Budding outfielder Jason Heyward was lifted in the second inning of Wednesday’s game against the Washington Nationals due to a left groin injury, the Braves revealed to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Melky Cabrera replaced the young superstar in right field and may need to man the position for the next few days while Matt Diaz covers left. Heyward, 20, has youth on his side and should be able to bounce back and put the issue behind him. But he’s sure to miss at least Thursday’s series finale with the Nationals.
Heyward is batting an alarming .286/.408/.619 this season with eight home runs and 24 RBI in just 26 games. He’s been as good as advertised, if not better.
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.