David Ortiz is out of his walking boot, close to swinging bat

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David Ortiz’s recovery from an Achilles’ tendon injury is going well enough that the Red Sox designated hitter is out of his protective walking boot and told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he hopes to begin swinging a bat as soon as this weekend.

Before then Ortiz will be reevaluated by team doctors Friday, which will determine his rehab timetable.

Ortiz has been out since July 16, but no tear or rupture was discovered in his Achilles’ tendon and it sounds like there’s some chance he could come off the disabled list when eligible next week.

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.