Giants reliever Santiago Casilla not close to returning from DL

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Santiago Casilla was nearly unhittable out of the Giants’ bullpen last season, posting a 1.95 ERA with 56 strikeouts and a .208 opponents’ batting average in 55 innings, but he appeared in just one game this season before landing on the disabled list with an elbow injury.

And now manager Bruce Bochy told Chris Haft of MLB.com that Casilla isn’t close to returning despite beginning a rehab assignment at Single-A over the weekend.

By definition rehab assignments can last at most 20 days, although a setback or new injury can extend the stints. According to Haft, “don’t expect Casilla to make a speedy return” because he “will need more time to regain arm strength.”

Blue Jays sign Michael Saunders

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The Blue Jays have signed outfielder Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal, per a club announcement.

Saunders, of course, played for the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016, putting up a line of .250/.336/.461 in 594 plate appearances. It was his good play in the first half of 2016, in fact, which earned him an All-Star spot and, presumably, made the Phillies think he was worth the $9 million deal they gave him over the offseason. That didn’t work out, as he hit .205/.257/.360 over 61 games and was released last week.

The Phillies will pay the rest of that $9 million. The Jays will see if he has anything in the tank to help them out.

Giants closer Mark Melancon is heading to the disabled list once again

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The Giants have placed closer Mark Melancon on the 10-day disabled list with a right pronator strain.

This is the same injury that sent him to the disabled list last month. He came back from that quickly, but it can’t be great that this is happening again. You have to assume he’ll miss more time given the recurrence of trouble. He’s going to get an MRI too. Sam Dyson is expected to serve as the Giants’ closer while Melancon is sidelined.

Melancon has a 4.35 ERA and 11 saves in 22 appearances this year. He signed a four-year, $62 million deal with San Francisco last December.