White Sox

White Sox LHP Jose Quintana earns All-Star nod after all

White Sox LHP Jose Quintana earns All-Star nod after all

White Sox manager Robin Ventura thought Jose Quintana deserved an All-Star bid. Quintana's teammates thought he should head to San Diego. And Quintana himself said Saturday he thought he was deserving of a spot on the American League All-Star roster. 

On Sunday, Quintana finally got the nod. 

The White Sox announced before Sunday's first half finale against the Atlanta Braves that the 27-year-old was named a replacement on the American League All-Star team, the left-hander's first All-Star nod of his career. Quintana will take the spot of Cleveland Indians right-hander Danny Salazar, who bowed out due to right elbow discomfort.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!] 

Quintana, who will join fellow White Sox starter Chris Sale at Petco Park for Tuesday night's All-Star Game, was handed a yellow All-Star jersey after Sale and third baseman Todd Frazier were honored before Sunday's game. Frazier will compete in the Home Run Derby on Monday. 

"Jose is a great pitcher, and he’s done an excellent job this year,” White Sox closer David Robertson said Saturday. “He’s definitely deserving of a shot to go to the All-Star Game.”

[RELATED: As long as he’s ready, White Sox will welcome Justin Morneau ASAP]

Despite a 7-8 record that's largely not his fault — the White Sox average three runs of support when Quintana pitches, the lowest total among qualified AL starters — the Colombia native rates as one of baseball's best pitchers. His 2.9 fWAR ranks third among American League starters, behind only Cleveland's Corey Kluber and New York's Masahiro Tanaka. He's sixth in ERA (3.21) and fourth in FIP (3.48) in the AL, too. 

Ventura planned on starting Quintana for the White Sox second-half opener against the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, though if he pitches in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, that may change. The White Sox aren’t planning on using Sale until they head to Seattle to face the Mariners after that three-game series in California. 

White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will reportedly be suspended 80 games for use of PED


White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will reportedly be suspended 80 games for use of PED

For the first time since new rules came into effect in 2005, the White Sox will reportedly see a major league player suspended for violating baseball’s ban on performance-enhancing drugs.

Welington Castillo, the team’s biggest offseason addition, will be suspended for 80 games, according to a pair of reports.

Manager Rick Renteria said after Wednesday's win over the visiting Baltimore Orioles that he couldn't comment on the reports. Castillo played in Wednesday's game, during which the news broke.

"For me, those at this particular moment are rumors," Renteria said. "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."

The veteran catcher, slashing .267/.309/.466 with six home runs and 15 RBIs in 33 games this season, was brought in over the winter to help the rebuilding White Sox in both the short and long term. He had a career year offensively and defensively in 2017, and he was acquired to help develop a young pitching staff featuring big pieces of the future like Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, and also to swing a solid bat and help this young team learn how to win.

If Castillo proves productive over the course of his two-year deal, the White Sox have a team option that could keep Castillo on the South Side for the 2020 season. That could make him a piece of the puzzle for when the rebuild reaches its apex and the team is ready to start contending for championships. But this news has the potential to change that dramatically.

Zack Collins and Seby Zavala are both having strong offensive seasons at Double-A Birmingham and figure to be the long-term answers behind the plate. But Castillo’s absence from any long-term picture could leave the White Sox without a veteran safety net in the years ahead, depending on how the team decides to react to this news now and in the coming seasons.

Castillo’s absence for the next 80 games could also have an impact on the development of aforementioned pitchers like Giolito and Lopez. Lopez, in particular, has been throwing really well this season, and Giolito has control issues to work through, as he leads the American League in walks. Without the veteran catcher brought in to help those guys transition to the major league level, how will the transition change for those two pitchers?

Omar Narvaez would be the logical choice to take over as the No. 1 catcher. As for who could take Castillo's place on the major league roster, the options are limited. Kevan Smith, who was edged out by Narvaez for the backup-catching job in spring training, is on the disabled list at Triple-A Charlotte, placed there Tuesday. The aforementioned Zavala is also injured at Double-A Birmingham, and it seems far too early to rush Collins to the big leagues. Alfredo Gonzalez is a catcher on the roster at Charlotte. A spot on the 40-man roster would need to be freed up to bring him to Chicago.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?


SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should be the plan to call up the White Sox prospects?

SportsTalk Live is on location for White Sox Authentic Fan Night. Phil Rogers (MLB Network), Mark Carman (WGN Radio), David DeJesus and Ozzie Guillen join Kap to talk about Manny Machado Mania, Anthony Rizzo’s struggles and the White Sox plans for calling up their best prospects. 

Listen to the full episode at this link or in the embedded player below: