The Chicago Cubs have designated right-handed pitcher Lendy Castillo for assignment to make room for recently signed pitcher Carlos Villanueva, writes Andrew Simon of MLB.com. The Cubs officially signed former Blue Jay Villanueva to the rumored two year/$10M that was first reported in late December on Saturday
Originally drafted as a shortstop by the Phillies, Castillo was acquired by Chicago in 2011 as a part of the Rule 5 draft. The infielder-turned-pitcher threw 16 innings in relief for the Cubs with a 7.88 ERA, 24 hits allowed and 12 walks in 2012.
The 23-year-old will now be made available to other teams before he can be sent to the minors. Despite his struggles at the major league level, Castillo has shown promise in his brief time in the minors. In 2011, in his first season as a reliever, Castillo posted a 2.54 ERA in 46 innings, while striking out a batter per inning. He features a low-to-mid nineties fastball, a two-seamer, a cutter and a slider.
Given his age, a team with room for another bullpen arm could take a flyer on Castillo now that he has been designated for assignment. If he is not taken by another club, he should get another chance to make the Cubs during the season, especially if he can show better command in the minor leagues.