Interview Tampa Bay Rays Closer Diego Castillo


In Episode 11 of “talking with the stars” brought to you by Sportswinmore’s Journalist Mike Rodriguez. @mikerodrigueztv talks to Dominican Closer for the Rays @Diego63castillo about his career in the Majors and Minors. He talks about his excitement for this year competing for the starting closing role already accumulating 8 saves from last year. He also goes on to talk about how many pitches he has in his Arsenal the sinker being the most explosive and says which team was the hardest for him to face being the Yankees.

Where did you grow up?

"I grew up in the Dominican Republic, a town called Samana nicknamed "Pajita Cabrera” and now I live in Nagua in the Dominican Republic."

Brother, how was your start of your career, what was your inspiration?

"My dad and my brother. My dad was his favorite sport playing and just being around my friends and brothers it made me excited. When I was a little kid I would watch all the bad players come out of DR and it made me strive to be successful."

When did you know you wanted to play baseball and you know you would have a future?

"At the age of 14,15, I knew I could have been a baseball player as a little kid you played in a little league so it was not serious until I got a little older."

How was your economic household In your family?

"My parents always worked, you know I was a hustler, you had to find out whatever little job it was to help out."

What was the age you signed?

"I signed at the age of 20 it was late but it was in the Dominican Republic. God wanted it to happen at the age of 15, I was not throwing the ball hard until I got older that's when my velocity picked up. At 16, I can only throw the ball 79-80mph, and then at the age of 20 I was throwing hard. I always loved working hard but I knew that was the position I wanted. So all the coaches never gave up on me my story is very long if I have a sit down with you, I could talk for hours."

What was the first team you signed to?

"The first team that I signed to was in Tampa it was the greatest news I ever read. My family was waiting for me to be a major league baseball player and until It finally came into fruition it became a happy sight. My mom, dad, and brothers did not even get a chance to sleep The day I got signed I was throwing 94-98 MPH, and I was ready."

How long did you last in the minors?

"I lasted four years 2012-2016. Each year in the minors my numbers consistently went up and it was an easy experience for me. The best news ever was the day when I moved up to the majors. 2012 was a great year but in 2016 it was a life-changing experience. I was in my apt in the morning doing a morning jog and I get a call from my manager, and he said he wanted to talk to me. I texted him back and told him I was ready to talk, and he goes where are you and he just says congratulations you made it the big leagues. The first thing I did was knock on every one door in the minor leagues, saying I am going to the majors, it was my childhood dream just becoming a star that moment I could never forget. It was an incredible experience."

When you go to the majors who was the veteran to help you out?

Carlos Gomez was the only Dominican on the team, and then we had Sergio Romo and Venezuelan players that definitely gave me advice with the media how to conduct your self as a player. Those were my mentors, they just said, sit downplay how you were to play like you were in your house and it was just uplifting sprints so you would never get sent back down to the minors.

Diego Castillo How good is your sinker?

"When the sinker is on and it is going I love to use it I have the four-seamer fastball and the slider. I like to have all of my pitches on point and I love switching it up I love having all my pitches under control I don’t one specific pitch that is dominated I need them all at the same strength. I am a closer now in Tampa I have now 8 saves. My whole time in the minors I was always a closer so getting moved up in the majors I was very comfortable and it is something I love doing."

Do you ever plan on playing the world baseball classic?

"Yes, of course, if they ever give me an opportunity that I will love to do it if God gives me the gratitude and my health is on the point then, of course, I will. I have been working out in Tampa going out to park where there is still social distancing, going on, and finding other athletes to work out with. Sometimes it's hard because you have people walking up to you noticing you so keeping quiet and working out with one or two other players."

Who was the hardest player/team to pitch to?

"The hardest team to pitch if I had to say is the Yankees especially with Brett Gardner he does not like to swing at pitches out the zone, and he knows I throw a lot of sinkers, and he does not like to swing at bad pitches, but every time I play with the Yankees their game plan is always on point I would say out of ten at-bats he’s hit 6 singles off me the pitches are close to the zone but the umpire never gives me the call." 

Check out the interview down below

Sports Journalist for SPORTSWINMORE

Mike Rodriguez

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