White Sox

White Sox morning roundup

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White Sox morning roundup

From yesterday:

Tony Andracki and I rolled out our all-Chicago team of the 1980s, with a pretty good debate over who the center fielder should be.

Jake Peavy says his two-inning, three-run start isn't anything to worry about, plus he's feeling great because he's healthy. But he'll be 31 in May and his window to reverse the trend of the last four years is closing fast.

The White Sox are reportedly kicking the tires on lefty relievers Mike Gonzalez and Arthur Rhodes, which if true is a pretty good sign Matt Thornton will be the team's Opening Day closer.

Robin Ventura's new "Appreciate the Game" commercial, in a word: Awesome.

Chris Sale is a good bet to be better as a starter than as a reliever, at least value-wise. His results will probably be worse, but as long as they're not drastically worse, he'll be a valuable asset to the team.

Around the division: Tigers No. 5 starter candidate Jacob Turner walked four in two innings, Yuniesky Betancourt improved his spring OPS to .333, Michael Brantley had three hits while Jason Kipnis, Shin-Soo Choo and Jack Hannahan homered for Cleveland and Carl Pavano allowed six hits and one run in three innings in a typical Carl Pavano start.

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

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USA TODAY

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.

The veteran catcher was brought in over the winter to help the rebuilding White Sox in 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 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 continue for those two pitchers?

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

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USA TODAY

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: