White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for failing a PED test, according to a report out of the Dominican Republic that was confirmed by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
Castillo, 31, who signed a two-year, $15 million contract as a free agent during the offseason, caught all nine innings of the Sox’ 11-1 victory against the Orioles at Guaranteed Rate Field, going 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
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According to Dominican journalist Americo Celado, an announcement that Castillo violated the league’s joint drug agreement could come from Major League Baseball on Thursday.
It wasn’t immediately known what Castillo would be suspended for, but reportedly it’s not for a steroid. The Sox declined comment Wednesday night.
“Those are rumors,’’ manager Rick Renteria said after the game. “MLB is the one that is in charge of that type of stuff. Until they release anything officially, I can’t really comment on that.’’
Omar Narvaez, who’s batting .180 and leading the majors with seven passed balls, would assume the No. 1 catcher’s role. The Sox’ top catcher at Class AAA Charlotte, Kevan Smith, is on the seven-day disabled list with an ankle issue.
Alfredo Gonzalez, a career .159 hitter in Triple-A, is not on the 40-man roster.
Castillo is batting .267 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 123 plate appearances. When the Sox signed him on Dec. 1, general manager Rick Hahn said Castillo’s “presence will have a lasting positive effect on our younger pitchers and catchers as they continue their development at the major-league level.”
The Mariners’ Robinson Cano received an 80-game suspension this month after testing positive for Furosemide, a masking agent that is a banned substance.
Covey snaps skid
Right-hander Dylan Covey earned his first career victory in 20 appearances and 14 starts, allowing one earned run in a career-high seven innings as the Sox (15-31) won for the fifth time in seven games. Covey walked one, allowed six hits and struck out eight.
Working with an improved fastball in the 93-96 mph range, Covey halted a streak of 13 consecutive winless starts to open his career, the longest in Sox history.
“The fastball was really working well for me,’’ said Covey, who was 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA in seven starts with Charlotte this season.
“When I spoke to him after the game,’’ Renteria said, “I told him, ‘Great job,’ and he said, ‘I’ve been working really hard.’ And he has.”
Yoan Moncada, Adam Engel (four hits) and Jose Rondon (first of his career) homered for the Sox.
Davidson scratched, Garcia hurt
Designated hitter Matt Davidson was a late scratch with back stiffness. Davidson (.243/.368/.521), the team leader in homers (11) and RBI (28), was replaced by Rondon.
Leury Garcia left the game with a sprained left knee and will be re-evaluated Thursday.
Another minor-league OF signed
The Sox’ already thin outfield, made worse by injuries to Avisail Garcia and Nicky Delmonico, prompted a second minor-league signing in three days. Alex Presley, 32, was added to Charlotte’s active roster, two days after Michael Saunders, 31, signed a minor-league deal.
Farquhar to throw out first pitch
Right-hander Danny Farquhar, who continues to progress from a brain hemorrhage caused by a ruptured aneurysm, will throw out the first pitch before the Sox’ game against the Brewers on June 1, according to MLB.com.