Phillies: Philly native Ryan Castellani set for MLB debut
By Matt Rappa
Growing up as a Phillies fan, Ryan Castellani will make his MLB debut on Saturday for the Rockies
Philadelphia native Ryan Castellani will be attending the most important Major League Baseball game of his life Saturday evening. But, not as a Phillies fan to witness the team’s series opener against the Atlanta Braves, but, rather, as a right-handed starting pitcher.
Ahead of fellow 24-year-old Spencer Howard gears up for his big-league debut this weekend, Castellani will be making his debut on Saturday for the first-place Colorado Rockies, away against the Seattle Mariners at T-Mobile Park.
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Castellani is the son of longtime former Phillies staff member Regina Castellani, who helped start the organization’s relationship with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association. Regina served as the Phillies’ Director of Community Relations from 1982 to 2002, and as Manager of Phillies Charities from 2002 to 2006.
Ranked as the Rockies’ 18th-best prospect, Castellani was recalled from the team’s alternate training site to take the place of injured pitcher Chi Chi Gonzalez (biceps).
Last season at Triple-A Albuquerque, Castellani recorded an 8.31 ERA, 1.938 WHIP and 47-30 strikeout-to-walk ratio spanning 10 starts and 43 1/3 innings. The right-hander had surgery in June 2019 to remove loose particles in his right elbow and did not pitch the remainder of the season until the Arizona Fall League, where in five starts he posted a much-better 2.16 ERA.
"He’s always had the stuff, with a fastball that touches 97 mph with good life to it. In the past, he’d relied on a good, but inconsistent slider as his breaking ball, but he broke out a 1-to-7 curveball last year that has good late spin to it. Both breaking balls have the chance to be at least above-average in time to go along with an average changeup, giving him the chance to start if he can keep repeating his delivery."
In June 2017, Castellani — who was described as having a similar delivery as Max Scherzer — told NBC that his mother was a “big influence” on him; he remembers going to the Phillies’ ballpark growing up and being inspired to one day play on the same field as his favorite team. While he will not debut in red pinstripes, he surely one day will get the chance to throw off the mound at Citizens Bank Park.
The Rockies selected Castellani in the second round of the 2014 amateur draft out of Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix, Arizona.