PORT ST. LUCIE — Miguel Castro’s stock seems to be rising with a dominant Grapefruit League season.
The right-hander, who was acquired by the Mets last year at the trade deadline and pitched to disappointing results, posted his fourth straight scoreless appearance of the spring Tuesday in a 8-3 victory over the Astros at Clover Park.
In four innings this spring, Castro still hasn’t allowed a hit and has walked just one batter.
“He’s been lights out, with his command off the charts,” Mets manager Luis Rojas said. “He’s growing. This kid is 26 years old and he’s been in the big leagues for six years, so I think this is a guy that has an unbelievable ability to throw the ball and … he’s getting better, he is still developing.”
Relievers Jeurys Familia and Dellin Betances have encountered trouble this spring. Familia still hasn’t allowed an earned run this Grapefruit League season, but is still searching for his first clean inning. He loaded the bases against the Astros. Betances allowed two earned runs on two hits and owns a 13.50 ERA for the spring.
“Everything that Jeurys and Dellin bring to our bullpen is a plus,” Rojas said. “Their experience throwing in New York, throwing in high-stress situations in the past,[W]hat they share with the rest of the staff is invaluable. Plus they can come in and get the out. It shows us how deep our bullpen can be.”
Rojas said he’s encouraged that Betances’ command has improved this spring. With Familia, it’s about getting ahead of the hitters.
“We didn’t see the first pitch of the inning get a swing,” Rojas said. “Once he does that, I think with the stuff he has he’s going to get his outs. He might have a low-pitch inning where he can even do two innings in an outing like he did a lot last year.”
Carlos Carrasco threw an 18-pitch bullpen session and has been cleared to face live hitters in a simulated game Thursday. The right-hander, who stopped throwing last week after suffering elbow soreness, has said he expects to be built up enough to make his first start in the regular season, but Rojas is taking a wait-and-see approach.
RHP Sam McWilliams and OF Khalil Lee were optioned to the Triple-A roster. The Mets have 51 players in major league camp.