Rafael Furcal likely to begin rehab assignment on Saturday

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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters earlier this week that shortstop Rafael Furcal was “just not ready” to begin a minor league rehab assignment because he was unable to swing comfortably from the right side of the plate.

That tune has changed a bit.

According to the Dodgers’ Twitter feed, Furcal is likely to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque despite the discomfort. He will only bat left-handed initially to allow his fractured left thumb a few more days to heal.

Furcal has been on the disabled list since early April and is likely to spend at least a week taking at-bats in the minor leagues before the Dodgers consider activating him.

The 33-year-old was batting .192/.250/.231 with one stolen base and two RBI in his first seven games.

Melvin Upton released by the Giants

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Jon Heyman reports that the Giants have released outfielder Melvin Upton. He requested his release.

Upton, who turned 33 yesterday, signed with San Francisco in early April after the Blue Jays released him. It was a minor league deal. After recovering from a rash of minor injuries, Upton batted .244/.306/.333 in 12 games at Triple-A Sacramento. There was no indication that the Giants were going to call him up. I presume that, back when they signed him, they figured they’d be contending and could maybe use a veteran bat. That’s obviously not the case anymore.

I suppose it’s possible that someone gives Upton a look when rosters expand in eight days, but I figure it’s more likely that we’ll next see him as he fights to make a team on a minor league deal next spring.

Carlos Santana left last night’s game with back tightness

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Andrew Miller leaving last night’s Indians-Red Sox game got all the press, but the Indians lost another key player in the game as well: Carlos Santana. He was forced to leave after going 0-for-3. There was no followup announcement after the game, so he’s likely being reevaluated.

Santana is hitting .250/.355/.446 on the year, but he’s been pretty hot of late, hitting .375 with a couple of homers in the past week.