Hanley Ramirez could return to majors as early as Tuesday

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The Marlins placed shortstop Hanley Ramirez on the 15-day disabled list just a few days ago with pain in his lower back, but he is already nearing the start of a minor league rehab assignment.

According to Tom D’Angelo of the Palm Beach Post, Marlins skipper Edwin Rodriguez told reporters on Wednesday that Ramirez could begin playing in rehab games at Single-A Jupiter this weekend and may even be ready to return to the big leagues on Tuesday, the first day he’s eligible.

Ramirez hit off a tee and played a light game of catch on Wednesday afternoon. He’s expected to take ground balls and participate in live batting practice Thursday. The Marlins’ medical staff will then reevaluate him Friday before deciding if the three-time All-Star is ready for live games.

Ramirez, 27, is batting just .210/.306/.309 with four homers and 17 RBI through 207 plate appearances this season. The Marlins are 4 1/2 games back of the Phillies in the National League East standings.

Bradley Zimmer ended his 0-for-August skid

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Indians rookie outfielder Bradley Zimmer entered Thursday’s doubleheader against the Twins hitless in the month of August. Having appeared in 13 games, he failed to get a hit in 39 trips to the plate. He knocked in just one run, scored twice, and drew five walks with 16 strikeouts.

It looked like the streak might continue, as Zimmer struck out twice, bunted into an out, and reached on a fielder’s choice in his first four at-bats. Fortunately, he got to face Glen Perkins in the ninth inning. Perkins hadn’t pitched in a major league game since April 10, 2016. Zimmer grounded a single to right field, ending his 0-for-August skid which had reached 43 plate appearances and 36 at-bats.

On the season, Zimmer is batting .245/.316/.400 with eight home runs, 38 RBI, 33 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 275 PA.

Twins activated Glen Perkins from the 60-day disabled list

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The Twins announced, prior to the start of Thursday afternoon’s game against the Indians (the first game of a double-header), that reliever Glen Perkins was activated from the 60-day disabled list. Perkins had been sidelined since April 2016, recovering from left labrum surgery.

From 2013-15, Perkins served as the Twins’ closer, recording 102 saves with a 3.08 ERA. He appeared in only two games last season before going down with the injury.

Perkins appeared in the ninth inning of the first game Thursday with the Twins trailing 7-3. It did not go well. He gave up two runs on two hits, one walk, and two hit batsmen before being lifted. Alan Busenitz came in and induced an inning-ending double play from Francisco Lindor.

The Twins will likely ease Perkins back by continuing to use him in lower-leverage situations. Perkins has a club option worth $6.5 million for 2018 with a $700,000 buyout. The Twins picking up that option likely hinges on how Perkins fares down the stretch.