Shaun Marcum throws 30-pitch simulated game

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Shaun Marcum threw a 30-pitch simulated game yesterday, reporting no problems after what Mike Still of MLB.com calls “a major step in his recovery from right elbow soreness.”

Marcum was shifted from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list last week, which means he’s not even eligible to return until next week. And he’s unlikely to be ready by then anyway, as the Brewers haven’t scheduled a minor-league rehab assignment yet.

If healthy Marcum likely would have been traded along with Zack Greinke last month, but the impending free agent’s elbow injury and history of arm problems put the Brewers in a tough spot. It’s possible he could return in time to make or two starts before August 31, allowing the Brewers to potentially make a late deal for him that brings back a little value, but he hasn’t pitched since June 14.

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.