May 23, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo (5) singles home a run on a broken-bat single during the seventh inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Cubs activate Welington Castillo, designate Eli Whiteside for assignment

The Chicago Cubs took a step towards strengthening their active roster prior to Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, activating catcher Welington Castillo from the disabled list. Eli Whiteside has been designated for assignment to make room for Castillo’s return, according to Bruce Miles at the Daily Herald.

Castillo’s return is likely a welcome sight.

Whiteside joined the Cubs’ active roster in early June when Castillo first landed on the disabled list, but appeared in only eight games for the team. He’d pick up three hits in 25 at bats, producing a .120/.115/.160 line. The 34 year old had joined the Cubs on a minor league deal this past offseason and appears to be a likely candidate to return to Triple-A, provided he goes unclaimed on waivers. Whiteside is a career .210/.265/.327 hitter in 563 plate appearances. The bulk of his time in the major leagues came between 2009 and 2012 with the San Francisco Giants.

Castillo had been sidelined due to inflammation in his rib cage that made it difficult to swing the bat effectively. Prior to the injury he was batting .242/.287/.385 in 173 PA. While not a game-changing offensive threat, the 27 year old is still the best backstop on the Cubs roster and had been showing signs of improvement in his second season as the club’s primary man behind the plate.

Production from the catcher position has been minimal in Castillo’s absence, with most of those reps being taken by John Baker (.169/.235/.191 in 99 PA) and Whiteside.

Tags: Chicago Cubs Eli Whiteside Welington Castillo

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