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Orioles notes: Miguel Castro ends season early with knee injury

Right-hander Miguel Castro again served an important role as a multiple-inning reliever for the Orioles this season, but his season ended prematurely with a right knee injury.

Castro, who has not pitched since Sept. 22, said Saturday he was done for the season.

“Thankfully, the knee feels better,” Castro said through interpreter Ramón Alarcón. “At the same time, I don’t think there’s going to be any chance for me to pitch again this weekend. I tried, but the recommendation was for me to take it slow and rest.”

Castro said he dealt with a similar knee injury during spring training, but this one was worse and included more swelling.

Only three major league relievers have pitched more innings than the 86 1/3 that Castro logged in 2018. That number includes one 2 2/3-inning spot start and which is a career-high at the big league level.

The knee began bothering Castro his last appearance, in New York. He said he tried to pitch again in Boston, but couldn’t.

“I am thankful for the season I had,” Castro said. “Obviously, I feel bad for not being out there, competing and trying to help the team. That’s the main thing I want to do. Sometimes there are certain things you can control and other things you can control and other things you cannot. So sometimes you just have to accept it.”

Castro finished with a 3.96 ERA, a season mark that would have been better had he not posted a 9.75 ERA in 11 August appearances. He ended the season with a 2.13 ERA in nine September appearances.

The biggest different in Castro’s season this year was his walk rate, which increased from 10.2 percent last year, to a career-high 13.3 percent this season. Opponents hit just .234 off Castro this season, but he had a 1.45 WHIP.

“For the most part, I was available to help the team, trying to help my team, trying to compete out there,” Castro said. “There are certain things I cannot control, so it’s not the best ending for me. But at the same time, I feel thankful for the opportunity to be here and to help my team.”

Castro said he will continue to receive treatment in the offseason when he returns to the Dominican Republic.

Yacabonis to start Sunday

Orioles manager Buck Showalter announced after Saturday’s doubleheader that right-hander Jimmy Yacabonis will start Sunday’s series finale. Yacabonis is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 11 appearances (six starts) with the Orioles this season.

Left-hander Sean Gilmartin was considered a candidate — he has provided quality long relief, posting a 3.00 ERA over 12 outings — but he was used for two innings in the doubleheader’s first game.

Sisco still not cleared to return

Catcher Chance Sisco, who wanted to be with the Orioles during their most recent road trip after a foul tip hit him, was back with the club Saturday undergoing concussion protocol tests.

Sisco still hasn’t been cleared to return after a foul tip hit him in the bottom part of the mask, giving him a gash on his chin and sending him to concussion protocol.

eencina@baltsun.com

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