Geovany Soto is ready to start a minor-league rehab assignment three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
Carrie Muskat of MLB.com reports that Soto is scheduled to see his first game action today at Triple-A and will likely play 3-5 games there, at which point he could be cleared to rejoin the Cubs.
For his part Soto is optimistic about coming off the DL as soon as this weekend, which could push fill-in starter Steve Clevenger back to Triple-A if the Cubs prefer veteran journeyman Koyie Hill in the little-used understudy role.
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.