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11/04/08 12:15 AM EST

O's outright Castillo to Norfolk

Lefty reliever could still return to Baltimore next season

BALTIMORE -- The Orioles outrighted southpaw reliever Alberto Castillo to Triple-A Norfolk on Monday, removing the veteran from the 40-man roster. Castillo, a Cuban defector who made his big league debut this past season, successfully cleared waivers prior to the transaction and may be able to reprise his role with the Orioles next year.

Castillo, who defected from his native homeland at age 18, struggled for seven years in the Minor Leagues and played independent league ball for another seven years before he got his big league break. Baltimore noticed him in the Mexican Pacific League last fall before inviting him to Spring Training and stashing him at Norfolk.

The left-hander started the season in Triple-A and progressed to the big leagues around midseason. Castillo, now 32 years old, posted a 1-0 record with a 3.81 ERA in 28 games as the team's second southpaw specialist.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.