When the Giants put Camilo Doval, Gregory Santos and Kervin Castro on the 40-man roster before the December Rule 5 Draft, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi pointed out that pitchers with their profile -- young, but hard-throwing with good secondary weapons -- could move extremely fast.
By the end of the season's first month, all three have gotten a taste of big league life.
The Giants sent Santos back to their alternate site on Wednesday, but before the start of a big three-game series with the San Diego Padres they looked poised to call up Castro, a 22-year-old former starter who consistently impressed coaches and team officials in spring training. Castro was with the team as a member of the taxi squad, so he could make his debut this weekend or at Coors Field. Manager Gabe Kapler said he was not sure when, or if Castro would be activated.
The Giants did add right-hander Zack Littell to the roster along with outfielder Steven Duggar. Outfielder Skye Bolt was designated for assignment and infielder Jason Vosler was sent down to the taxi squad. The others with the Giants in San Diego are infielder Thairo Estrada, lefty Conner Menez and catcher Joey Bart. Kapler said the Giants wanted Castro to get his feet wet with major league life by being part of the taxi squad, and they wanted Bart to spend the weekend working with and watching Buster Posey and Curt Casali.
Castro is a bit different than the other two young right-handers called up already, both in approach and in appearance. He is listed at 6-foot and has a stockier build than Doval and Santos, but like the other two, he has a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and a breaking ball that should work out of a big league bullpen. While Doval and Santos throw hard sliders, Castro has good command of a curveball and also mixes in a changeup.
What will stand out, though, is the pace.
The Giants have pushed all of their pitchers to work fast, but Castro didn't need any encouragement. He was a catcher as a teenager and has never forgotten what it's like to wait for a pitcher to make up his mind. During one spring appearance, Castro threw his first three pitches in 21 seconds.
"Working fast, I feel comfortable doing that," Castro said in March. "I also think of my infielders and outfielders. It keeps them in the game, they don't fall asleep out there."