Brennan Boesch to undergo thumb surgery

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Tigers outfielder Brennan Boesch was hoping to put off thumb surgery until after the season, but the pain from his torn ligament has prevented him from swinging a bat and he made the decision Sunday to have the procedure now.

Boesch was one of the AL’s better corner outfielders during the first half of the season, hitting .306/.360/.490 with 12 homers, 57 runs scored and 44 RBI in 84 games before the All-Star break.  Unfortunately, a thumb injury he sustained earlier in the season got a whole lot worse when he aggravated it on Aug. 10.  He played scarcely afterwards and failed to drive in a run in any of his remaining eight appearances.

With Boesch done, the Tigers will hope that Magglio Ordonez or Andy Dirks can step up and claim the right-field job headed into the postseason.  Ordonez had a big game Thursday, homering and doubling twice against the Royals.  Still, he’s hitting just .239/.288/.321 in 293 at-bats.  Dirks, a rookie, is batting .253/.296/.404 in 178 at-bats.  The Tigers can also give Ryan Raburn time there if they wish.  He’s hitting .239/.277/.402.  Dirks, being the lefty swinger and the superior defender, would be the preferable choice to step into Boesch’s shoes.

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.