.001 OPS in 22 games.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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So if he goes then the Pirates virtually got nothing for Holmes who is the Yankees closer. Great trade in hindsigh.

Last edited 1 month ago by joesolo6181

The infatuation with Tucupita Marcano should make every Pirate fan question what in the hell is going on with the analytic department.

This kid is irredeemably bad and shows zero sign of viable projection, but they just can’t quit him.


AAAA floor with a POSSIBLE RH bat/26th man ceiling…I’m okay with this move. Stinks that the Holmes trade did not work out better (although I still think the trade was a good one when it went down)


Another stupid move by a stupid organization.

Last edited 1 month ago by dbsteel

“On July 26, 2021, the Yankees traded Diego Castillo along with Hoy Park to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Clay Holmes.”

And this season, we watched Castillo get 300 AB’s, all suggesting they viewed him as a piece. I’m sorry. A lot of seemingly brainless moves going on here. They add crud, they designate… crud. Hoy Park was supposed to be somebody. Holmes is somebody…

Lord, the carousel keeps turning.


Off topic, but does anyone play OOTP? If I download OOTP23 will it start with rosters as they are now or will it be back to the 2022 rosters?

Also does anyone have any feedback on the game is it worth it?


I play OOTP Go (mobile version). It has some issues but it’s a lot of fun. I don’t pay with real rosters tho.


Very good game. Very realistic. As Jeffw said, if you do a “livestart” the stats will be updated as of 11/30/22, but the rosters will not. I just started a new game as an expansion team and signed Joe Musgrove, so free agent signings this postseason are not included in any “livestart.”

It is built on a ratings system and builds its ratings based upon stats and fangraphs information. You will be a little disappointed in how some current players perform- especially pitchers. For example, Musgrove has a 5+ ERA for me, because his movement rating in the game is very poor and his pitches have mediocre metrics. (That is OK though, I knew he would underperform, and I am “tanking.”) Batters will perform very similiar or identical to their historical patterns, but the pitchers are hit-and-miss- some better, some worse.

As the game evolves over years though away from current players and populates increasingly with fictional players, you will be very impressed with how well it maintains balance and realism if you adjust a few settings.

Some recommendations: 1) Set developed foreign free agents and independent league free agents to “few:” otherwise you will have too many unrealistically good Japanese and Cuban players entering the league. 2) Set “number of options” per year to unlimited (three option years is fine). The computer is not entirely adept at managing rosters and will DFA good young players when out of options for a season… allowing you to pick up unrealistically good players on waivers (Cherrington’s dream). 3) Set scouting accuracy to “very low;” otherwise you will have too accurate an idea of players’ potentials as they develop. 4) Set “long-term injuries” to OOTP classic rather than “realistic modern.” I have been unable to have a star pitcher beyond the age of 26 or 27 with the “realistic modern” settings for long-term injuries. Inevitably, every one suffers somekind of season-ending injury and most times they return much degraded. In effect, the game underestimates the ability of pitchers to recover from “Tommy John” surgery. As a result, the league will become too hitter-friendly over time.


Awesome great insight. I will definitely be taking your suggestions!


I have been playing OOTP since version 3. I absolutely love the game. I was drawn by the realism of the game. No game at that time had complete minors, and no game today has the level of realism that OOTP has. That and how customizable the game is. It is really, a much more involved game than something like Baseball Mogul, but it can also be played so many ways. You can play the current MLB, historical, have complete historical minors, the Negro leagues in historical, fictional leagues with real or fictional players, Random Debut leagues. The minors are complete down to the DSL. You can include independent leagues. You can include the World Baseball Classic. The depth of realism is like no other game, if you like that. The other thing I love in the game is it is incredibly customizable. There are 100s of league options that can be changed for how you want to play. You can use the defaults if you like, but there are numerous options that can be changed.

You can do a live start with OOTP. With a live start you can start on a specific day. I believe the latest day you can really do a live start with is Nov. 30. The rosters will be up to date on 11/30.

Before 23 I never did much with the live start, because I did not like that the live start did not update the minor league stats, so you would have all the MLB stats up to date, but not the Minors. They changed that this year, so all the affiliated Minors get updated as well. I recently just tried a live start with todays date, but the rosters were not updated. Blake Sabol was still with the Pirates. I decided to run some tests, and from the tests I ran I am pretty sure the 11/30 date is the last day you can use to get updated rosters.

Also, not sure if you care, but because of licensing issues they are dropping the Japan leagues (Nippon Baseball League).


