Jonathan Lucroy on track to begin minor league rehab assignment Thursday

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Jonathan Lucroy was off to a surprising start before suffering a fracture in his right hand almost two months ago. But he’s inching closer to rejoining the Brewers’ lineup.

According to Brewers’ media relations director Mike Vassallo, Lucroy is tentatively scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment Thursday with Class A Wisconsin.

Lucroy began taking batting practice in the cage over the weekend and Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that he was blocking balls in the dirt before tonight’s game against the Cardinals. It’s possible he could return by the end of the month if all goes well.

Lucroy was well on his way to a career year prior to the injury, batting .345/.387/.583 with five home runs, 30 RBI and a .969 OPS through 43 games. Martin Maldonado has played well during his absence, so it’s possible the Brewers could shop George Kottaras to contenders leading up to the trade deadline.

Report: Rockies close to signing Bryan Shaw

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Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Rockies are close to an agreement with free agent reliever Bryan Shaw. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, Shaw’s deal is for three years and will guarantee about $9 million per year.

Shaw, 30, has spent the last five seasons in the Indians’ bullpen. Over that span of time, mostly setting up for closer Cody Allen, Shaw put up an aggregate 3.11 ERA with a 333/119 K/BB ratio in 358 2/3 innings.

The Rockies have been in hot pursuit of bullpen help after losing Greg Holland and Pat Neshek to free agency. Shaw would certainly represent a significant improvement in the bullpen.