Brandon McCarthy might try a pitching helmet, but doesn’t think they should be mandatory

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An update on Brandon McCarthy, who tells Susan Slusser that, compared to a lot of things, getting his skull fractured by a line drive was not particularly painful.  Viva adrenaline I guess.

He also talks about pitching helmets, which we’ve discussed here before.  He tells Slusser that he’d maybe try one, but that he doesn’t think such a thing should be forced on anyone:

I’m all in favor of innovation … and if in 50 years, every pitcher is wearing some sort of soft-shell helmet that looks different, that will be all right. But I don’t want it to be mandatory.”

Seems sensible given that, unlike say seat belts in cars and even batting helmets for hitters, protecting a pitcher’s head is not something that addresses a large-scale threat. It is undeniably dangerous to get smacked with a comebacker, but it’s not a common thing either.

Like we’ve noted before, however, even if it’s not mandated — and I don’t think it should be —  it’s probably something that will happen eventually just because  of technology improving and certain players just choosing to do it and having the habit just become more and more acceptable.

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.