Astros clear George Springer to begin rehab assignment

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Out since July 19 with a quadriceps injury, Astros rookie slugger George Springer is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A.

Chris Abshire of MLB.com reports that Springer could come off the disabled list before this weekend, so it sounds like the rehab stint won’t be a lengthy one.

From his big-league debut on April 16 through his July 19 injury Springer smacked 20 homers to rank tied for fifth among all MLB hitters during that time behind only Nelson Cruz, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Abreu, and Brandon Moss. And he’s one homer short of tying Lance Berkman for the Astros’ rookie record.

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.