Carlos Beltran back in Cardinals’ starting lineup tonight

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After sitting out this week due to soreness in his surgically-repaired right knee and plantar fasciitis in his right foot, Carlos Beltran is back in the Cardinals’ starting lineup tonight against the Dodgers.

Beltran hasn’t started since Sunday, but his return appeared imminent after he was healthy enough to pinch-hit during yesterday’s game.

Beltran is off to a fantastic start this season with his new club, batting .293/.404/.642 with 13 homers, 32 RBI and a 1.046 OPS over 146 plate appearances. Even with his recent four-game absence, the 34-year-old outfielder ranks first in the National League in homers and second in RBI.

Phillies sign Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Phillies signed pitcher Henderson Alvarez to a minor league deal. If he is added to the major league roster, he’ll earn $750,000 prorated.

Alvarez is still only 27 years old but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2015 due to shoulder issues. He signed with the Long Island Ducks last month, making seven starts and posting a 3.94 ERA with a 13/14 K/BB ratio in 32 innings.

The Phillies learned that Vince Velasquez will undergo season-ending surgery and also placed Zach Eflin on the 10-day disabled list, so the club is just looking for pitching depth to help take them through the end of the season. Any innings that Alvarez is able to handle will be considered a bonus.

David Wright is going to play in a real game tonight

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Mets third baseman David Wright will begin a minor league rehab assignment Tuesday with High-A St. Lucie. He’ll be the DH.

Wright has been sidelined since May of 2016, first with a cervical disc herniation and, more recently, a shoulder impingement. He has appeared in just 75 games since his last full season in 2014. Wright is under contract through 2020 and is owed $47 million after this year. For now insurance is picking up a large portion of that.

It’s possible he’ll make a return to the Mets before the season out as the competitive portion of their year is basically over and giving him a chance to see big league pitching before he begins what one hopes is a normal offseason might be a good confidence boost. What meaningful role he ever plays in the big leagues again, however, is decidedly up in the air.