On Friday, the Washington Nationals roster was dealt a tough blow as infielder Starlin Castro was placed on administrative leave due to a domestic violence investigation. With the Nationals struggling to find a third baseman, and their difficulties in staying in the race for the NL East, Castro’s loss was one that would be felt on the diamond.
Those difficulties do not matter to the Nationals. General manager Mike Rizzo is taking a hard approach, saying that he does not expect Castro will be back with the team in any capacity.
Washington Nationals not welcoming Starlin Castro back
While teams may not necessarily be willing to discuss players on leave, Rizzo did the opposite. Not only did he tout the Nationals’ zero tolerance policy for domestic violence, but he also took some of the blame upon himself. He indicated that he should have done a better job in vetting Castro, that there may have been something there that he did not notice.
On the diamond, Castro’s leave and the Nationals’ place in the standings put the team in a difficult position. They have been connected to Kris Bryant, but as an impending free agent after this season, it may not be worth their while to pursue his services. Meanwhile, their other options have not exactly panned out.
But there are some things that are more important than wins and losses. The Nationals hold their organization and players to a high standard of conduct. At a time when Major League Baseball has had numerous coaches, front office executives, and players investigated for their treatment and sexual harassment of women, the Nationals are taking a stand.
It is possible that the Nationals’ decision to keep Castro away from their team will make a difference in their postseason hopes. But it also sends a message to the roster that no one is above discipline and the standards set forth. That matters far more.
The Washington Nationals will not welcome Starlin Castro back. His time with the organization is over according to GM Mike Rizzo.