Reliever Angel Castro will become the fifth player to make his major league debut with the Oakland A's this season when he takes the mound for Oakland for the first time. Castro was added from Triple-A Nashville on Friday to help the A's beleaguered bullpen. Castro, 32, will make his big league debut after 10 seasons in the minor leagues.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Castro pitched collegiately at Western Oklahoma State Community College and was a 13th round pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2006. Over the past 10 years, Castro has pitched for several affiliated major league organizations and has seen time in the Mexican Summer League and the Japanese Professional League. Castro joined the A's in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals late last season. He was a minor league free agent during the off-season but re-signed with Oakland and was a non-roster invitee to spring training.
The burly right-hander was off to a solid start for the Nashville Sounds. In 19 innings, he had 20 strikeouts and three walks and a 3.79 ERA. Castro has a hard fastball and has always been a groundball pitcher.
To make room on the A's 25-man roster for Castro, Oakland optioned R.J. Alvarez to Nashville. The A's also designated Alex Hassan for assignment. It is the third time Oakland has designated Hassan for assignment since November and the sixth time total he has been DFA'd since that time.
Replacing Hassan on the Nashville roster is veteran OF Matt Carson. The A's acquired Carson from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday. Carson was hitting .179/.262/.326 in 24 games for Triple-A Oklahoma City. He spent all of 2009 and 2010 in the A's system and was traded to the Tampa Bay Rays midway through the 2011 campaign. He appeared in 46 games for Oakland in 2009 and 2010. Carson also appeared in big league games for Minnesota and Cleveland over the past three years. He is a career .237 hitter in the big leagues and a .262 hitter with a 765 OPS in the minor leagues.
In the lower-level of the A's system, there were several moves made. Outfielder Brett Vertigan and infielder Melvin Mercedes received promotions from Low-A Beloit to High-A Stockton. Third baseman Jose Brizuela was sent from Stockton to Beloit. He will be able to get regular playing time with the Snappers now that Matt Chapman has joined the Ports from extended spring training. Outfielder James Harris was added to the Beloit roster from extended spring training and infielder Chih-Fang Pan was given his release from the organization. Pan had appeared in just five games for the Ports. He was the A's first amateur free agent signing from Taiwan, but he struggled to stay healthy in five minor league seasons. Outfielder J.P. Sportman also landed on the Ports' seven-day disabled list this week.