Some more injury news on this less-than-frantic Thursday evening.
According to John Barone of MLB.com, Indians designated hitter Travis Hafner is scheduled to take batting practice on Friday afternoon at Cleveland’s Progressive Field. If it goes well, he could be cleared immediately for a minor league rehab assignment.
“We’re going to have him take a lot of swings, just like normal BP,”
Indians manager Manny Acta told MLB.com. “We’ll see how he feels after that and
talk about the possibility of him going [on a Minor League
rehabilitation assignment] and getting a few at-bats before he joins
Hafner landed on the disabled list in late July with yet another case of shoulder soreness and was batting a disappointing .267/.368/.430 with nine home runs in 82 games before the injury. He has not played more than 95 games since 2007, when the Tribe made it all the way to the ALCS and “Pronk” himself was considered a lethal slugger. Hopefully he can make up for lost time with a strong September. The 33-year-old is owed $13 million in each of the next two seasons.
Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.
Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.
The big presidential pardon news today concerns the commutation of Chelsea Manning’s sentence. We’ll leave that aside. For our purposes, know that someone in the world of baseball was pardoned: Willie McCovey.
Yes, Hall of Famer Willie McCovey, who in 1995 pleaded guilty to income tax fraud related to the non-reporting of income received from memorabilia and autograph shows. Duke Snider pleaded guilty alongside McCovey. They were given two years probation and fines of $5,000. Snider died in 2011. McCovey still works with the San Francisco Giants as a senior advisor and goodwill ambassador.
President Obama’s release of McCovey’s pardon was pretty succinct. But it’s enough to scrub the record of one of the greatest sluggers of all time.