Matt LaPorta was already facing an uncertain future in Cleveland after repeatedly struggling in various stints with the Indians and now he’ll have to come back from hip surgery.
Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that LaPorta underwent surgery yesterday to repair a torn labrum in his left hip and “will need three to four months for recovery and rehab.”
That gives him enough time to be ready for spring training, but just barely, and because he’s out of minor-league options LaPorta will have to make the Opening Day roster or be placed on waivers.
Acquired from the Brewers in mid-2008 as the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia trade, LaPorta has hit just .238 with a .694 OPS in 291 games for the Indians and the former No. 7 overall pick turns 28 years old in January.
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.