For most of his career Casey Kotchman has been viewed as a weak-hitting first baseman who’s typically one of the lesser hitters in a lineup. For the Marlins he’s damn near a savior.
Miami has activated Kotchman from the 60-day disabled list after he missed two months with a hamstring injury and he’s batting sixth tonight against the Phillies.
Kotchman hit just .229 with a .612 OPS in 133 games for the Indians last season and is a career .261 hitter with a .714 OPS that’s well below par for first baseman. However, a .714 OPS would rank third among all Marlins with at least 100 trips to the plate this season.
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.