The Angels’ offense has been pretty darn good even without Josh Hamilton, but they’re a step toward getting him back anyway. The Orange County Register reports that Hamilton is supposed to take live batting practice this week.
Hamilton, you’ll recall, needed surgery in mid-April for a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb and is likely to miss another 3-4 weeks. But actual baseball stuff like this is a step in the right direction.
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.