Even listening through the telephone and using the assistance of a translator, you could tell it meant a lot to Miguel Castro. He recently recently took part in an event to help kids and it was most meaningful for the Orioles reliever.
In his hometown of La Romana, Dominican Republic, Castro was one of three major league pitchers taking part in a program to provide kids with some of the necessities in life. Things some of us may take for granted - like food, notebooks for school or a haircut - were provided on Nov. 24. Well over 100 kids were helped.
“It’s an event that I have been able to participate in the past few years,” Castro said through O’s translator Ramón Alarcón by phone this week. “We use it to provide food and services to less fortunate kids that don’t have the opportunity to receive these services on a normal basis. This year we had 60 adults involved supporting the event and (major leaguers) Manuel Margot and Pedro Strop also took part.”
Castro has been involved before and hopes to continue this in the future.
“This is my fourth year taking part,” he said. “Just thankful for the opportunity to provide a smile for those kids. That is the biggest reward for me.
“It’s a joy for me to take part. It’s a great opportunity for me to help the kids. They don’t have access to notebooks, so that they can just study, do their homework and go to school. Some don’t have access to a regular meal or to get a haircut. I’m just thankful to be a part of this. It makes me happy.”
Castro is a role model for young Dominican kids and delighted to be one. He welcomes such responsibility.
“These kids, they do see us as role models,” he said. “The whole idea is to provide them with opportunities so they can make better choices. And not be in harm’s way or be influenced in the wrong way. Hopefully, they can see us as good examples and positive role models. Just happy I can be there and help those kids.
“The kids they always ask me why am I so tall and do I play baseball. They are real happy to be there and their parents are happy we are there. We’re thrilled to put a smile on the faces of those kids and it is a great chance to give something back to the community. I hope to continue to do it.”
As for on the field, Castro hopes he’s found a baseball home in Baltimore after playing previously for Toronto and Colorado. He doesn’t turn 24 until Dec. 24 and won’t even be arbitration eligible until after the 2019 season.
Last year he went 2-7 with a 3.96 ERA. Castro’s 83 1/3 relief innings were the fourth-most among major league relievers. He’s proven valuable as a pitcher that can provide multiple innings out of the ‘pen and went two innings or more in 19 of 62 relief outings in 2018.
Nats get Corbin: If you took these four pitchers - Alex Cobb, Dylan Bundy, Andrew Cashner and Patrick Corbin and ranked them by ERA for the combined seasons of 2016 and 2017, Corbin would finish fourth. But the lefty had a career year in 2018, going 11-7 with a 3.15 ERA and 11.1 strikeouts/nine innings with Arizona. He was fifth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award.
That led him to agree to a huge deal yesterday with the Washington Nationals, who have once again signed a pitcher to a nine-figure contract. He agreed to a six-year deal worth $140 million. The Nats are gambling that he’ll pitch in the future more as he did in 2018 and less like the two previous years.
Bundy was 23-15 with an ERA of 4.16
Cobb was 13-12 with an ERA of 4.20
Cashner was 16-22 with an ERA of 4.22
Corbin was 19-26 with an ERA of 4.53.
The Nats have sure gotten payback for their huge deal with Max Scherzer. He signed a deal for seven years and $210 million before the 2015 season. During the 2016 season, Stephen Strasburg signed a seven-year deal worth $175 million. So Corbin’s deal makes a combined total of $525 for the three pitchers.