Thank you for your insights, I appreciate it!


Theory (similar to what others have suggested): the Pirate organization believes they have a cheat code for 2023 & feel they are getting ahead of the curve on shift restrictions before any other team — which would be ironic since Neal was one of the Founding Fathers of defensive shifts to our benefit. Castillo, in their eyes, doesn’t fit into this scheme.

The Phillies had the offense & defense of a beer league slow-pitch softball team and won the National League. I’m not saying this is Whitey Herzog’s Cardinals but I wonder if they think they have unlocked something by “investing” (tough to use that term with Nutting as our owner) into defense-first, put-the-ball in-play roster changes.

Then again, this is the same management team that brought us Dyson, Van Meter, Fowler, Riddle, Kai Tom, Susac, Allen, Godoy, Knapp, Padlo, Heredia, Yoshi who else am I forgetting and now got literally nothing for Clay Holmes — so it’s not like our guys have earned any credibility in their decisionmaking, to date.

Last edited 1 month ago by Cobra
Wilbur Miller

Or it could be they’re just clearing the deck for Triolo. He seems to fly under the radar for some reason, but there are people around baseball, apparently including the FO, who like him a lot.


If it weren’t for the successful acquisitions of Quintana, Tyler Anderson and – although we gave up Taillon to get him — Contreras, as well as the 2021 Draft, I think we would all be SERIOUSLY questioning whether this front office knows what the hell they are doing: the Minor League Rule 5 debacle, the Bryan Reynolds arbitration and trade demand fiasco, the numerous other disastrous free agent signings (see above), the Shelton hiring, the Holmes trade, the Hayes/Castro “who cares about this franchise” incidents, the Miguel Del Pozo & Josh Van Meter eras, etc. Huntington’s trade was actually defensible at the time: an overpay to reward a red hot team, colored by a cheap owner who created artificial demand for a controllable arm in Archer. As insular and secretive as he and Coonley were, you saw a method to their madness.

But then again I have never taught a leadership class at Columbia while unemployed from MLB, so what do i know

Last edited 1 month ago by Cobra

I have literally become one of those people. And I was big on Huntington. I think you nailed everything. I remember the season they went after Archer, I was dreading that deadline. Because we went like 12-4 or something into it and POW, suddenly, we could technically be in a playoff race. But if you had been watching that team, you knew they weren’t gonna be that team.

We traded Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow, and the PTBNL … Shane Baz… for Chris Archer. WOOF. I had a Yankee friend congratulate me, a Pirates fan for spending money… Oh, the irony.

Anyway, I’m depressed.

Wilbur Miller

He did get Endy and Bednar for Musgrove, who of course became dramatically better the moment he got elsewhere.

But no, I don’t see much evidence that this FO can evaluate much of anything. Not too sure about the draft, either. I’m still hoping they got a huge haul with Chandler, Solometo and White (if he ever gets healthy), and I really liked what I saw of Termarr. But Gonzales and Davis are much bigger question marks than they should be by now, and BC’s record with drafting college pitchers is unbelievably bad.


How painful was it to watch in the 2022 Postseason Musgrove, Marte, Cole, Frazier, Glasnow, Morton, Bell, Holmes, Taillon, Anderson, Dickerson, Quintana, even Vogey and think —to some degree — “what could have been”?


just realize that those players escaped the insanity that is the Pirates.

Wilbur Miller

Just out of curiosity, has anybody seen any mention of Jarlin Garcia anywhere? It’s been two weeks now, something is obviously wrong, although it could be something innocuous. You’d think one of the writers who supposedly covers the team would have asked about it by now. But I guess Mackey is too busy searching high and low for out-of-context statistical tidbits to help him tout the Hedges signing.



A little surprised as it seems there are worse players on the 40 man.

The good news….we don’t have to watch him try to play right field anymore.


Seems like an appropriate time to say that Jean Segura would be 30 mil over 2 yr well spent


Seems an odd choice to me. But someone had to go from the glut of meh prospect/AAAA guys. Wouldn’t be shocked to see him picked up and have a better season in 2023.

b mcferren


Addition through subtraction


Excerpt from Longenhagen on Castillo only a little over 10 months ago: “A few analytically-minded team personnel advocated for Castillo’s inclusion in our in-season updates to the Top 100 because he has elite in-zone contact rates, hits the ball in the air a lot, plays the middle infield, and has performed on paper at the upper levels.”

