Ubaldo Jimenez cleared to return Monday against Giants

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The Rockies are about to get their ace back.

According to Thomas Harding of MLB.com, right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez threw a successful simulated game Wednesday at extended spring training and has been cleared to return to the Colorado rotation Monday against the Giants.

Jimenez threw 81 pitches in the simulated game, allowing seven hits and two earned runs over five innings while striking out three. The velocity on his fastball ranged from 94-97 MPH and he induced a total of nine groundball outs.

Jimenez has been out for the past week because of a cut on his right thumb cuticle. Now healthy, he will try to bounce back from a rough Opening Day start against the Diamondbacks that saw him surrender seven earned runs over six treacherous innings.

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.