Baseball Psychology

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In this morning’s recaps I made light of Steve Simmons criticizing Roy Halladay’s mental toughness, making an offhand remark about “pop psychology.”  That, combined with my “swagger” post from last week may create the impression that I don’t think the psychological part of the game is important.  Not true. I think it’s really important. I just think that writers tend to attribute far too much of what happens on a baseball diamond to psychological stuff when physical success or failure, support of one’s teammates, or chance has so much more to do with it. It’s more fun to write about things like mental toughness, however, because there are only so many ways to say that the Jays aren’t scoring runs for Roy Halladay.

But as this article profiling players’ use of sports psychologists shows, the psychological part of the game is very real and very important.  And even if you’re not into this kind of thing, it contains a Bob Tewksbury sighting, and who doesn’t like Bob Tewksbury?

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.