Competitive Cubs keeping Castillo on shelf

CINCINNATI -- There is no reason to send out a missing-person alert for Cubs reliever Lendy Castillo, who is alive and well and down in the bullpen each night.

The Rule 5 pickup hasn’t seen action since April 20, though, which, in a round-about sort of way, is a good sign for the Cubs.

Castillo, who hasn’t pitched above the Single-A level before this season, is typically used as a mop-up man in runaway games. The fact that he hasn’t been used of late shows that the Cubs have been playing competitive contests.

The Cubs do like Castillo’s pitching potential, but under any other circumstance he isn’t on the 25-man roster at the present time. But as a Rule 5 selection from the Phillies this winter he has to stay in the major leagues or be offered back to his former club at half the $50,000 selection fee.

The 22-year-old right-hander has been used in just five games this season, posting a 7.94 ERA over 5 2/3 innings with four walks and five strikeouts. He has not appeared in a game the Cubs have won this season.