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New Cubs pitcher Kervin Castro feels at home thanks to Willson Contreras

7 days agoAndy Martinez

ST. LOUIS — Kervin Castro was like every other Cub fan Tuesday.

He had just been claimed off waivers by the Cubs and was waiting to see what would would happen with Willson Contreras. In 2020, Castro trained with Contreras, a fellow Venezuelan native, and got to know him.

“When I was claimed, there were still several hours to go till the trade deadline and I was hoping that he could stay since I knew him,” Castro said through team interpreter Will Nadal. “I knew he was a great catcher. He’s a great player, a great leader. So, I just think I’m lucky that he was able to stay and I’m excited to get to work with him.”

It’s been a whirlwind past few days for Castro. Monday, an off day for the Sacramento River Cats (the Triple-A affiliate of the Giants), he reunited with his family for the first time in 9 days because of a road trip. That same day, the Giants informed him they were designating him for assignment.

Tuesday morning, the Cubs claimed him off waivers.

“It’s been pretty crazy, really,” Castro said. “I was sad at first. Getting that piece of information made me sad. I had been with the organization for 7 years. But then, right away when I find out the Chicago Cubs have claimed me, it’s something that made me happy, having this opportunity.”

Now, Castro has an opportunity in a bullpen situation that is more wide open for the Cubs. They traded four bullpen pieces over the last few days and many players will get looks out of the bullpen in different scenarios.

“I feel that I’m really lucky to be here with the Chicago Cubs,” Castro said. “I feel that the team has a lot of young pitchers, up-and-coming arms, guys that develop, grow together. We’re just trying to go out there, do a good job and do my best.”

Castro primarily uses a 4-seam fastball and a curveball. His fastball averages around 94 mph.

“I think that when I’m able to mix up well my curveball and my fastball, locating the strike zone, I think that’s when I become most effective as a pitcher,” Castro said. “And that’s what I’m going to be trying to do.”

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