Tonight when Bryce Harper takes his cuts in the Home Run Derby he’ll be hitting off his dad, Ron Harper, who’ll be following in the footsteps of Robinson Cano’s father.
“I’m excited to share that moment with him,” Bryce Harper told James Wagner of the Washington Post, noting that his dad threw “millions” of pitches to him and his brother Bryan Harper growing up.
Bryan Harper is a reliever in the Nationals’ farm system and Wagner reports that to prepare for pitching in the Home Run Derby Ron Harper threw batting practice with his son’s Single-A team.
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.