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Diamondbacks bringing back bullpen cart


The Arizona Diamondbacks announced today that they are bringing back a thing that hasn’t existed since before their own franchise did: the bullpen cart.

Back in the 1960s, 70s and into the 80s a lot of teams experimented with motorized transportation to ferry relief pitchers into the game from the far reaches of the bullpen, which stood, uh, only a few hundred feet away at most. I didn’t necessarily understand the need for a bullpen cart and I still don’t really get the appeal on a personal level, but bullpen carts were kind of fun, right? Decorated golf carts at worst, near works of art when created with care. The Mariners had a bullpen boat, for cryin’ out loud. That was pretty neat. The last one in existence was a Harley-Davidson motorcycle with a relief pitcher side car used by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1995. Since then, they’ve been the stuff of nostalgia.

The Dbacks model is a modern variation on the theme, in that — like everything else these days — its got corporate sponsorship: it’ll be called the “OnTrac Bullpen Cart,” sponsored by the OnTrac parcel delivery company. Anything to get an announcer to read a plug, I suppose. Or a blog post to give a brand a shoutout.

Whatever, the thing looks like a bullpen cart:

I can’t imagine a super intimidating closer using one of those — “Enter Sandman” or “Hells Bells” lose a bit of their oompf when the pitcher climbs out of that little thing after put-putting to the mound — but maybe intimidation is overrated?

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.