Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner, who left yesterday’s game with a ribcage/oblique injury, has been diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain and could miss the rest of the season.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Gardner will be out “a while” and, if he does return before the end of the regular season, it may be strictly as a pinch-runner.
Gardner has been one of the few healthy, productive Yankees this season, playing in 145 of the first 147 games while hitting .273 with a career-high eight homers, a league-leading 10 triples, and a .759 OPS.
Curtis Granderson has shifted back to center field with Gardner out, leaving Alfonso Soriano and Ichiro Suzuki in the outfield corners.
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.