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.
The Astros’ bullpen did yeoman’s work in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel on Monday against the Tigers. Keuchel is temporarily sidelined with a pinched nerve in his neck.
Brad Peacock made the spot start, limiting the Tigers to one hit and two walks with eight strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings. Chris Devenski took over with one out in the fifth, finishing out that inning as well as the sixth and seventh, facing the minimum. Will Harris pitched a perfect eighth and Ken Giles closed out the 1-0 victory in the ninth. Devenski, Harris, and Giles each had two strikeouts.
The Astros scored their only run in the bottom of the first inning as George Springer drew a leadoff walk, then scored on Jose Altuve‘s one-out double. Tigers starter Brad Fulmer pitched well enough to win on most days, giving up the lone run in seven frames.
After Monday’s win, the Astros became the first team to reach 30 wins, sitting on a 30-15 record. With a +55 run differential, even their expected record matches up with their actual record.
Braves second baseman Brandon Phillips became the 337th player in baseball history to hit 200 career home runs, driving a solo home run to left-center field during Monday night’s home game against the Pirates. Phillips is the 14th second baseman (who played a min. of 75 percent of his career games at the position) to rack up at least 200 career home runs.
Phillips, 35, entered Monday’s action batting .290/.345/.405 with two home runs and 12 RBI in 142 plate appearances. If he’s anything, he’s consistent, as he finished with an adjusted OPS between 90-99 (100 is average) every year between 2012-16 and it was sitting at 97 coming into Monday.