The Seattle Mariners nearly lost their ace right in the very first game of the 2023 MLB season when pitcher Luis Castillo got nailed in the head by a comebacker from Cleveland Guardians outfielder Will Brennan.It happened so quickly that Castillo did not have enough time to get out of the ball's way.
Fortunately for Castillo and the Mariners, he still has those beautiful dreadlocks to prevent what would have been a scary head injury. Castillo's hair absorbed most of the ball's momentum of the comebacker, thus helping soften the impact on the pitcher's skull.
Luis Castillo was briefly examined by the Mariners' medical team before getting cleared to continue throwing on the mound, per Daniel Kramer of MLB.com.
Luis Castillo just took a 95.8 mph comebacker off the back of his head from Will Brennan, but after being examined by Mariners athletic trainers, he's remaining in the game.
A lot of padding in those dreads. pic.twitter.com/CuSD32OYbh
— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) March 31, 2023
The 30-year-old Castillo was acquired by the Mariners via a trade with the Cincinnati Reds in July 2022 to help them in their goal to make the postseason for the first time in over two decades — which they eventually did. The Mariners would later ink Luis Castillo to a five-year contract extension in September 2022 worth $108 million. In other words, Castillo's dreadlocks did not just save Castillo from injury, but also prevented the Mariners from the pain of seeing one of their most expensive assets unable to do work on the field.
Castillo, pitching for the Reds and the Mariners, went 8-6 with a 2.99 ERA, 3.07 FIP, and 1.084 WHIP across 25 starts in 2022. As the No. 1 pitcher of the Mariners, Castillo will have to deliver great numbers again this season if Seattle is to go back to the postseason again.