When Welington Castillo was healthy enough to play baseball, the Washington Nationals didn’t need him at the big league level. When the Nationals did need an extra catcher, Castillo was not available. He was a part of the Nationals the past two seasons, though after opting out in 2020, played in just 11 games for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings in 2021.
From the moment Castillo signed a minor league contract a year ago, it seemed he would pair with Yan Gomes to make up the catching unit for the Nationals. Then the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the season during spring training, and in the best interests of himself and his family, Castillo opted out of the season.
The Nats still had a need for veteran catchers entering 2021, and signed Castillo again to a minor league contract. A shoulder issue limited Castillo during spring training and when Alex Avila went in COVID protocols to begin the season, a roster spot was available for the taking. The shoulder was still an issue, leaving the Nationals to sign Jonathan Lucroy.
Most recently, Avila went on the Injured List again, yet Castillo hadn’t played in a Triple-A game since June 16th. Injuries were tearing apart his ability to stay on the field. While the Nationals would love to have a more seasoned backstop shadowing Gomes, they chose to call up Tres Barrera.
Welington Castillo decided to call it a career, never appearing in a game with the Washington Nationals.
After ten years in the game and catching more than fifty-five hundred innings, Castillo has decided to retire from the game of baseball. He is probably best known for his time with the Chicago Cubs, though he did hit 20 home runs in 2017 for the Baltimore Orioles. He saw time with the Seattle Mariners, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Chicago White Sox, as well.
While the stars never did align for him to appear in the Majors with the Nationals, he surely provided mentorship for some of the younger guys in camp and in the Minors.
Best of luck to Welington Castillo in his future endeavors.