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Viva Fabio?

You might have missed it in the wreckage of Adam Eaton's latest meltdown, but a possible replacement for Eaton started today for the Ottawa Lynx, and looked just fine.

I'm talking about the Model Dictator himself, Fabio Castro. Against the Syracuse Sky Chiefs, Castro threw six innings of four-hit, one-run ball, walking one and striking out six. He threw 96 pitches and left with the lead, but Mike Zagurski couldn't hold it. (Sound familiar?) Ottawa ultimately won 4-2 on a walkoff homer by Brennan King.

This is Castro's fourth straight start after 25 relief appearances with Reading and Ottawa (and 5 with the Phillies) to start the season. He's gone 3, 4.1, 5, and now 6 innings, pitching to a fine 2.45 ERA over those starts. At this point, he's stretched out, and has averaged just under a strikeout per inning since joining the Lynx rotation.  

You might remember that Castro started this past winter in the Dominican League, and was superb: 29 IP, 1.86 ERA, 17 H, 20 BB, 31 K. He's got swing-and-miss stuff, and throws 94 miles an hour despite his smallish (5'8") frame.

The Phillies already have two very young pitchers in the rotation in Cole Hamels and Kyle Kendrick, plus a third if J.D. Durbin comes back in place of Kyle Lohse. It might seem like a stretch to think that Castro, at 22 the youngest of them all, could parachute into a playoff race and do the job. But anyone who's watched Eaton pitch to a six-plus ERA over the last four months and change probably would like to see him get the chance to try.