Royals demote Aaron Crow to Double-A

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Needing to make roster room for tonight’s starting pitcher, Liam Hendriks, the Royals have demoted reliever Aaron Crow to Double-A.

At first glance it looks like another case of a team demoting a player to the minors simply because they had a minor-league option remaining. Crow was an All-Star in 2011 and has a 3.35 ERA in 226 career innings through age 26, including a 3.86 ERA in 59 appearances this season.

However, his secondary numbers have slipped dramatically with a 29/20 K/BB ratio in 51 innings and since beginning the season by making 19 consecutive appearances with zero earned runs allowed he has a 5.77 ERA in 40 games.

Dan Otero of the A’s probably has a better case for being demoted solely due to having a minor-league option remaining and either way Crow will almost surely be back in September.

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.