After being suspended for 80 games due to a PED violation, Welington Castillo begins a rehab assignment in Triple-A Charlotte. On Friday he hit 2nd and played DH. Back in May, he tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO). Castillo will be eligible to return to the White Sox on August 23rd.
Castillo hit in the two spot for Friday’s game against the Louisville Bats. He finished the game going 1/4 with a walk and a strikeout. Castillo was pulled from the game and Brett Austin came in to pinch run for him. The Knights would go on to lose the game 4-3 in the 10th inning.
Other notable performances came from left fielder Charlie Tilson, who went 3/5 with 2 RBIs. As well as center fielder Ryan Cordell, who finished the game going 2/5 with an RBI.
Since Castillo is eligible to return to the majors on August 23rd it is likely that he will start to play some games at catcher with Charlotte. Even though he tested positive for EPO, the Sox should be happy to have him back.
Castillo provides a veteran presence behind the plate to help guide young pitchers like Lucas Giolitio and Reynaldo Lopez. He also is great for young bullpen arms such as Jace Fry and Thyago Vieira late in games.
After playing 33 games to start the season he has a slash line of .267 AVG/ .309 OPS /.466 SLG which includes six home runs and 15 RBIs.
As Welington Castillo begins the rehab assignment, the question becomes, what will happen to Narváez and Smith?
Omar Narváez has been stellar behind the plate this season. He has a slash line of .282 AVG/.369 OBP/.431 SLG with five homers and 21 RBIs. The Sox number two catcher Kevin Smith has also had a strong season since returning from the DL earlier this season. His slash line is .283 AVG/.328 OBP/.310 SLG with 12 RBIs and four walks.
With both catchers playing good baseball it will make the upcoming decision regarding Castillo and interesting one.
Alec Hansen in Single-A Winston-Salem
After having a fantastic 2017 season, the White Sox number 10 overall prospect, Alec Hansen has struggled so far in 2018. Hansen was moved up to Double-A Birmingham after finishing 2017 with a league-leading 191 strikeouts.
The 2018 season, however, has not gone his way. After nine games and 35.2 innings pitched in Double-A this season he had an ERA of 6.56 with 42 walks and 35 strikeouts. Since being sent down to Single-A Hansen has been used in relief, pitching five innings in two games for the Dash. He has given up two earned runs and two walks with seven strikeouts over that stretch.
Hansen did miss much of the beginning of the season due to a right forearm injury in spring training. He started pitching in game situations in June so he may just need more time to get his rhythm back.
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