Frank Francisco’s return from oblique injury delayed by knee problems

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Frank Francisco was supposed to begin a minor-league rehab assignment today for his oblique injury, but those plans have been pushed back because the Mets closer is having knee problems.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York reports that Francisco threw a 40-pitch bullpen session Sunday at Citi Field, but woke up yesterday with “right knee discomfort.” He got an anti-inflammatory injection and will presumably try again later this week.

Francisco has been out since June 23 and fill-in closer Bobby Parnell has blown two of his four save chances during that time, but also has a 2.53 ERA and 9/0 K/BB ratio in 11 innings.

The Cubs send Kyle Schwarber to the minors

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Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.

Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.

Now this:

The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.

The A’s designate Stephen Vogt for assignment

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A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.

Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.

Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.