White Sox: Welington Castillo takes the team even lower
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the White Sox have the worst record in the MLB, they now have one of their best hitters out for 80 games.
Yes, White Sox catcher Welington Castillo is out on an 80-day suspension for testing positive for a PED called erythropoietin.
This news has been shared on nearly every outlet that reports on the MLB. In a post on ESPN.com, Castillo said:
“The positive test resulted from an extremely poor decision that I, and I alone, made. I take full responsibility for my conduct. I have let many people down, including my family, my teammates, the White Sox organization and its fans, and from my heart, I apologize. Following my suspension, I look forward to rejoining my teammates and doing whatever I can to help the White Sox win.”
Hurting his team
Castillo is correct. It was a poor decision. In fact, it is a bone-headed decision that will take away a good bat and a solid defender for close to half of the season. Prior to his suspension, Castillo has been batting .267/.309/.466 with six home runs and 15 RBIs. He has played in 33 games in 2018.
He had his best offensive season in 2017 playing for the Baltimore Orioles. Castillo finished the season with these stats: .282/.323/.490 hitting 20 home runs and 53 RBIs.
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What is erythropoietin?
Erythropoietin is a substance that might be unfamiliar to many readers. According to the Cleveland Clinic, erythropoietin (EPO) is naturally produced by the kidney. It helps the body maintain its red blood cells. Doctors often prescribe EPO to patients with anemia and to people with kidney disease. The drug does have several side effects like swelling, fever, high blood pressure, and dizziness.
When EPO is used as a PED, it is supposed to stimulate red blood cell growth to improve athletic performance. This is often referred to as “blood doping.” The most famous person who was found to be blood doping was Lance Armstrong.
So many opportunities to get caught
I today’s MLB when PED testing can happen any time, it is just stupid for players to even tempt fate. If players dope, they will get caught. And, when players get caught, they lose so much more than time on the diamond. They lose the respect of their teammates and their fans.
And, really, it’s not about getting caught. It’s about the unfairness of using a substance to get ahead of those who aren’t. Castillo can hit for power. Or can he? His actions prove that he is unethical because ethics really are about what you do when no one is watching. He cheated. Plain and simple.
Next: Bad base running leads to benching.
The PED policy is harsh, but it should be. If Castillo tests positively again, he will be suspended for an entire season without pay. If he is caught a third time, he is banned from the MLB. And, now that he has tested positively, he will be tested more often. He cannot participate in any post-season games (which won’t be much of an issue with the Sox record). I guess he can hang out with Robinson Cano.