GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- It was noticeable not only how smooth Reds pitching prospect Luis Castillo was Sunday in his club debut vs. the Giants, but also how brisk he worked. Castillo pitched the seventh and eighth innings and went six up and six down with two strikeouts.
"It was like watching Tom Browning pitch again; he got the ball, got on the rubber and threw it over the plate," Reds manager Bryan Price said Monday. "He got the ball back, got on the mound and threw a strike. It was one after another. ... That was a very mature outing for a young pitcher."
Castillo, 24, was one of three prospects acquired from the Marlins in last month's trade of pitcher Dan Straily. MLBPipeline.com has ranked him as Cincinnati's No. 8 prospect.
"Since my first day in professional baseball, I had this tempo," Castillo said via translator Julio Morillo. "I like working like that. I don't let the hitters think about it. I like to go in there and go as fast as I can go."
Castillo split last season between Class A Advanced and Double-A, going 8-6 with a 2.26 ERA, 25 walks, 103 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP over 131 2/3 innings in 26 games (24 starts).
In an odd quirk, Miami traded Castillo to the Padres on July 29 only to reacquire him on Aug. 1 after one of the pitchers in the deal, Colin Rea, came down with an elbow injury in his first start for the Marlins.
"It was different. I had to go there and come back. I didn't know what to do," Castillo said.
The trade to Cincinnati was less dramatic but still caught Castillo off guard.
"Mentally I was prepared to go to Spring Training and be like 'OK, I know what the Marlins want. This is what I have to work on,'" Castillo said. "Then I got a phone call that I was traded to the Reds. New team, new teammates. Same goals, but kind of different."
Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.