The trade deadline is still more than two months away, but the Padres certainly won’t have to wait that long to add bullets to their bullpen.
Adrián Morejón and Michel Báez are already on the second stops of their Tommy John rehab tour and Drew Pomeranz is slowly nearing his own rehab assignment. Beyond those three, another arm is forcing his way into the conversation:
Left-hander Jose Castillo.
The 26-year-old Venezuela struck out two more batters over a scoreless inning in Triple-A El Paso’s 9-5 win over Sugar Land on Friday.
Through 10 2/3 innings this year, Castillo has allowed just one unearned run and penned a 13-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio while moving from low Single-A Lake Elsinore to start a rehab assignment to the Chihuahuas, his first game action since 2019.
At that time, Castillo was coming off a stellar rookie season in which he struck out 52 batters while posting a 3.29 ERA and a 0.91 WHIP over 38 1/3 innings.
But Castillo missed the first four months of 2019 with a flexor strained and exited his first game back with a season-ending torn tendon in his middle finger.
A lat strain prevented Castillo from pitching in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season and Tommy John wiped away 2021.
Castillo was non-tendered after the season but chose to return to the Padres on a minor league deal.
To be sure, the Padres are in no need to rush Castillo —…