Out since May 23 with a knee injury, Travis Hafner is off the disabled list and back in the Indians’ lineup for today’s game against the Angels.
Hafner was plenty productive before the injury, hitting .242 with six homers and an .819 OPS in 39 games, but the 35-year-old designated hitter hasn’t been able to stay healthy and has missed at least one-third of every season since 2008.
Hafner jumped right back into the cleanup spot for Cleveland and he figures to play nearly every day for as long as he can hold up physically after the Indians cycled numerous players through the DH spot in his absence.
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.