NPB: Orix Buffaloes sign RHP’s Anderson Espinoza and Luis Castillo

Anderson Espinoza of the Chicago Cubs stands in the dugout prior to a game against the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field on August 23, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

The 2023 Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes signed Venezuelan right-handed pitcher Anderson Espinoza on January 17 and Dominican right-handed pitcher Luis Castillo on January 16, the team announced on their X account. 

Espinoza, 25, was born in Caracas, Venezuela, and has played one season in Major League Baseball with the Chicago Cubs in 2022 and five seasons in the U.S. minor leagues and the winter leagues. 

Espinoza elected free agency on Nov. 6 prior to signing with the Orix Buffaloes. He played with the Cardenales de Lara in the Liga Venezolana de Beisbol during the 2023-24 season. In eight starts, Espinoza posted a 4-2 record with a 3.92 ERA, throwing 39 innings and allowing 50 hits, 17 earned runs, three home runs, 12 walks, 28 strikeouts, and a 1.590 WHIP. 

Last season, Espinoza played with Triple-A El Paso in the San Diego Padres organization, and in 28 starts he posted a 8-9 record with a 6.15 ERA, throwing 131.2 innings and allowing 148 hits, 90 earned runs, 17 home runs, 73 walks, 117 strikeouts, and a 1.678 WHIP.  

Castillo will play in his second season in NPB with the Orix Buffaloes in 2024 after playing with the Chiba Lotte Marines in 2023. 

Castillo, 28, was born in Fantino, Dominican Republic, and has played one MLB Season with the Detroit Tigers in 2022 and 12 seasons between the minor leagues, the winter leagues, and Japan. 

Last season, Castillo split his time between the Chiba Lotte Marines and their farm team. Castillo appeared in nine games with the Chiba Lotte Marines, posting a 1-2 record with a 2.48 ERA, throwing 40 innings and allowing 37 hits, 11 earned runs, one home run, six walks, 39 strikeouts, and a 1.075 WHIP. 

With their minor league team, Castillo played in 12 games posting a 3-3 record with a 3.12 ERA throwing 49 innings allowing 52 hits, 17 earned runs, two home runs, three walks, 34 strikeouts, and a 1.122 WHIP. 

The Orix Buffaloes will open the 2024 season on March 29 against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks at the Fukuoka PayPay Dome in Fukuoka Japan.

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