Alcides Escobar played hurt because the Royals have a weird bench

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Kansas City has had a weird bench situation all season, including no backup middle infielder currently, which means yesterday starting shortstop Alcides Escobar was in the lineup despite swelling in his knee from being spiked Saturday.

Here’s more on the weirdness, from Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star:

If Escobar left Saturday’s game, manager Ned Yost floated the idea of utilizing either first baseman Eric Hosmer or reliever Michael Mariot in left field, with Alex Gordon shifting to third base.

Using a reliever in the outfield and using Alex Gordon at a position he hasn’t played since 2010. There are no bonus points in baseball for degree of difficulty, so it sure seems like the Royals should just find another guy capable of playing shortstop and put him on the roster like every other team does every season.

Of course, Escobar went 1-for-4 with a walk Sunday and the Royals won, so what do I know.

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.