D-backs add pair of relievers

By Greg Dillard

The D-backs made some changes to their bullpen on Tuesday by selecting the contracts of relievers Yhency Brazoban and Alberto Castillo from Triple-A. To make room for them on the active roster, Esmerling Vasquez and Bryan Shaw were sent back to Reno.

Both hurlers were pitching well for the Aces before receiving the promotion to the big leagues. Castillo recently joined the Arizona organization via a Minor League deal on June 17. The left-hander made five appearances for the Aces, four of which were hitless outings.

Castillo reached the Major League level with the Baltimore Orioles. From 2008 to 2010, the southpaw posted a 4.81 ERA in 62 games. In 48 2/3 innings of work, he struck out 42 batters.  

Castillo’s recent success at Reno made him an attractive option for the D-backs.

“We wanted to get a second left-hander for sure,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “(Executive Vice President and General Manager Kevin Towers) was in Reno last week. He was also in Mobile before that, and felt Castillo was throwing the ball very good. He just came in the organization. He also was throwing the ball well before he got there.”

Brazoban meanwhile earned a 1-1 record and a respectable 2.70 ERA in his eight games at Reno. Brazoban is a familiar name for the D-backs, spending parts of five seasons with the division-rival Dodgers. He was most recently in the Major Leagues in 2008, and owns a 10-12 mark and a 4.70 career ERA at the big league level.

“As for Brazoban, he’s a guy with some experience,” Gibson said. “Obviously, with the Dodgers he hasn’t been in the big leagues in a couple of years, but he’s been throwing the ball like he did in 2007 and 2008. He’s got good velocity, throwing strikes. He’s got experience in those situations. I’ve been talking about that portion of our bullpen. Kevin felt that this is the direction we need to go in, and we’re going to see how this works out.”

The additions of Brazoban and Castillo provide the D-backs with a pair of fresh arms. By selecting Castillo, Gibson now has the luxury of having two southpaws in the bullpen.

“You can look at the Giants, it works for them,” Gibson said. “This Cleveland club here is another example. It effectively lets you match up two times through. Whereas the way we’ve had it with Joe (Paterson), it’s a onetime shot. It’ll let us do things a little differently.”

Gibson ready for next hot streak

After a catching fire in mid-May, the D-backs have cooled off a bit here in June. Arizona has suffered three consecutive losses, heading into Tuesday night’s contest against Indians.

Although the D-backs have battled some adversity as of late, Gibson remains confident that his team will get back to its winning ways.

“It goes in cycles,” Gibson said. “Every team will probably go through periods where things don’t go as they’d like them. You just have to endure them. The Giants lose what four or five in a row. Now they’re on a run. So that’s what we’re going to try and do.”

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