Rafael Soriano returns to Dominican Republic, but will be available for Game 1

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Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times reports that Rays’ closer Rafael Soriano had an excused absence from the team’s workout today in order to return to his native Dominican Republic to attend to a “personal matter.”

According to Topkin, Soriano is scheduled to return from the Dominican tonight via a private plane, so it will have no impact on his availability for Game 1 against the Rangers tomorrow afternoon.

It’s too bad. I was actually hoping for a dramatic entrance right before the start of tomorrow’s game, similar to Steve Nebraska in “The Scout.” By the way, it’s confirmed. I miss real baseball games.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.