With Phillip Diehl called up from the minor leagues to work out of the bullpen in September, the Rockies had an opening for a pitcher among their eight slots on the Salt River Rafters roster in the Arizona Fall League.
Enter right-handed pitcher Antonio Santos. He replaced Diehl on the roster of the Rafters for the AFL season..
Santos split his season between Advanced A Lancaster (3-6, 4.38, 18 starts) and Double A Hartford (3-3, 4.93, 8 starts). Santos finished the season strong. In his last six starts at Harford he was 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA, allowing 30 hits while walking six and striking out 41 in 37 innings.
A native of Villa Gonzalez, D.R., Santos signed with the Rockies in July of 2015.
Rockies prospect Ryan Castellanii, who was in spring training with the Rockies, was on the Rafters last fall. The organization sent him back for a second go-round after his 2019 season at Triple-A Albuquerque was cut short when he had loose bodies removed from his right elbow. Having regained his drop-down pitching delivery after trying to adjust to a move over-the-top arm action, Castellani had shown enough progress that he more than likely would have been one of the first callups the Rockies made this season when their starting rotation was hit with a series of injuries.
Diehl, meanwhile, was acquired in the spring from the Yankees in the trade for outfielder Mike Tauchman. As the Rockies work to sort out plans for next season, they want to see Diehl against big-league hitters in the next couple of weeks to see if he could fit into what promises to be an overhauled bullpen.
A product of Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Diehl was a 27th-round draft choice of the Yankees out of Louisiana Tech in 2016. He originally attended Evansville University, where in 2013 he was a teammate of Rockies left-handed starter Kyle Freeland.
In addition to Santos and Castellani, the Rockies eight-player allotment includes pitcher Ashton Goudeau and Alexander Guillen, catcher Brian Serven, and infielders Brett Boswell, Colton Welker and Roberto Ramos.