Casey Blake’s latest rehab assignment begins tonight

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Casey Blake’s latest attempt to get over season-long back problems will begin tonight with a rehab assignment at Single-A.

Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times reports that Blake will start slow, debuting as a designated hitter, which likely means the 38-year-old is at least another week away from potentially coming off the disabled list.

This is Blake’s third stint on the DL this season and in between injuries the impending free agent has hit just .243 with four homers and a .731 OPS in 44 games during the final season of a three-year, $17.5 million deal that came after the Dodgers gave up Carlos Santana to get him from the Indians in mid-2008.

If he gets healthy and puts together a productive couple weeks in August perhaps they can get a low-level prospect for him prior to the secondary August 31 trade deadline, but probably not.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.