- The Washington Times - Friday, July 16, 2021

Washington Nationals infielder Starlin Castro has been placed on administrative leave while MLB investigates an allegation of domestic violence, the league announced Friday.

Castro will be on administrative leave for up to seven days, according to joint MLB and MLB players’ association domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse policy. To extend that leave — which is paid — MLB would need approval from the MLBPA.

Castro had been placed on the restricted list last month to handle a family matter, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said at the time. While the timetable for his return was unclear, Castro came back to the team two days later.

The 31-year-old Castro has been Washington’s starting third baseman for much of the season. Through 87 games, Castro is hitting .283 with three homers and 38 RBIs.

In 2011, Castro was accused of sexually assaulting a woman who had passed out. But according to the Chicago Sun-Times, the Cook County state’s attorney’s office opted against pressing charges.

“The State’s Attorneys office in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department conducted a comprehensive review and investigation and as a result found insufficient evidence to bring forth criminal charges,” Cook County, Illinois state’s attorney spokeswoman Sally Daly told the Sun-Times in 2012.

To replace Castro on the roster, Washington announced the team had reinstated infielder Jordy Mercer from the 10-day injured list. The Nationals also signed catcher Rene Rivera to a big-league deal on Friday, optioning catcher Jakson Reetz in the process.

Washington has battled injuries throughout the season, and catchers Yan Gomes and Alex Avila are both on the disabled list as the second half of the season gets underway. Rivera, 37, played 21 games for the Cleveland Indians this season, batting .236 with two homers. He’s a veteran of 13 MLB seasons.

• Andy Kostka can be reached at akostka@washingtontimes.com.

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