The White Sox have not been good this season. Not just a little “not good”...they currently have, as of this writing anyways, the worst record in baseball at 14-31. However, not everything has been bad about the team.
Yoan Moncada and Matt Davidson have been pretty good for the squad and the offense itself hasn’t played like the one of the worst teams in baseball. Another positive for the team has been Welington Castillo who has posted a 115 wRC+ in 32 games for Chicago and has the fifth highest fWAR on the team at 0.7 fWAR. Catchers who are productive at the plate have lots of value and the White Sox have that in Castillo.
Or at least they did. They will be without his services for a while.
Sources confirm to The Athletic: #WhiteSox’s Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for using a PED (not a steroid) in violation of baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. https://t.co/ZE97Z7NrTp— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) May 24, 2018
Rosenthal was able to confirm earlier reporting that Castillo will be suspended for 80 against for PED usage, although the details beyond that are still unclear. We do know that he did not test positive for a steroid, but what substance did pop up will likely be learned in the coming hours or days.
Regardless of whether he tested positive for HGH or a masking agent or it turns out that he did test positive for a steroid or something else weird, this is a blow to a team that had little margin for error in terms of being competitive on a nightly basis. The loss of Castillo, even for a team that is likely the favorite to snag the #1 pick in the 2019 draft, creates more instability on a team that is going to have a lot of young and/or inexperienced players playing on the roster.
Castillo’s absence of the next 80 games will likely mean a significant increase in the playing time of Omar Narvaez in the coming months (whose wRC+ of 48 is less that inspiring) or the White Sox could look at some minor trade or free agent acquisitions to fill the void.