Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is reporting that the Rangers have spoken to free agent pitcher Tommy Hanson, potentially to include him in their starting rotation. The Angels non-tendered Hanson in early December, allowing the 27-year-old right-hander to become a free agent.
Hanson posted a disappointing 5.42 ERA in 73 innings for the Angels last season. He missed some time between June 21 and July 23 with a strained right forearm. His fastball averaged 87-89 MPH from April through July, but upon his return, he was able to get his average fastball velocity up to around 92 MPH according to Brooks Baseball. He showed some promise with the Braves in 2009-11, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Rangers take a cheap gamble on him.
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.