Dodgers mourn loss of '81 club's Castillo at 59

Right-hander, responsible for teaching Valenzuela screwball, battled cancer

Dodgers mourn loss of '81 club's Castillo at 59

LOS ANGELES -- Former Dodgers pitcher Bobby Castillo, a member of the 1981 World Series championship team and the teammate credited with teaching Fernando Valenzuela a screwball, died on Monday after a battle with cancer. He was 59.

"I was very saddened to hear about Bobby's passing this morning," said Valenzuela. "He was a great teammate and friend. I'll always be grateful for his influence on my pitching. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends."

Castillo, a Los Angeles native, pitched parts of nine seasons in the Major Leagues for the Dodgers and Twins. He was 38-40 with a 3.94 ERA, and in 1982 with Minnesota, he went 13-11 with a 3.66 ERA, pitching 218 2/3 innings and recording six complete games, including one shutout.

In recent years, Castillo was part of the Dodgers Alumni League community service team.

Castillo's death comes three weeks after the death of Bob Welch, Castillo's teammate on the 1981 club.

Castillo is survived by his mother, Nellie; his daughters, Mellanie and Sara; Sara's husband, Andrew Sanchez; his son, Robert III; his sister, Lorraine, and her husband, Peter Gonzalez. Castillo had three nieces and nephews, nine grandnieces and grandnephews and two grandchildren, Jackson and Lila.

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