Michael Pineda is close to beginning a rehab assignment

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Here’s a little twist to the news that the Mariners are going to send Jesus Montero back to Triple-A: Michael Pineda, whom the Yankees acquired for Montero only to watch him get hurt, is almost ready to begin a minor-league rehab assignment.

General manager Brian Cashman told Andy McCullough of the Newark Star Ledger that Pineda threw five innings at the Yankees’ extended spring training complex in Florida today and reached 93 miles per hour with his fastball.

Pineda has never pitched for the Yankees, missing all of last season following shoulder surgery, but he’s still just 24 years old and was excellent as a rookie for the Mariners in 2011. All of a sudden declaring a winner in that trade isn’t so simple.

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.