Rickie Weeks now leads NL second basemen in All-Star balloting

7 Comments

The last update in National League All-Star voting before the final results are announced on Sunday just hit the wires. Here’s where it stands:

C: Brian McCann
1B: Albert Pujols
2B: Rickie Weeks
3B: Placido Polanco
SS: Troy Tulowitzki
OF: Ryan Braun
OF: Lance Berkman
OF: Matt Holliday

Of note is the fact that Weeks has passed Brandon Phillips for the first time and leads him by fewer than 80,000 votes. Prince Fielder is second in first base voting, moving ahead of Joey Votto and thus likely to start given Pujols’ unavailability. Jose Reyes continues to get boned at shortstop. Stupid Mountain Time Zone bias.

If form holds — and if the MLB PR people don’t bust a gut laughing as they try to put together a response to Frank McCourt’s bankruptcy filing — we’ll get the penultimate AL voting results tomorrow.

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

David Banks/Getty Images
6 Comments

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.