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Kyle Lohse retires

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Pitcher Kyle Lohse announced his retirement from baseball via his Instagram page on Thursday:

Lohse, 39, signed a minor league contract with the Royals at the end of March. He spent April in extended spring training, then reported to Triple-A Omaha earlier this month. He struggled in two starts, giving up 12 runs on 17 hits and five walks with five strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings. The Royals released him on Thursday evening, which likely prompted his announcement.

Lohse pitched parts of 16 seasons in the majors with the Twins, Cardinals, Brewers, Reds, Rangers, and Phillies. In 418 starts and 39 relief appearances, the right-hander compiled a 4.40 ERA with 1,615 strikeouts and 694 walks over 2,531 2/3 innings. Lohse’s best year came in 2012 when he finished seventh in NL Cy Young Award balloting, going 16-3 with a 2.86 ERA for the Cardinals.

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.