Can Desmond Jennings come out and play?

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Since opening the season at .396/.431/.604 through April 18, Sam Fuld has hit .145/.232/.210 in 62 at-bats over this last 15 games. He’s 3-for-41 in his last 10 games.

And this is closer to what should have expected from Fuld. The 29-year-old was a career .278/.368/.400 hitter in 230 Triple-A games. No one ever thought of him as more than a fourth outfielder, and really, he’ll be fortuante to last four or five seasons as a reserve.

So maybe it’s time for the Rays to try Desmond Jennings, the top prospect many hoped they’d call up after Manny Ramirez retired. Jennings is hitting .273/.397/.414 in 99 at-bats in Triple-A. That he’s struck out 24 times already is worthy of concern. But Jennings is an excellent defensive outfielder, and he’s 8-for-8 stealing bases.

Since Jennings spent last September on the Rays roster accruing service time, the team would need to wait until July to call him up in order to guarantee that wouldn’t be a super-two arbitration-eligible player after 2013. That’s too long to go, though. Jennings should provide an immediate upgrade over Fuld once the Rays make the switch, and it might happen within the next few weeks.

The Cubs will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday

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The Cubs soundly defeated the Cardinals on Monday night, 10-2, sending their magic number down to one. They will try to clinch the NL Central on Tuesday with another win against the Cardinals. Alternatively, if they lose, they can still clinch if the Brewers also lose on Tuesday.

The Cubs, of course, won the Central last year en route to winning their first World Series since 1908. It wasn’t nearly as easy this year as the club was below .500 entering June and was exactly at .500 entering July. A 16-8 July, 17-12 August, and 15-8 September have helped put the Cubs back in position to return to the postseason.

Not to be forgotten, the Cardinals were eliminated from NL Central contention with Monday’s loss. Now they have their sights set on the second NL Wild Card slot and currently trail the Rockies in that race.

The matchups for Tuesday’s action:

Carter Capps to undergo surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome

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Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union Tribune reports that Padres pitcher Carter Capps will undergo surgery this offseason to address thoracic outlet syndrome, which doctors believe caused the right-hander’s blood clots. The Padres hope to have him ready by spring training next year.

Capps, 27, underwent Tommy John surgery last year and didn’t debut this season until August 7. He made 11 relief appearances, yielding nine runs on 12 hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in 12 1/3 innings. He went back on the DL on September 12 due to the blood clot issue.

The Padres acquired Capps from the Marlins last July in the Andrew Cashner trade which ended up having a lot of moving parts. Capps will enter his third and final year of arbitration eligibility this offseason. It’s quite possible the Padres choose to non-tender him.