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He throws it with an average of 95.4 miles per hour, with a peak speed of 97.9 miles per hour. From hand to plate, he will normally turn at 12.8 revolutions per minute (1950 RPM). 45 percent of the time, he throws it into the strike zone.

Diego Castillo
Diego Castillo

Since his debut, Diego Castillo has been one of my favorite players in baseball, and he is without a doubt my favorite reliever. To be honest, that’s a crowded field, but I swear my devotion isn’t unwarranted. Please hear me out.

I have a soft place for the Rays and their seemingly unending supply of good-but-faceless relievers, but Castillo has always stuck out.

While Tampa Bay is constantly chastised for its lack of star power, I’ve long believed that folks who make such allegations lack the vision to discern the fainter stars in the night sky.

Castillo is one of those softly glinting heavenly bodies that is beautiful to those who look closely, but part of the infinite inky darkness for others who can’t or don’t want to locate them.

Of course, he’s a flamethrower capable of doing some pretty horrible things, and a regular flyer on Pitching Ninja’s account: but that’s not what we’re here to discuss.

Others are more equipped to persuade you of his pitching prowess. For the type of player, he is as a whole, I believe he should be included on your shortlist of favorite Mariners.

Castillo is a joy to watch on the mound, as any Rays fan will tell you. He carries himself with a calm confidence that can go nova and electrify a stadium at any time.

If you’ve watched the Rays in the postseason in the last two years, you know what I’m talking about.

He exits the pen with his classic closer’s jog, circles the mound like a shark out for blood, stares down the batter, shimmies as he works into the windup or stretch, and releases with such force that it appears as though his entire body could come undone with any pitch, whether he’s called on for a five-out save or brought in to clear a bases-loaded, one-out jam.

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