Shane Victorino

Shane Victorino to miss time with hamstring injury

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Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino exited Saturday’s game in the eighth inning with hamstring soreness and said afterwards that he doesn’t expect to play Sunday.

According to Todd Zolecki on Twitter, Victorino said he didn’t think a DL stint would be necessary. However, he is likely to miss a couple of days due to the problem.

Even that’s a real problem for the Phillies, who aren’t carrying a legitimate backup center fielder. Rule 5 pick Michael Martinez was their starter the one day Victorino has had off all season. Ben Francisco used to play some center for the Indians, but he’s been limited to right field this year and even as the Phillies’ fourth outfielder throughout 2010, he player there just twice all season. John Mayberry Jr., who took over for Victorino today, has never started a game in center.

The Phillies used Jayson Werth in center when Victorino missed time last year. Obviously, that’s no longer an option.

With Roy Halladay starting Sunday, we’re guessing the Phillies will want their best defensive option out there. That probably means going back to Martinez, who is 4-for-21 with one RBI and no extra-base hits as a major leaguer.

Braves ink Blaine Boyer to a minor league deal

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 2:  Relief pitcher Blaine Boyer #48 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers to home plate during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 2, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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The Braves have signed reliever Blaine Boyer to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, MLB.com’s Mark Bowman reports. Bowman adds that the right-hander has a “good chance” to make the Braves’ bullpen out of spring training.

Boyer, 35, spent the past season with the Brewers, finishing with a 3.95 ERA and a 26/17 K/BB ratio in 66 innings.

Boyer, of course, started his professional baseball career with the Braves as they selected him in the third round of the 2000 draft. Since the Braves traded him in 2009, Boyer has pitched for the Cardinals, Diamondbacks, Mets, Padres, and Twins along with the Brewers.

Report: Rays nearing a deal with Shawn Tolleson

ST. LOUIS, MO - JUNE 18: Reliever Shawn Tolleson #37 of the Texas Rangers pitches against the St. Louis Cardinals in the eighth inning at Busch Stadium on June 18, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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Update (6:48 PM EST): Topkin reports the contract will be of the major league variety.

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays and free agent reliever Shawn Tolleson are close to finalizing a contract.

Tolleson, who turns 29 years old on Thursday, had an ugly 2016 season, finishing with a 7.68 ERA and a 29/10 K/BB ratio in 36 1/3 innings. He was one of the Rangers’ best relievers in the two seasons prior to that, however, which included saving 35 games in 2015.