Shin-Soo Choo making progress, will hit off tee Thursday

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Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo is on the right track to this point in his ongoing recovery from late-June surgery on his fractured left thumb.

According to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, the Korean-born outfielder has been playing catch comfortably from a distance of 90 feet and is scheduled to hit baseballs off a tee Thursday for the first time since his June thumb procedure.

If he can avoid setbacks, Choo should arrive back in the major leagues by late August or early September.

The 29-year-old was batting just .244/.333/.353 with five home runs and 11 stolen bases through 306 plate appearances this season, but he has an .853 career OPS and could play a huge role for the Tribe down the stretch if they’re able to remain relevant in his absence.

Derek Jeter wants to get rid of the Marlins’ home run sculpture

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Derek Jeter, part-owner of the Marlins, met with Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez on Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park, Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald reports. They discussed potentially removing the home run sculpture from the ballpark, something that has been on Jeter’s to-do list since he took over.

Gimenez said of the sculpture, “I just don’t think they’re all that crazy about it. I’m not a fan. We’re looking at it. … We’ll see if anything can be done.”

According to Hanks, the sculpture is public property because it was purchased as part of the Art in Public Places program, which requires art to be installed for the public in county-owned buildings. Michael Spring, the cultural chief for Miami-Dade who was present with Jeter and Gimenez on Tuesday, had previously said that the sculpture was “not moveable” and was “permanently installed” because it was designed “specifically” for Marlins Park. On Tuesday, Spring said, “Anything is possible. But it is pretty complicated. And I wanted the mayor and the Marlins to understand how complicated it really was. We got a good look at it today, and they saw how big it was. There’s hydraulics, there’s plumbing, there’s electricity.”

With Jeter having traded Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon this offseason, the home run sculpture is arguably one of the last remaining interesting things about the Marlins in 2018. Naturally, he wants to get rid of it.