Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo takes rare at-bat

Jun 30, 2024, 2:58 PM | Updated: 7:53 pm

Seattle Mariners Luis Castillo batting Twins 2024...

Seattle Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo bats against the Twins on Sunday. (Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

(Brandon Sloter/Getty Images)

Luis Castillo batted for the Seattle Mariners on Sunday afternoon.

No, that’s not a typo.

MLB insider reports on Mariners’ trade pursuits

Castillo, the Mariners’ starting pitcher, came to bat in the fourth inning of Sunday’s series finale against the Minnesota Twins. The bizarre situation occurred because Seattle had to forfeit its designated hitter to replace starting catcher Mitch Garver, who exited the game after being hit by a pitch. Castillo was just the third Mariners pitcher to bat in a home game with the DH rule in effect, joining Mike Schooler in 1990 and Joe Saunders in 2013, according to Mariners PR.

Castillo, who came to the plate after a leadoff double by Luke Raley, took three straight fastballs down the middle for a strikeout. It was Castillo’s first at-bat since 2021 when he was on the Cincinnati Reds, which was before MLB implemented the universal DH rule that brought the designated hitter to the National League. In his four seasons with the Reds, Castillo batted .111 with four doubles in 199 at-bats.

Mariners manager Scott Servais acknowledged that they didn’t want Castillo to risk hurting himself when he was at the plate, given how valuable he is on the mound.

“Luis hasn’t had a bat in his hand for a couple years and there’s so much baseball yet, and we need him to be a guy for us on the mound,” Servais said. “You’ve gotta be really careful there – (if) something crazy happens, now you look up and you’re behind the eight ball and you don’t have him as your top starting pitcher.”

When Castillo’s spot in the order came up again in the fifth inning, the Mariners were trailing 3-2 with the bases loaded and one out. With it being a pivotal juncture of the game, Servais elected to pinch-hit Ryan Bliss for Castillo, which ended the 31-year-old right-hander’s outing early at 77 pitches. Bliss ended up striking out and Jorge Polanco followed with a pop-out to end the inning. Castillo’s final line was three runs and six hits in five innings.

The unusual situation all stemmed from Garver being hit on his right wrist by a 93 mph sinker in the second inning. Garver stayed in the game to run the bases, but exited after the inning with a wrist contusion.

Cal Raleigh, who began the game as Seattle’s designated hitter, replaced Garver at catcher. That meant the Mariners had to forfeit their DH, which prompted them to slot Castillo into Garver’s No. 6 spot in the lineup in order to keep Castillo in the game.

Raleigh and Garver are currently the only two catchers on the Mariners’ 26-man roster. Garver began the season solely as a DH, but officially became Seattle’s backup catcher earlier this month when the team designated catcher Seby Zavala for assignment on June 18. Savala cleared waivers and was assigned to Triple-A Tacoma.

Garver is batting just .172/.293/.353 with 10 homers in 71 games after the Mariners signed him as a free agent this offseason.

More on the Seattle Mariners

• Rowland-Smith: What stands out about Mariners pitchers’ recent hiccups
• Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez putting in extra work to solve struggles
• Mariners Injury Update: Latest on Bryan Woo, Gabe Speier and more
• Mariners reliever Gregory Santos to begin rehab assignment
• Big Game Hunting: Two splashy potential Mariners trade targets


Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
High 84° | Low 59°
No game today.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Andres Munoz Royals 2024...

Cameron Van Til

Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz named All-Star replacement

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz was selected as a replacement to the American League roster for the MLB All-Star Game.

5 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Bryan Woo...

Brent Stecker

Mariners Roster Move: Bryan Woo back, reliever optioned

The Seattle Mariners have activated starting pitcher Bryan Woo from the 15-day injured list in time to start Friday night in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

6 hours ago

general baseball T-Mobile Park Mariners...

The Associated Press

Mariners, Red Sox minor leaguers suspended for positive drug tests

Seattle Mariners right-hander Yeury Tatiz was suspended for 80 games and Boston Red Sox right-hander Charlie Zink for 56 games following positive tests for performance-enhancing drugs.

7 hours ago

Seattle Mariners closer Andrés Muñoz...

Zac Hereth

Sadler: How Mariners get best from bullpen arms

Ex-Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Sadler explains why the communication and preparation from the organization is so effective in the bullpen.

7 hours ago

Seattle Mariners trade deadline targets Nathaniel Lowe...

Brent Stecker

Mariners Trade Targets: 3 bats from within the AL West

Trades in the division are tougher to pull off, but not impossible, and the Seattle Mariners could target players from the bottom-three teams in the AL West.

9 hours ago

Seattle Mariners MLB Draft...

Cameron Van Til

Mariners MLB Draft Preview: Who they could take in first round

MLB Pipeline's Jim Callis discusses some potential first-round draft targets for the Seattle Mariners, including an ambidextrous pitcher.

13 hours ago

Mariners pitcher Luis Castillo takes rare at-bat