Castillo: “I will be good to go when they need me” (O’s down 4-1)

Orioles catcher Welington Castillo was on the field again today before batting practice, this time making throws to the bases coming out of his crouch.

Castillo could be activated from the disabled list on Saturday instead of going on another injury rehab assignment. He’s not trying to talk anyone out of it.

Welington-Castillo-stare-gear-white-sidebar.jpg“I will be good to go when they need me,” he said.

“That’s what I think. Whatever they’re thinking or might do, it’s their business. I’m just here to do my job and play whenever they need me to play. But I feel good to go.”

Castillo was hurt during a May 30 game after a pitch struck the Yankees’ Didi Gregorius on the arm. The ball darted down toward Castillo and nailed him between the legs.

“It was weird because I’ve been getting hit there before,” he said, “but just a stray foul tip or a ball that bounced in the dirt and hit me. But never like that, like a hit by the pitch and the ball shooting down. The doctors say that’s why it was that bad, because it was from a different angle and it hurt more. But all that matters right now is I feel good. I don’t feel anything. I’m just hungry to be back to play.”

Castillo acknowledged that there’s a mental hurdle to overcome after suffering his type of injury, one that the Orioles delicately labeled as “groin.”

“It’s never happened to me before,” he said. “I’ve been getting hit there before, but not this bad. I think it’s all mental. I’ve just got to go out there and put on my gear and go and have fun and compete like I always do. I’m not going to be thinking about it.”

Castillo’s gear will include a present from Caleb Joseph, who handed over one of his Kevlar protective cups.

“He and I, we’ve been talking a lot about it,” Castillo said with a laugh. “He gave me the new cup, the bullet-proof, just in case. But I feel great and that’s all that matters. I can’t wait to get back in the lineup and help the team win.”

Perhaps Castillo will get a chance to catch Edwin Jackson this weekend. They were teammates with the Cubs and had a reunion of sorts earlier today in the clubhouse.

Jackson is 93-114 with a 4.65 ERA in 14 major league seasons. He posted a 2.92 ERA in 24 relief appearances with the Braves in 2015 while working with current Orioles pitching coach Roger McDowell, and he threw a no-hitter for the Diamondbacks five years earlier. It only took him 149 pitches.

The Orioles are Jackson’s 12th team. He’s been traded six times, released twice and signed six times as a free agent.

“I look at it as he’s had something for a long time that people are in need of and he’s evolved a little bit as a pitcher as he got older,” said manager Buck Showalter. “He was one of those guys that was almost a prisoner of his abilities in his mid-20s. Everybody’s always expecting him to go to this unbelievable level, and he has at times.

“I talked to Roger at depth about him. He knows him pretty well. It’s not like he’s 40 years old. The guy’s, what, 33?”

Jackson turns 34 in September. The Orioles hope he’s still in their bullpen and assisting in their drive toward another playoff berth.

Update: Wade Miley threw 57 pitches in the first two innings, allowed six hits and fell behind 2-0 on Max Moroff’s two-run double in the second.

The Orioles got a run back in the bottom half on two walks and Hyun Soo Kim’s sacrifice fly. Chris Davis hustled to third base on Jonathan Schoop’s fly ball to center field, setting up the run.

Update II: Miley lasted only 2 2/3 innings and allowed four runs and eight hits. He walked two batters and struck out four.

Mike Wright replaced Miley, who threw 83 pitches, and stranded two runners.

Catcher Elias Diaz gave Pittsburgh a 4-1 lead with a two-run double with two outs in the third.

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