Mark Connor hired by Rangers after resigning as Orioles pitching coach

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After only three months on the job Mark Connor resigned suddenly as the Orioles’ pitching coach in mid-June, citing personal reasons, but now Brittany Ghiroli of MLB.com reports that he’s taken a job with the Rangers as a “player development special consultant.”

That’s the same position Connor held with the Rangers for two seasons prior to joining Buck Showalter’s coaching staff in Baltimore and the 62-year-old also previously served as Texas’ bullpen coach and pitching coach.

In two-plus months under Connor the Orioles’ pitching staff had a 4.22 ERA, but since his resignation their team ERA is 5.73. However, at least one Orioles pitcher, Brian Matusz, spoke publicly about struggling to adapt to changes Connor asked him to make with his mechanics, saying he “wasn’t mentally prepared … to change things I’ve done for my whole life.”

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.