Cubs pull Jose Veras from closer role

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Jose Veras blew his second save of the season last night against the Cardinals and Patrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that Cubs manager Rick Renteria will go with other options in the closer role for now.

After joining the Cubs on a one-year, $4 million deal over the winter, Veras has really struggled in the early going. The 33-year-old right-hander has allowed five runs on two hits and seven walks over 3 2/3 innings in four appearances. He has also hit three batters.

There’s incentive for the Cubs to get Veras back on track here, as he could be a potential trade chip around midseason. Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop figure to get some save chances in the short-term.

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.