Some big names were tossed around as potential World Baseball Classic replacements for the injured Mark Teixeira, but the fill-in will be Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer.
It’s hard to imagine that Hosmer was their first choice, especially following a disappointing season in which he hit just .232 with 14 homers and a .663 OPS in 152 games, but in 2011 he was very impressive as a 21-year-old rookie and before that he was an elite prospect.
Teixeira injured his forearm hitting off a tee before yesterday’s exhibition game and was immediately removed from the roster. In addition to Hosmer the other options at first base for Team USA include Joe Mauer and Ben Zobrist.
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.