La Russa expected to return as manager

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According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Tony La Russa is “speeding to a conclusion” regarding a decision whether to return as Cardinals manager.

“I’m coming to an understanding of what I’m doing and intend to get it settled one way or the other shortly.”

“I don’t want to make any statements about being close to coming back,”
deferred La Russa, who has steered eight teams to the postseason since
being named the only manager under the team’s current ownership. “You
either do (come back) or you don’t. I’ve been checking the fire in my
gut. It’s one way or the other.”

Though La Russa said he hasn’t yet
discussed a contract yet with team chairman Bill DeWitt Jr, a formal
announcement is expected this week. If La Russa decides to return for
2010, pitching coach Dave Duncan is also expected to be back. It would
be their 15th season with the organization.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.