Eric Chavez on the DL with neck spasms; career at risk?

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Eric Chavez headshot.jpgIt was only a matter of when. The oft-injured Eric Chavez was placed on
the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with neck spasms, according
to a team press release
.

According to Susan Slusser of the
San Francisco Chronicle, Chavez said an MRI revealed a bulging disc in
his neck
. The injury apparently stems from a collision with a
teammate during a drill in spring training. He has tried to play through
the pain with the help of traction treatment, but as his .234/.276/.333
batting line indicates, he’s done more harm than good at the plate.

With
Coco Crisp finally off the disabled list, Jack Cust figured to take
over as the regular designated hitter, anyway. Cust is batting .333
(7-for-21) with two RBI since being called up from the minors last
Saturday.

Chavez, 32, has talked about retirement many
times
before and even
acknowledged to Slusser on Saturday
that this
could be it.

“I hadn’t thought about it, other than
my goal for the year was not to
be back on the DL. … But it could be. I don’t know.”

Chavez
is currently in the final year of a six-year, $66 million contract. The
Athletics will have to cut him a $3 million check to buy out his $12.5
million option for next season. Not a bad going away present.
 

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.