Rusney Castillo will play in the majors for the Red Sox in September “barring something unforeseen”

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Tim Britton of the Providence Journal reports that, according to Red Sox GM Ben Cherington, outfielder Rusney Castillo will play in the major leagues this season “barring something unforeseen.” Castillo, who came to the U.S. from Cuba, inked a seven-year, $72.5 million contract with the Red Sox on August 23.

Castillo was in the lineup, leading off for Double-A Portland in Wednesday evening’s game against the Binghamton Mets, the first game of the Eastern League playoffs. Cherington said Castillo will stick with Portland for the duration of their five-game series against Binghamton. Castillo debuted for the Red Sox earlier this week in the Gulf Coast League.

More from Cherington on Castillo, via Britton:

“He’s working hard, attitude has been great, soaking stuff in,” said Cherington. “We’re more interested in watching him integrate into the daily routine and get comfortable with things we’re asking him, and he’s done that very quickly.”

Nick Markakis leads all NL outfielders in All-Star voting

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I would hope by now that I no longer have to preface All-Star talk with my usual “none of this matters” disclaimers, but please keep all of that in mind when I mention that Nick Markakis is leading all National League outfielders in All-Star voting.

Markakis, with 1,173,653 votes, has surpassed the slumping Bryce Harper in that category. Harper has 1,002,696 votes. The third place outfielder is Matt Kemp of the Dodgers with 925,697. Fourth place — Charlie Blackmon of the Dodgers — is like 300,000 votes back of Kemp.Yes, Markakis, Harper and Kemp may be the starting NL outfield. Brandon Nimmo — not on the ballot — should be grumpy, but he’ll get his chance I’m sure.

The thing about it: Markakis, for as unexpected as his appearance may be on this list, deserves to at least be in the top three. He’s second in WAR among National League outfielders behind Lorenzo Cain. He’s slowed down a good bit in June and he’s coming off of a 2017 season in which he had a 96 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR, but he’s having quite an outstanding season. I write that mostly so that there is a record of it come October and we’ve all forgotten it.

Seriously, though, good for Markakis, who has never made an All-Star Game. Good for Kemp too for that matter, who most people assumed was a walking — well, limping — corpse heading into this season. Good for Harper because anything that can keep up the guise of him having a good year when, in reality, he’s really not, will help his confidence as he heads into free agency.

Finally, good for the American League, who will likely get to face a far, far inferior National League team next month in Washington.

The rest of the voting: