San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants

Guillen left off postseason roster because of injury, not PEDs

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HardballTalk’s own Craig Calcaterra had this story on Friday.  Now it’s close to being confirmed.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy informed the Associated Press before Saturday’s World Series Game 3 that Jose Guillen was not left off the Giants’ postseason roster because of a PED-related investigation.  He was left off because of a neck injury that would have hurt his availability throughout the team’s playoff run.

The New York Times ran a story earlier this week stating that Guillen was found to have received shipments of human growth hormone (HGH) during the 2010 season at an address registered to his wife.  The story also said that Major League Baseball asked the Giants to leave the veteran outfielder out of their postseason plans because of the ongoing investigation.  The first is true.  The second, apparently, is not.

In all likelihood, the decision on Guillen was made for a variety of reasons.  He did not hit with power down the stretch for the Giants and has become a pitiful defensive outfielder over the past few years.  The neck injury definitely played a part.  And the investigation definitely didn’t help anything.

Guillen, an impending free agent, is still waiting on word from the DEA and MLB commissioner’s office.  It seems likely that he won’t have an agreement with a big league club before the start of spring training.

Twins’ minor league pitcher Landa dies in Venezuela

FORT MYERS, FL - MARCH 05:  Yorman Landa #81 of the Minnesota Twins makes a throw to first base during the fourth inning of a spring training game against the Baltimore Orioles at Hammond Stadium on March 5, 2016 in Fort Myers, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Twins say minor league pitcher Yorman Landa has died in Venezuela. He was 22.

The club said in a statement that the Twins are “deeply saddened by the heartbreaking loss.” The team did not say how he died.

Landa pitched in the 2016 season with the Fort Meyers Miracle, going 2-2 with 7 saves and a 3.24 ERA in 41 2/3 innings pitched. His career minor-league ERA was 2.66.

Landa had been on the Twins’ 40-man roster, but was dropped after the season. The organization signed him to a minor-league contract last week.

Landa was signed by the Twins in 2010 as a 16-year old from Santa Teresa, Venezuela.

Orioles are eying Welington Castillo as their primary catcher target

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 25: Welington Castillo #7 of the Arizona Diamondbacks warms up prior to taking an at bat against the Baltimore Orioles in the second inning at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 25, 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Matt Hazlett/Getty Images)
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A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.

Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.

For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.