Braves general manager Frank Wren told Dave O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that outfielder Jason Heyward is making progress in his rehab from a deep thumb bruise and will begin taking batting practice this weekend.
“It’s going well,” Wren said, “he feels good and that’s a good sign.”
The rookie phenom was placed on the 15-day disabled list in late June after opening the season with a .251/.366/.455 batting line, 11 home runs and 46 RBI over his first 255 at-bats.
Heyward was selected to the National League All-Star roster last week and O’Brien says he may still play, but it’s hard to imagine the Braves allowing that.
The Midsummer Classic is on Tuesday — less than a week from now — and the 20-year-old right fielder should probably be given some at-bats on a minor league rehab assignment before he is activated and thrown into major league action, exhibition or not.
The Rangers outrighted reliever Shawn Tolleson off the 40-man roster on Wednesday. Rather than accept the assignment to Triple-A Round Rock, Tolleson has opted to become a free agent, Rangers executive VP of communications John Blake reports.
Tolleson, 28, emerged as a closer for the Rangers in 2015, but his follow-up campaign this year was dreadful. He finished with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He eventually went on the 60-day disabled list with a back injury.
Despite the nightmarish season, it’s easy to see a team deciding to take a flier on Tolleson for the 2017 season.
Indians slugger Carlos Santana hasn’t played in the outfield in a major league game since 2012, but the Indians are strongly considering starting him in left field for Game 3 of the World Series at Wrigley Field on Friday, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. As the game is hosted in a National League park, there is no DH rule in effect, so the Indians might otherwise have to keep Santana on the bench.
Santana is hitless in six at-bats in the World Series thus far, but he has drawn two walks. He has overall not had a great postseason, carrying an aggregate .564 OPS in 40 plate appearances since the beginning of the playoffs. Still, during the regular season, he had an .865 OPS so he can certainly be a threat on offense at any given moment.