Brad Lidge needs “about six more appearances” in the minors

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Brad Lidge threw a scoreless inning last night at Double-A in his fourth minor-league rehab appearance, but it doesn’t sound like he’ll be cleared to return from the disabled list this week.

Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Lidge “still could require about six more appearances” in the minors before the Phillies consider activating him, which jibes with the rehab timetable laid out by the team earlier this month.

Lidge has been on the DL for the entire season with shoulder and elbow problems, but has thrown four innings of one-run ball in the minors while striking out six and walking none.

Jose Contreras’ recent setback means the Phillies need a healthy Lidge in the second half more than ever, but Ryan Madson being on the verge of returning from his own stint on the DL gives them some leeway to be cautious with Lidge’s comeback. Oh, and having the best record in baseball at 57-34 helps too. Philadelphia’s focus at this point should be October, not July.

The Reds are on pace to break their own record for home runs allowed

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The Reds got shelled by the Diamondbacks on Thursday afternoon, dropping the game 12-2. The pitching staff gave up four home runs, including two to Jake Lamb. Gregor Blanco and Ketel Marte also went yard.

That brings the Reds’ total on the season up to 166 through 95 games. That prorates to 283 over 162 games, which would shatter their own major league record for home runs allowed by a team in a season. Last year, the Reds’ pitching staff yielded 258 dingers.

After Thursday’s action, the Reds’ pitching has a major league worst 5.31 ERA, which is exactly in line with its major league worst 5.31 FIP. According to FanGraphs, the pitching staff is worth 0.2 Wins Above Replacement, which is by far the worst in baseball. The Twins’ staff is next-worst at 2.7 WAR. It’s been a rough year in Cincinnati.

Report: Twins close to acquiring Jaime Garcia from the Braves

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Update (7:33 PM ET): There’s a deal in place, per Jon Morosi. The Braves will be receiving a minor leaguer from the Twin, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

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The Twins are close to acquiring starter Jaime Garcia from the Braves, Ken Rosenthal reports.

Garcia, 31, is owed the remainder of his $12 million salary for 2017 and can become a free agent at season’s end. Through 17 starts with the Braves, the lefty has a 4.33 ERA with an 81/40 K/BB ratio in 106 innings.

The 48-46 Twins find themselves just a half-game behind the Indians for first place in the AL Central, so this is certainly an attempt to gear up for the stretch run.

Aaron Blair was scratched from his start with Triple-A Gwinnett, so he could be on his way up to the majors to fill Garcia’s spot in the Braves’ rotation.