Cubs select Castillo in Rule 5 Draft

The Chicago Cubs today selected right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo from the Philadelphia Phillies in the Major League portion (first round, sixth overall) of the Rule 5 Draft. Additionally, Chicago selected infielder Ricky Alvarez from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim farm system in the Triple-A phase of the Draft.

Castillo, 22, is 7-4 with a 2.43 ERA (30 ER/111.0 IP) in 38 minor league games (12 starts) since being converted from shortstop following the 2009 season. He has struck out 111 batters while walking 42 in two seasons on the mound beginning in 2010.  Castillo has limited foes to a .215 batting average (86-for-400) while surrendering just three home runs in 111.0 career minor league innings.  He was originally signed by Philadelphia as a non-drafted free agent infielder, December 31, 2006.

In 2011, the six-foot-one, 185-pound Castillo went 4-2 with a 2.54 ERA (13 ER/46.0 IP) and 46 strikeouts in 21 games, all but two as a reliever for Single-A Lakewood of the South Atlantic League.  He limited foes to a .220 batting average (37-for-168), including a .184 mark (18-for-98) by right-handed hitters, and allowed just one home run in 46.0 innings pitched.

The Las Matas De Santa Cruz, Dominican Republic native went 3-2 with a 2.35 ERA (17 ER/65.0 IP) and 65 strikeouts in 17 games (10 starts) between the Dominican Summer League Phillies, the Gulf Coast League Phillies and Single-A Williamsport in 2010, his first season on the mound.  Castillo was named the Phillies Minor League Pitcher of the Week, August 16-22, and earned the win in his only playoff start for the Gulf Coast League Phillies.

Alvarez, 22, is a career .251 hitter (244-for-972) with 59 doubles, 18 homers and 142 RBI in 261 minor league contests.  The right-handed batter and thrower hit .257 (124-for-482) with career highs of 31 doubles, 10 homers and 64 RBI in 126 contests with Single-A Cedar Rapids of the Midwest League in 2011.  The Tijuana, Mexico native was originally signed by the New York Mets as a non-drafted free agent, June 22, 2007.

The Cubs lost infielders Ryan Flaherty and Marwin Gonzalez in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 Draft. Flaherty was selected in the first round (fourth overall) by the Baltimore Orioles and Gonzalez was selected in the first round (23rd overall) by the Boston Red Sox.

Chicago’s 40-man roster now stands at 35 players.