Zack Greinke didn’t violate his contract by playing basketball

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When I saw that Zack Greinke’s broken rib came playing pickup basketball, my first thought was “man, that dude just cost himself some money.”  Tom Haudricourt reports, however, that the Brewers don’t agree:

[Doug] Melvin said Greinke did not violate his contract by playing a game of pick-up basketball, which is how he was injured near the start of camp.

“The contract stipulates against playing ‘competitive’ basketball,” said Melvin. “They don’t want you playing in men’s leagues or things like that. If he had suffered a severe injury playing in a men’s league, there probably would be repercussions with his salary.

It’s been a while since I played basketball, but in my experience unsupervised pickup basketball was always way more physical than organized leagues. I mean, you never hear “no blood, no foul” during intermural games down at the rec center. Depending on what gym, park or playground you’re hitting for a pickup game, however, you could be taking your life in your hands.

But hey, a contract is a contract. And I bet that future baseball contracts take out or at least redefine that “competitive” language in the future.

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.