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Gerrit Cole slowed due to rib inflammation

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While we’re still a ways off from this being a legitimate concern, Adam Berry of MLB.com reports that Pirates ace Gerrit Cole will be at least temporarily behind schedule in the early part of camp as he deals with some inflammation in his right rib.

Cole said he suffered the injury during his “normal training” in mid-January. The Pirates are understandably taking it easy with him for now, but he’s scheduled to throw from the slope of the mound on Monday and the hope is that he’ll catch up with the rest of the pitchers pretty quickly after that.

Cole, 25, is coming off a dominant season where he posted a 2.60 ERA and 202/44 K/BB ratio over 208 innings. He finished fourth in the National League Cy Young balloting behind Jake Arrieta, Zack Greinke, and Clayton Kershaw.

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.