• July 20, 2021

Mike Rizzo: Starlin Castro is not expected to return this season

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo does not expect infielder Starlin Castro to return to the team this season after he was placed on administrative leave on Friday following a domestic violence allegation.

MLB is investigating the domestic violence charge.

In accordance with the joint policy of the MLB and the MLB Players Association, Castro can remain on the administrative leave list for up to seven days; but their tenure on the list can be extended if MLB and MLBPA agree. Placement on the administrative roster allows MLB to fully investigate the incident.

The Nationals learned that Castro would be put on administrative leave by MLB Thursday night. That prompted Rizzo to tell the Washington players: “We have to do better. We have to do better than this. The whole world has to do better than this and it is unacceptable.

“It’s zero tolerance here”, Rizzo additional. “I don’t care how good a player you are. It’s zero tolerance, and we just won’t tolerate it. It’s not something the Washington Nationals of Davey Martinez and Mike Rizzo are going to have on this team. “

Castro was charged with sexually assaulting a woman in 2011, but no charges were filed. At the time, a Cook County, Illinois, spokesman told the Chicago Sun-Times that there was “insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges” against Castro.

Castro was also placed on the restricted list last month to deal with a family matter, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said June 16. The 31-year-old infielder was back in no time. The June incident and the domestic violence allegation are not believed to be connected in any way.

“Absolutely not,” Martinez said Friday, saying he was unaware of the June domestic violence allegation. “Like I said, I never would have. … This is a totally different situation. If I had found out about this a month ago, we would have had a different conversation, I can tell you. “

Rizzo assumed responsibility for the Castro investigation process. He thought that he and the organization had sufficiently investigated Castro, considering his previous accusation of sexual assault. But Rizzo said they finally came up short.

“You’ve heard me say it a million times, that you read about our guys in the sports section and not the other sections,” Rizzo saying. “And this time we failed. I am responsible for the players that I put in our squad and on the field ”.

Rizzo’s comments echo the tone Martinez used on Friday when discussing Castro’s situation with reporters.

“Speaking for myself, I think it’s horrible,” Martinez said. “So he’s going to be on administrative leave, and then after that, they’re going to have an investigation, so I don’t know much about anything else, but he won’t be with the team.”

Castro is one of three players under MLB’s administrative leave policy currently. Atlanta Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna was loaded with assault and battery compounded by strangulation in May after police officers said they saw him attack his wife. And Los Angeles Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer’s administrative leave was extended until July 27 as MLB and cop. investigate assault charges.

On Friday, when asked if Castro would be welcome back to the team if MLB authorized him for such a return, Martinez said that “when that process is finished, there will be another conversation.”

Martinez added that “until he goes through that process, I really don’t have anything to say to him or anyone about it.”

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