As others have referenced, it’s Looking like Ben thinks the “secret sauce” for a low payroll team includes defense and reduced K rates making guys like Castillo a casualty. Can’t help but think though there were better cuts to make than Diego

Wilbur Miller

Ben thinks the “secret sauce” for a low payroll team

A quick scroll through the toxic mire of the Pirates’ bb-ref page makes clear just how good BC is at making sauce.


Rookie season, no more time to waste I guess.


So who is the backup SS? Bae and castro?

Andrelton Simmons?


I have always thought they’ll sign an NRI SS, now I’m even more convinced. And maybe not even on an NRI. Simmons would be a good target.


I’d have no complaints if someone like him got a MiLB deal with an opt out. Add to 40 on opening day. Dfa him when peguero looks like he’d be able to handle a Cruz IL stint

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007

MLB Trade Rumors is suggesting that Brubaker could be an under the radar trade chip.

Not sure what to make of that. He’s a #5 SP, but if we got something good for him, would you move him?

Who replaces him?


Trade chip or salary dump?


That MLBTR post was like an infomercial. I hope it was planted by Team GMBC because it could mean with Contreras/Keller/Oviedo and Priester and Burrows on the way – with depth options in Velasquez, Wilson, Thompson, Shelby — Bru is seen as expendable


You mean they’re gonna say “Wait! There’s more?”. 😑😵‍💫😵‍💫

Wilbur Miller

I’ve seen Brubaker mentioned as a trade candidate before, but there don’t seem to be any actual rumors associated with the idea. Seems to me he’s more valuable to the Pirates continuing to try to put it all together. It’s not like there’s somebody better to replace him with. He’s easily better now than Wilson or Velasquez.

Develop a surplus of actual, major league starters first, then look to make a trade. This would be doing it backwards.


Exactly, the only way I would trade him is for a controllable high upside change of scenery player and a high upside arm. Wishful thinking but something like Adell, and Ky Bush or Ben Joyce from the Angles. Heck throw in one of are surplus lefty outfielders maybe two lol.

Last edited 1 month ago by melkel

MIF depth on the 40 man. Castro, Cruz, Bae, Peguro, Triolo, Marcano. Other prospects that may debut in 2023. Nick Gonzlaez, Endy (2B), I’d say we have plenty of depth.


Nicky the K’s high rate doesn’t give me warm fuzzies. He can hit a FB, but curves give him fits.


76 OPS+, high k’s low walks means ‘won’t be missed’.

I guess we ended up getting nothing for Holmes. At the time, I thought we got a steal. But Park and Castillo ended up being AAAA players.


they got something for Park! Clay Holmes lifes on! barely…


How could I have forgotten the Immortal Inmar Lobo!!🙀🙀🙀


Vilade > Castillo? Really?


its getting pretty clear IMO that they grabbed vilade cuz they like him.

theyre definitely salivating over his K and BB rates, and think they can pull a hair of power out of him.

not saying it’s right, but it’s getting more clear that this is the case.


Only the Pirates would get excited over a guy with a career .727 OPS in AAA.

Last edited 1 month ago by leefieux
Wilbur Miller

Not just in AAA, in the PCL, where the average is over .800.


Do i think that diego castillo ends up as an impact player on a winning team? probably not.

Do i think there are players on the 40 man who are even less likely of being an impact player on a winning team? yes.

This team is so weird, man.

maybe they have a trade lined up or something.

seems like just yesterday someone here talked me into penciling him into my theoretical 2023 roster! oh wait…

a short personal list of who would be better to dfa:

bryse wilson
jose hernandez
yohan ramirez
max kranick (altho we all kno theyre gonna just hold on to him so they can 60 day him on opening day)

and then vilade is like 50 50. i can tell they just like something about him. i actually have a decent feelin about him.

Last edited 1 month ago by jaygray007
Ethan Hullihen

Hernandez actually isn’t allowed to be let go yet. He has to get like 15 days in spring training first.


thanks king


It was either him or Marcano once they traded Newman. No one else with major league experience to backup 2B/SS.


Marcano > Castillo, but neither one excites me.


I’d bet Castro is the first choice for backup shortstop, with Bae as next option.


I have Castro starting 2B, assuming Bae starts at Indy, but now who the hell knows.


I really hope this is just a reflection of how they feel about Triolo


yeah i mean i see little reason to not prefer Triolo to Diego. still just a little weird, but i wont lose sleep


I’m with you on Triolo. He’s going to be interesting to follow in aaa.


This one makes no sense to me, with the need for a RHB, you could have talked me into him being on the opening day roster

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