Former MLB pitcher Frank Castillo drowned yesterday near his home in Arizona. He was 44.
Castillo pitched 13 seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the Chicago Cubs from 1991 through 1997. He also had stints with the Colorado Rockies, Detroit Tigers, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox before finishing his career with the Florida Marlins in 2005.
Castillo was a journeyman righthander who had a mediocre won loss record of 88-104. However, he was a reliable number five starter who gave his team innings. His finest moment in the big leagues came in September 1995 when Castillo came within a strike of pitching a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. Alas, Bernard Gilkey hit a ball that eluded a diving Sammy Sosa and Gilkey ended up with a triple. Castillo struck out a career high 13 batters that day at Wrigley. A thousand pitchers who give their pitching arms to have a day like that.
I remember Castillo mostly from his two stints with the Red Sox. Although he only pitched two games with the Sox in 2004, he did earn a World Series ring.
In recent years, Castillo had served the Cubs organization as their pitching coach in Mesa, their Rookie League affiliate.