Greenville Drive's pitching coach Dick Such said Castillo had a great Spring Training.
"I got to see him pitch about three different times [in Spring Training]," Such said. "He was with my club and he did a very good job during the spring. I was really impressed with what I saw.
"I know he was coming back from arm surgery and he looked totally healthy and his stuff was outstanding so that was a big plus, that he was healthy and his stuff was really good."
Castillo said he was happy with his performance at Spring Training.
"I think [Spring Training] went good because it's my first Spring Training after surgery," Castillo said. "So, I knew I needed to work real hard because you know, I had one year with no play.
"Every day, I was working hard for my shoulder and people started to see that I was working hard."
Castillo had a year-long absence to recover from surgery on his right labrum. He injured the shoulder throwing a pitch in practice after his first game in Greenville in 2010. The hiatus hasn't affected his pitching, though.
"It looks like he has picked up right where he left off," Such said. "He's a little older, a little wiser. He knows what's expected of him out there."
"Normally when you come in after missing a year, you don't expect a lot from those guys," Carlos Febles, manager for Greenville Drive, said. "But I think he had a great spring. He's slowed down a little bit because he missed a year but all he's gotta do is get back into it and do what he's supposed to do."
Both coaches think Castillo has a good changeup but want him to relax more at the mound.
"I think, to me, he needs a better rhythm sometimes," Febles said. "Sometimes there's too much time between pitches. He's got to get the baseball and get ready to throw the next pitch. To me, that's the one way to be more relaxed.
"When you take too much time between pitches, you start thinking too much. Sometimes I feel like he gets into that mode but when he's got a good rhythm and gets the ball back, ready to throw the next pitch, that's when he's money."
Such agrees that Castillo needs to be more relaxed.
"He gets to thinking a little bit to much at times but his stuff really is good so I expect him to have a good summer."
Castillo said he's ready for the season and thinks 2012 it will be a good year.
"I think [this season] will be good," he said, although he admitted his disappointment at returning to the South Atlantic League. "I want to play in Salem because my third year here is no good. I didn't want to repeat the league in Greenville three times."
Castillo's coaches expect a good season from him, as long as he remains healthy.
"He throws strikes down in the zone," Such said. "He's got a good breaking ball and an outstanding changeup that he likes to throw, so he has a three-pitch mix that's been really outstanding for this league.
"I just expect him to continue to put innings up on the board and continue to throw strikes and continue to progress."
"I expect him to get the baseball every five days and stay on the field and be healthy," Febles added. "That's the key.
"He's a guy that can throw strikes. He's a strike machine. He works off the hitter and he's got a good secondary stop and he can throw for a strike anytime he wants. If he stays healthy he's going to be fine."
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