Red Sox have differing views on when Cody Ross will return

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Initial reports about Cody Ross’ fractured foot suggested he could miss two months, but the outfielder said yesterday that he already felt significantly better and now some members of the Red Sox are hoping he could make a much speedier recovery.

Or as manager Bobby Valentine put it to Alex Speier of WEEI.com: “At worst case, it’s not as bad as we thought it was yesterday. At best case, it’s much better. At worst case, it seems like it’s a couple of weeks.”

That’s quite a change from a couple of months, and sure enough general manager Ben Cherington later tried to downplay talk of Ross returning that soon by explaining that “there’s a risk of it getting worse” if he rushes things.

Cherington did say that Ross could return “towards the early part” of a 6-8 week recovery timetable, but for now at least it sounds like Valentine was a tad optimistic.

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.