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Former Cubs pitcher Frank Castillo, 44, drowned in Arizona lake

Updated: July 29, 2013 8:46PM



Frank Castillo, 44, a pitcher who spent seven seasons with the Cubs, drowned Sunday in a boating accident.

Castillo’s family confirmed Monday that he was boating with his family on Bartlett Lake, which is about 60 miles northeast of Phoenix, when he decided to take a swim. A friend called for emergency help when Castillo did not return.

Divers recovered his body on Monday.

``I played with Frank,’’ Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. ``It was sad to hear. It was a bad accident at a lake close to my home. He lived near me.

``I didn’t see him that often, but he was a great guy and a great teammate.’’

Castillo grew up in El Paso, Texas and was a top pitching prospect in his day, drafted in the sixth round by the Cubs in 1987. He reached the majors in 1991 and pitched for the Cubs until he was traded to the Colorado Rockies during the 1997 season. Castillo played for four other teams before retiring in 2005 with a lifetime record of 82-104 with a 4.56 earned run average.

His greatest game came on Sept. 25, 1995 when he was one strike from a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals iat Wrigley Field, but Bernard Gilkey hit a triple that eluded a diving Sammy Sosa. It was the only hit he allowed in the 7-0 victory.

He pitched only two games for the world champion Boston Red Sox in 2004 but was given a World Series ring.

Castillo played several years in the independent Atlantic League after his retirement before spending a year on the Cubs minor league coaching staff in Mesa.

He is survived by two daughters.



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