The Yankees were on the hunt for another lefty relief candidate after Hideki Okajima failed his physical and apparently have found one in veteran Clay Rapada, says MLB.com.
Rapada, who turns 31 next month, is expected to get a minor league contract. The sidearmer had a 6.06 ERA in 16 1/3 innings for the Orioles last season, but he did hold lefties to a .104 average in 49 at-bats. The problem is that right-handers were 9-for-13 with two homers against him.
It’s the usual trend for Rapada and why he’s never been able to establish himself in the majors. In 78 lifetime appearances, lefties have hit .153 against him, while righties have come in at .359.
Barring a late trade or a surprising spring from Rapada or Rule 5 pick Cesar Cabral, there’s a good chance the Yankees will go with just one lefty reliever, that being Boone Logan.
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.