The Phillies fire pitching coach Rich Dubee

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This will solve everything:

Salisbury’s full story is here.

I guess when you have a bad season heads roll, and there’s no escaping the fact that the Phillies pitching staff, on the whole, was terrible (it ranked 27th out of 30 in ERA). But it’s hard to see how Dubee is responsible for what went on in Philly this year.

Roy Halladay is basically dead. Cliff Lee was amazing but was screwed by run support. Cole Hamels started poorly but rebounded. The bullpen faltered at inopportune times but, way more significantly, over 20 starts were given to flotsam like Tyler Cloyd, Ethan Martin, Raul Valdez and Zach Miner. Another 13 to Halladay. Fourteen to an ineffective John Lannan. Most of the blame would rest with the latent talent (or health in Halladay’s case) of the Phillies’ staff, not how they were coached by Dubee. That’s on Ruben Amaro, not Dubee.

Of course there’s also the matter of Ryne Sandberg taking over and, in all likelihood, wanting his own man on staff. Which is more understandable than Dubee being fired for cause.

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.