Scott Kazmir’s independent league comeback isn’t pretty

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All you need to know about how poorly Scott Kazmir’s time with the independent league Sugar Land Skeeters is going can be found in the first sentence of this game recap on the team’s official website:

Eight walks sounds bad, but there are plenty of positives to be found in Scott Kazmir’s last start.

When someone is looking to find “positives” within an eight-walk start from a 28-year-old former big-league All-Star pitching in an independent league … well, things aren’t going well.

Here’s more, from recapper Devon Teeple:

The numbers don’t do it justice.  Sure, Kazmir walked eight batters and dropped to 0-5, but he went six innings, the most in his eight appearances. He only allowed two earned runs, and four hits while striking out four. Again, this is a testament to the hard work he is putting in. Take away the walks and Kazmir produced his best start for the Sugar Land Skeeters.

Yes, if you take away the eight walks it wasn’t a bad little outing. Now, in fairness within that same article it says Kazmir’s fastball was clocked in the mid-90s, which would be legitimately encouraging if true.

And now he’ll be rotation-mates with Roger Clemens. Helluva team.

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.