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Former MLB pitcher Frank Castillo dead at age 44 after drowning in an Arizona lake

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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Ex-MLB pitcher Frank Castillo went for a swim Sunday, leaving the pontoon boat he was aboard with a friend at Bartlett Lake in Arizona, and never returned.

His family announced the grim news on Monday: Castillo — who played for six teams over a 13-year MLB career — had drowned, according to KVIA-TV in El Paso where Castillo grew up. According to an Associated Press report, Castillo's body was recovered on Monday.

Castillo spent most of his major-league career with the Chicago Cubs, the team that drafted him in the sixth round in 1987. He played with the Cubs for seven seasons, then later pitched for the Detroit Tigers, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays, Boston Red Sox and one game for the Florida Marlins in 2005 at age 38. It would be his last.

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Castillo had a career record of 82-104 with a 4.56 ERA. He wasn't a front-of-the-rotation starter, but had a few quality seasons: He pitched a career-high 205.1 innings in 1992, which was 22nd best in the National League.

Castillo was 11-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 188 innings for the Cubs in 1995. In 2000, he was 10-5 for the Blue Jays with a 3.59 ERA in 138 innings.

His family released the following statement on Monday, via KVIA:

"Frank Castillo died on Sunday in a drowning accident while with his family at a lake near his home. Frank was a wonderful son, terrific brother, and an extraordinary father to his two beautiful girls.

"Everyone who knew Frank loved Frank . We are devastated by this loss.

"It is impossible to express in words the level of sadness we feel due to this tragedy. All of those who counted Frank as a personal friend, and to all those wonderful fans who cheered for him during his major league career, we genuinely appreciate your prayers and kind words during this extremely difficult time.

"While we may not be able to thank each of you in person, it is very comforting to know that you are with us in spirit.

"We will provide information about the funeral once we are able to make all of the arrangements."

Condolences to Frank Castillo's family members, friends and fans.

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