Nelson Cruz aiming to return to Rangers on Tuesday

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Rangers outfielder Nelson Cruz has been on the 15-day disabled list since late May with a strained left hamstring.  It’s actually his second DL stint of the season, and one that may be close to ending.

He began a rehab assignment this weekend and went 0-for-3 with a walk as the designated hitter for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Saturday night.  On Sunday evening he will play the outfield, a major step toward an anticipated Tuesday return.  Rangers manager Ron Washington has heard nothing but good things concerning his outfielder’s progress.

“Cruz is doing well,” Washington told MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “We haven’t heard
any complaints about anything. He’s running everything out and running
good in the outfield. He’s good. If he makes it through today, we’ll
have him back starting Tuesday.”

Cruz has killed the ball this season on the major league level, but has obviously struggled to stay healthy.  He will return to a .327/.405/.729 batting line, 10 home runs, 43 RBI and seven stolen bases.  The Rangers have rattled off seven straight wins and have won nine of their last 10.  Having Cruz back in the lineup should only boost the club’s potential for wins.

The Phillies have shut down Jake Thompson

CLEARWATER, FL - MARCH 03:  Jake Thompson #75 of the Philadelphia Phillies throws a pitch during the first inning of a spring training game against the Houston Astros at Bright House Field on March 3, 2016 in Clearwater, Florida.  (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
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Phillies rookie starter Jake Thompson has been shut down for the year. Not that there’s much of the year left, but he will not make what would’ve been his last start.

Thompson allowed three earned runs over four innings in the Phillies’ 17-0 blowout loss to the Mets. That leaves him with a 5.70 ERA in 53.2 innings for the season. Which, while that’s kind of ugly, it was a function of some bad starts mixed in with good starts as opposed to overall badness.

Everything about his 2016 should be viewed as “get yourself used to the big leagues, because you’re going to be part of this rotation in 2017 and beyond,” and from that perspective, you can call 2016 a success.

Congressional candidate uses Jose Fernandez’s death to score political points

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As a horrible Sunday unfolded yesterday there was at least one thing buoying the public mood: the overwhelming outpouring of emotion and love for Jose Fernandez and warm remembrances of his all-too-brief time on Earth.

But it wasn’t a unanimous sentiment. Some people, like this Florida state representative who is currently running for Congress, thought it was a great time to make a political point:

Setting aside the tastelessness of Gaetz’s timing and intent, one wonders if he appreciates that the reason Fernandez risked his life on multiple occasions was specifically so he could live in a country where protesting and not exhibiting a reflexive loyalty and patriotism is a fundamental right and does not get you thrown in jail.

But really, it’s the tastelessness which most galls here.