Starlin Castro suspended 30 games

July 30th, 2021

WASHINGTON -- Infielder Starlin Castro has been suspended 30 games without pay and was assessed an undisclosed fine for violating Major League Baseball’s Joint Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault and Child Abuse Policy, Commissioner Rob Manfred announced Friday.

The Nationals also announced in a statement that they will be releasing Castro from the team at the end of the suspension: “We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously. We fully support the Commissioner’s decision and will be releasing Starlin Castro upon the completion of his suspension. Per the terms of the policy, we will have no further comment on this matter.”

Castro was placed on administrative leave on July 16, and that was later extended to allow for the completion of the investigation. In addition to the suspension and fine, Castro will participate in a comprehensive and confidential evaluation as well as a treatment program supervised by the Joint Policy Board, in accordance with MLB’s Policy. He is ineligible for the 2021 postseason.

The Nationals took a firm stance on the issue once they were notified of Castro’s administrative leave earlier this month.

“What I can tell you about myself and this organization, as you know, we do not tolerate any kind of domestic abuse,” manager Dave Martinez said on July 16. “Speaking for myself, I think it’s awful.”

The Nats signed Castro to a two-year deal in January 2020. Martinez had worked with Castro in Chicago when he was a member of the Cubs coaching staff, and he said he was “shocked” when he was informed of the allegations. Castro had faced an accusation of sexual in assault in 2012, and charges were not filed.

General manager Mike Rizzo, speaking on July 20, said he was “surprised” and “angered” by the allegations.

“You've heard me say it a million times, that you read about our guys in the sports section and not the other sections -- and this time, we failed,” Rizzo added. “I'm responsible for the players that I put on the roster and on the field. And we did a lot of due diligence, specifically with this player because of his past and because we had a lot of inside information on him because he played for some of our coaches and that type of thing. So going into it, when we signed him, I felt comfortable with it."

Castro appeared in 103 games for the Nats. He shifted from second base to third this season and batted .283/.333/.375. Without him, Washington has used Jordy Mercer, Josh Harrison and Carter Kieboom to fill that spot.