But with his retirement from playing and less travel, he has had more time for another passion that he has had for most of his life: grilling.
It’s something that he learned from his dad.
"“My dad loves to cook,” said Castilla, “and it was always fun because we would eat together as a family and we’d always have [our extended family] and friends come over to barbecue and I loved it and my dad loved it too. Every weekend when we don’t have a game [at home] or in the winter, we get together to do all of this stuff because it’s what I love to do. I love grilling. [Whether it’s] steaks or chicken or ribs, I still love to do that.”"
With Kingsford partnering with Major League Baseball on a cookbook with a recipe for each team, particularly based on popular items and the culture of each city. However, they have more recipes included from former major leaguers including Omar Vizquel, Eric Karros, Harold Reynolds, and David Ortiz.
I asked him about why he decided to partner with Kingsford for the campaign.
"“They said that they were doing a cookbook, called Taste of the Game, so they wanted recipes from all 30 major league teams,” said Castilla. “They wanted to put a couple of my recipes in the book so it was really cool for them to call me [to be a part of the cookbook].”"
Included in the book is his recipe for carne asada (which is “grilled beef” in English) but he also has some other favorite grilling recipes.
"“I like chicken [and] I love ribs too,” Castilla said. “For the chicken, I like to marinate it with lime juice, some cilantro, and jalapeños–very simple–and then just put a little bit of salt and throw them on the grill and I love it…I like making quesadillas on the grill [too]. My wife will do the other stuff, like the salsas, tortillas, beans, and all of the good stuff.”"
In addition to talking about grilling and what he is doing now, we also discussed his baseball career.