Jimmy Rollins returns, but Carlos Ruiz replaces him on DL

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Jimmy Rollins’ second month-long disabled list stint of the season is over, with the All-Star shortstop returning after being out since May 21 with the same calf injury that knocked him out for nearly five weeks earlier this year.
In the 12 games he’s been healthy enough to play this season Rollins hit .341 with seven extra-base hits and a 1.096 OPS, but fill-ins Juan Castro and Wilson Valdez combined to hit just .241 with a .260 on-base percentage, .335 slugging percentage, and 34/5 K/BB ratio starting at shortstop in his absence.
Thanks in part to that big dropoff in production the Phillies have gone just 26-29 without Rollins in the lineup, so getting him back and actually keeping him healthy this time will be crucial as they try to keep pace with the Braves and Mets in the NL East.
Unfortunately for the Phillies they won’t be at full strength even with Rollins’ return, because Carlos Ruiz was placed on the disabled list with concussion-like symptoms due to being struck on the head by a broken bat Friday. Among catchers who’ve played at least 50 games this season Ruiz ranks second to only Geovany Soto with a .398 on-base percentage. Brian Schneider will get most of the starts behind the plate while he’s on the shelf.

Report: Mariners have interest in Reds’ Jay Bruce

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 14:  Jay Bruce #32 of the Cincinnati Reds waits to bat prior to hitting a three-run homer in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 14, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
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ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports that the Mariners are among the teams that have contacted the Reds about outfielder Jay Bruce. The Mariners enter play Wednesday 51-48, six games out of first place in the AL West and 4.5 games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. Adding an impact bat like Bruce could help in their effort to reach the postseason.

Norichika Aoki and Seth Smith have handled the bulk of the playing time in left field. While Smith has hit well, Aoki has not. Bruce came into Wednesday’s game against the Giants batting .271/.324/.567 with 24 home runs and a league-best 78 RBI.

Bruce can become a free agent after the season if his controlling team declines his $13 million club option for the 2017 season by paying him a $1 million buyout. If he’s traded mid-season, his new team won’t be able to make him a qualifying offer, so the club option may be more enticing than it looks at first glance.

The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, tying an NL record

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JULY 16:  Adam Rosales #9 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI single during the tenth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants at PETCO Park on July 16, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images
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A third-inning two-run home run by Adam Rosales off of R.A. Dickey put the Padres up 2-0, but it also helped the Padres tie a National League record. The Padres have homered in 25 consecutive games, matching the 1998 Braves, the 1994 Tigers, and the 1941 Yankees. The major league record is 27, set by the 2002 Rangers.

The Padres hit three in total on Wednesday in an 8-4 victory against the Blue Jays. One of those dingers was an eighth-inning solo shot by rookie Alex Dickerson, who has now homered in four consecutive games himself. The one he hit on Monday is worth watching, as it got into the upper deck at the Rogers Centre.

As the Padres recently traded Melvin Upton, Jr. to the Jays, Dickerson is likely going to see regular playing time. That’s especially true if he keeps hitting like this.