Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks

Chase Utley nearing return from disabled list

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At least that’s how it seems right now.

Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told David Hale of the Wilmington News Journal that Chase Utley would be the designated hitter with High-A Clearwater tonight before playing in the field again Saturday. After that? They’ll “reassess” where he’s at.

Utley has yet to play in three consecutive games in the field during his minor league rehab assignment, but Amaro doesn’t think that would necessary stand in the way of his return.

“Frankly I don’t know how many games he’s going to play three in a row here.,” Amaro said. “We may be in a situation when he comes in the big leagues where he’s one game on, one game off, two games on, one game off. He might play three games – I don’t know. A lot will depend on how he feels. But I think we’re going to have to monitor him when he gets here.”

Hm, sounds like he could be back sooner rather than later wouldn’t you say?

By the way, entering tonight’s action, Phillies’ second basemen are batting a pathetic .234/.284/.290 with a .574 OPS this season. Yes, the National League’s best team is about to get much better.

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.