Miguel Castro turning into unexpected Mets gift

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An unforeseen gift of former general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s Mets tenure might be Miguel Castro.

The right-handed reliever has emerged as a late-inning staple, joining new arrivals Trevor May and Aaron Loup among the most trusted setup options in manager Luis Rojas’ bullpen. Van Wagenen acquired Castro from the Orioles at the trade deadline last season, but his results were less than impressive.

Castro, in seven appearances this season, has pitched to a 2.57 ERA. His FIP (fielding independent pitching) suggests that number should actually be 0.53.

Rojas chose Castro over May to pitch Sunday’s eighth inning with a four-run lead against the Nationals, despite the fact both were fully rested and Monday was a day off. Castro allowed two hits but struck out three in the scoreless inning.

“We liked how the sinker matched up against the hitters that were coming, or even their bench,” Rojas said. “He’s going to get the ball in high-leverage situations, and Loup is going to get the ball, May is going to get the ball and a lot of our starters are going to get it as well.

“Talking about Castro, he’s a guy that is going to help us win a lot of games, and he’s going to come in at different parts of the ballgame to seal a win or keep us in a game in a close range.”

David Peterson, who is Tuesday night’s scheduled starter against the Red Sox, made his major league debut in Boston last July 28. In that game, he allowed two earned runs over 5 ²/₃ innings and received the victory.

The left-hander has struggled in two of his three starts this season, with his four-seam fastball as part of the problem; opponents are hitting .429 against that pitch with a 1.429 slugging percentage. He has averaged 92.6 mph with his four-seamer, which he has thrown 13.6 percent of the time.

The Red Sox entered Monday first in MLB with a .794 OPS. J.D. Martinez was leading the team in batting average (.370), homers (seven) and RBIs (21). Former Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki is a backup with the Red Sox.

Edwin Diaz has not allowed an earned run in his last six appearances. The walk-off run that scored against him in the 10th inning last Thursday in Chicago was not earned because it occurred after a runner had started at second base, per the extra-innings rule.

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