Indians activate Russell Branyan

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The Indians are going to activate Russell Branyan from the 15-day DL
before tomorrow’s game in Minnesota and will install him at first base. That means Matt LaPorta
will head to left and rookie Michael Brantley will head down I-71 to beautiful Columbus, Ohio.  Don’t forget to stop at Grandpa’s Cheese Barn at Exit 186, Michael!  Yum!

Brantley is a promising young fellow, but he’s started the season 5 for 32, and that’s not going to cut it, even on a team with little in the way of aspirations like the Indians.  Branyan’s late 2009 and early 2010 injuries are cause for concern, but he says he feels good now, and even if he only has half the power he had for Seattle last year, he’ll improve the Indians’ offense.

Phillies sign Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.

Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.

The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.

David Wright is going to play in a real game tonight

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Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.

Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.

It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.