Phillies activate Placido Polanco from the disabled list

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The Phillies have activated Placido Polanco from the 15-day disabled list, according to Martin Frank of the Wilmington News Journal. He is batting second against Randy Wells and the Cubs on Saturday afternoon.

Polanco was cleared to return after playing in minor league rehab games on Thursday and Friday. He was 3-for-3 with a double and two RBI for the GCL Phillies yesterday.

Polanco was batting .318/.349/.433 with five home runs and 27 RBI before going on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation on June 26. The hurting Phillies are batting just .224 with a .274 on-base percentage this month. Polanco’s return isn’t a cure-all and it’s not like his elbow is 100 percent, either, but he certainly represents a marked improvement over the garbage they’ve been throwing out there recently.

To make room on the roster for Polanco, the Phillies released Juan Castro.

Reds sign outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera to minor league deals

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The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.

Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.

Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.