Chase Utley cleared to start hitting again

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Good news for the Phillies: Chase Utley has been cleared to swing a bat.

Utley was examined by his hand specialist today and was given the go-ahead. Assuming everything goes well once he starts hacking away he should be on course for an early
September return.

Wait, Utley doesn’t hack. That’s what makes him so damn good.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.