When the Twins signed Rich Harden to a minor-league contract in December there was talk of him being relatively close to returning from the shoulder surgery that kept him out for all of 2012 and even some thought that he might be ready for Opening Day.
Six months later he still hasn’t seen any game action and Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that Harden is scheduled to begin a throwing program later this week. In other words, he’s basically starting from scratch again after various setbacks.
It’s possible that Harden could emerge as a late-season bullpen option in Minnesota if things go well, but given his lengthy injury history 2013 looks like another lost season for the one-time stud right-hander.
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.