Jay Bruce making progress towards return to lineup

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Jay Bruce will miss a seventh straight game tonight due to soreness in his right side, however he reported no pain after taking approximately 50 swings off a tee earlier this afternoon, according to Mark Sheldon of MLB.com.

“The biggest thing is how I bounce back tomorrow. We’ll go from there.”

The tentative plan is for Bruce to take batting practice tomorrow. If all goes well, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him cleared for a return to the starting lineup.

Bruce is batting .274/.343/.464 with 18 home runs, 58 RBI and an 807 OPS in 457 at-bats with the Reds this season. The young outfielder struggled in the power department for most of the second half, however he busted out for five home runs in the span of four games before being scratched from the lineup last Tuesday. Reds fans hope he has at least one power surge left in him.

Report: Phillies moving in on a deal with Tommy Hunter

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Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.

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There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.

Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.

As for Reed, well, who knows.