Joe Mauer is two weeks into what is usually at least a month-long recovery for a strained oblique muscle and there’s no timetable yet for the Twins first baseman’s return to the lineup.
Mauer is eligible to come off the disabled list on July 18, but Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that he’s yet to start baseball activities and continues to have some soreness.
Mauer’s move from catcher to first base got off to a terrible start, but he was actually starting to hit well before suffering the oblique injury. In his last 20 games before going on the disabled list Mauer hit .320 and he’s currently got a 12-game hitting streak on hold.
In his absence Chris Colabello and Chris Parmelee has been sharing time at first base.
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.