Barry Larkin has signed on to be Brazil’s manager for the World Baseball Classic and Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times has news of another big name taking a WBC gig:
Eric Gagne will be France’s pitching coach (he’s a French-Canadian from Montreal).
My first reaction was to be amused, but that only lasted a few seconds before I thought, “Wow, I’m old.”
Gagne debuted in 1999, won the Cy Young award in 2003, and last pitched in 2008 for the Brewers. He’s now 37.
I’m looking forward to a whole pitching staff throwing Vulcan changeups.
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.