Back in June Jonathan Niese left a start with a rapid heartbeat. He missed a couple of days but then came back and finished out his season, with doctors deciding that he did not need a heart procedure — an ablation procedure — until the offseason.
Now it’s the offseason and the doctors have changed their mind again: he doesn’t need it. Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports:
“The doctors just said that it was nothing major and that I didn’t need to have surgery,” Niese said via telephone Monday evening. “I’m just going to go on as normal and that’s it. It’s a really good thing.”
Niese finished the season 13-9 with a 3.40 ERA in 190 innings.
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.