The Pirates have lost six of their last eight, falling to six games back of the Reds in the National League Central standings. And here’s even more bad news.
From beat writer Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette comes word that second baseman Neil Walker was lifted in the first inning of Wednesday night’s game against the Dodgers after suffering a dislocated finger on his right hand in a nasty collision with Dodgers baserunner Mark Ellis.
Josh Harrison slid over from third base and Pedro Alvarez entered to play the hot corner.
Walker, 26, is batting .290/.353/.452 with 14 home runs and 67 RBI in 114 games played this season. The Pirates will reevaluate him Thursday morning before deciding whether a disabled list stint is necessary.
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.