Derek Jeter on track to return to Yankees early next week

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Yankees GM Brian Cashman told reporters on Wednesday that veteran shortstop Derek Jeter could be ready to begin playing in minor league rehab games Saturday at Double-A Trenton.

Jeter fielded ground balls, took batting practice and ran the bases Wednesday morning in Tampa, reporting no issues with his once-strained right calf.

He’ll continue doing similar workouts through the end of this week and will fly out to Trenton on Friday if everything continues to go smoothly.

Jeter is sitting on 2,994 career major league hits and should be able to get back to his pursuit of 3,000 early next week. The Yanks begin a three-game series on Monday in Cleveland then return to New York on Friday for a lengthy homestand. Unless Jeter falls into a major slump upon returning, it seems likely that he will register hit No. 3,000 at Yankee Stadium.

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.