Phil Hughes is in the Best Shape of His Life

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Back in November we had our first Best Shape of His Life post of the offseason. It wasn’t a true BSOHL post, just some foreshadowing, as we learned that Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes was going to be in the BSOHL.

But now we have sweet, sweet closure! From Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York:

The Yankees have sent personnel to see Hughes in California this winter and, while they didn’t ask Hughes to strip down to check out what type of shape he is in, the reports are that he looks “great.”

It’s not total closure yet. That comes when all the reporters get to spring training in a few weeks and talk about how so-and-so “looks great” on a first-hand basis, not via word-of-mouth.  If that happens with Hughes — and it will, because that’s how the Yankees’ press corps rolls — we will have what I think is first-ever BSOHL trifecta.  So yes, I’m excited.

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.