Grant Brisbee friggin’ nails it, with a sampling of the sorts of baseball stories you’d be reading right now if the season began after the All-Star Break instead of back in April. Stuff like:
Bryce Harper: Just Not Ready
… Harper is hitting .176/.276/.265 in 105 at-bats to start the season. How long are the Nationals going to let this go on? Who benefits? Certainly not Harper, whose head must be spinning. Certainly not the Nationals, who have to deal with the equivalent of another pitcher in their lineup. It’s probably about time to end the experiment and start anew.
Not that this will stop us from posting all of those “Are the [City, Mascots] for real?” posts a month into next season. Still, it’s instructive.
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.