Cards Click with Castellanos

The St. Louis Cardinals signed a veteran Mexican pitcher, right-hander Hugo Castellanos, to a Triple-A contract.

The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to terms with pitcher Hugo Castellanos for the 2007 season. He was a teammate of Edgar Gonzalez and Troy Cate this winter with the Mazatlan Deer of the Mexican Pacific League and may be again this season.

Castellanos was signed to a Memphis contract, where Cate and Gonzalez are likely to be assigned, as well. Chances are good that Mazatlan pitching coach and Cardinals minor league pitching coach Sid Monge was involved in steering Castellanos to the Cardinals.

For Mazatlan, the right-hander started eight games and relieved in four, posting a 3-3 record with a 3.22 ERA. Castellanos struck out 29 and walked 17 in 50 1/3 innings pitched for the Deer. In the playoffs, he allowed a single run in six innings for a 1.50 ERA while fanning five.

Castellanos, age 26, is a winter ball veteran, having first appeared with the Deer in 2002. The 6-foot-4, 205 pounder is a native of Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. He began his professional career in 1996 with the Tampa Bay organization. He then moved to Toronto, for whom he pitched from 2000-2003, making it as far as Triple-A. Castellanos pitched in the Cubs system in 2004 and 2006 at the Double-A and Triple-A levels.

For his career, Castellanos has posted a 13-21 record with a 4.37 ERA in 307 innings, almost all in relief.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brwalton@earthlink.net.

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