Washington Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez learned Thursday night that third baseman Starlin Castro was being placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball, as the league investigates what are reportedly domestic violence allegations against the 31-year-old infielder.
“I was told last night, that he was going to be put on administrative leave, and I don’t know what the process was,” Martinez told reporters in his daily pregame media availability, “but what I can tell you about myself and this organization, as you know, we do not tolerate any kind of domestic abuse.
“Speaking for myself, I think it’s awful, 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 will not be with the team.”
In mid-June, when Castro was placed on the restricted list to deal with what Martinez said at the time was a “family matter”, the manager offered his full support of the player he’d known since their days together in Chicago, before they were reunited in Washington last season.
“I 100% support him,” Martinez said at the time, adding that “... we all support him here at the Nationals, so hopefully he can resume and get back to us as soon as possible.”
Talking to reporters on Thursday, however, the fourth-year manager assured everyone that he was not at all aware of the latest allegations when he spoke in support of Castro at that time, and the two situations are unrelated, according to the manager and multiple reports yesterday.
“Absolutely not,” Martinez stated, he was not aware of these latest allegations back in June.
“Like I said, I would have never, ever — this is a totally different situation — if I would have known about this a month ago, we would have had a different conversation, I can tell you that.”
A reporter noted that there was a previous incident in 2012 in Chicago, when prosecutors, “... declined to charge Starlin Castro over accusations by a woman that the Cubs’ shortstop sexually assaulted her at his Chicago home,” as Chicago Tribune reporters Jeremy Gorner and Carlos Sadovi wrote in April of 2012, but Martinez, who served as Joe Maddon’s bench coach in Chicago when Castro was in his sixth season with the Cubs in 2015, said he didn’t have any concerns about the 12-year veteran’s previous behavior before this Thursday night.
“No,” he explained. “Like I said, I’ve had Starlin here, he’s a good teammate, good person to be around. Yesterday, when I was told, I was shocked. I really was. But then again, like I said, we don’t tolerate that kind of behavior. I’m going to support MLB — and not only in this game, but in anything in life, domestic violence is awful. There’s no place for it as far I’m concerned.”
Castro and Martinez were reunited in D.C. last season, when the infielder signed as a free agent, taking a 2-year/$12M offer from the club.
Asked if he’d welcome him back should Castro be cleared to return, the manager said, “... when that process is done, that will be another conversation.”
“But for right now,” he added, “until he goes through that process, I really have nothing to say to him or anybody about it.”
Martinez did share the news with the team, he said, explaining that Castro was going on administrative leave, and asking that they don’t let the developments distract them from their collective goals.
“I talked to them earlier today to let them know what’s going on, but I relayed the same message — that it’s not good,” Martinez said. “I mean ... and I definitely will lose a lot of respect for anyone that does have some kind of domestic violence.
“Whether it’s spouses, children, whatever, like I said, there’s no place for it.”
“I told them, ‘Hey, obviously this is disturbing news, but we can’t let this deter what we’re trying to do and what we’re trying to accomplish, and that’s to win another championship.”