Josh Hamilton expected to rejoin Rangers' lineup tomorrow


Out since September 4 with fractured ribs, Josh Hamilton is expected to return to the Rangers’ lineup for tomorrow night’s game against the Angels.
Texas has nothing to really play for during the final weekend of the season, but Hamilton said previously that he felt it was important to get some at-bats before the playoffs. T.R. Sullivan of reports that Hamilton will play six innings in the outfield tomorrow, serve as the designated hitter Saturday, and then return to the outfield Sunday.
His timing is particularly good because Hamilton’s fill-in for the past few weeks, David Murphy, suffered a groin injury yesterday that will definitely cause him to miss the final three regular season games and could put his status for the ALDS in question. Murphy hit .341 with 16 RBIs in 21 games subbing for Hamilton.

Mariners sign Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal

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The Mariners signed free agent left-hander Wade LeBlanc to a one-year deal, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reported Saturday. LeBlanc previously signed a minor league agreement with the Yankees, but later requested his release following the team’s Grapefruit League outing on Friday. The Mariners have yet to confirm the deal or disclose its terms.

This is LeBlanc’s second stint with the Mariners in two years. He was initially acquired by Seattle in the summer of 2016 after the Blue Jays traded him for cash considerations, and produced a 4.50 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 50 innings before getting designated for assignment in August. The 33-year-old southpaw was last seen in the majors with the Pirates, with whom he generated another 4.50 ERA, 2,3 BB/9 and 7.1 SO/9 over 68 innings in 2017. He entered free agency after the club declined his $1.25 million option for 2018.

The signing comes at a fortuitous moment for the Mariners, who were pressed to find additional bullpen depth after right-handed reliever David Phelps tore his ulnar collateral ligament last week. As with most injuries of that kind, Phelps is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery and will miss the entire 2018 season. LeBlanc made a full transition to the bullpen in 2017 and boasts the kind of reverse platoon splits (.216/.270/.389 vs. righties and .292/.333/.500 vs. lefties in 2017) that will make him an effective replacement for the right-handed Phelps.