Alex Rodriguez hopes to return to starting lineup Saturday

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Alex Rodriguez is out of the starting lineup for the sixth straight game tonight as he continues to rest his sprained right thumb, but believes he could be back as soon as tomorrow.

According to Dave Hutchinson of the Newark Star-Ledger, Rodriguez felt good after testing his thumb this afternoon by participating in live batting practice and taking grounders.

“It feels pretty good,” he said before tonight’s game. “We had a good day today. We pretty much did everything. We hit live for the first time. I met with the training staff. We’re going to take at least one more day.”

Rodriguez originally injured the thumb in his first game back from knee surgery on August 21 and aggravated the injury during Sunday’s doubleheader against the Orioles. He would probably give it a go if this was a playoff situation, but the Wild-Card leading Yankees obviously have the luxury of resting him for now.

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.