Pirates’ prospect Josh Bell undergoes knee surgery

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The Pirates broke the bank last August by signing second-rounder Josh Bell for $5 million, but their investment will miss a good chunk of his first pro season.

According to Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Bell underwent surgery earlier today to repair the meniscus in his left knee. The 19-year-old outfielder suffered the injury while running the bases Tuesday. The timeline for his return isn’t yet clear, but the Pirates expect him to return before the season is over.

Bell slipped to No. 61 overall in the draft last year after telling teams that he planned on honoring his commitment to the University of Texas. However, the Pirates were able to change his mind by giving him a record bonus for a player drafted outside the first round.

Bell was hitting .274/.288/.403 with one homer, 11 RBI and a .691 OPS over 66 plate appearances with Class A West Virginia prior to the injury. Highly regarded for his power potential, he was ranked as the No. 60 prospect in the game by Baseball America in February.

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.