Yasmani Grandal likely to begin minor league rehab assignment this week

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Yasmani Grandal’s first extended chance at playing time in the big leagues hit a bit of a snag when he suffered a strained right oblique two weeks ago, but he’s inching closer to beginning a minor league rehab assignment.

According to Corey Brock of MLB.com, Grandal took batting practice from both sides of the plate prior to tonight’s game against the Braves. He’s scheduled to take batting practice again tomorrow and throw to the bases. If all goes well, he’ll likely go out on a rehab stint with High-A Lake Elsinore.

Grandal, who was acquired from the Reds in the Mat Latos deal, is hitting .312/.349/.597 with five home runs, 15 RBI and a .947 OPS over his first 83 plate appearances in the majors. Padres manager Bud Black hopes to have the 23-year-old back for a series against the Giants this week, but John Baker and Nick Hundley will share playing time behind the plate for now.

Report: Royals sign Neftali Feliz

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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals have signed free agent reliever Neftali Feliz, pending a physical. The Brewers designated Feliz for assignment last week and released him on Monday.

Feliz, 29, opened the season as the Brewers’ closer, but struggled and was eventually taken out of the role in mid-May, giving way to Corey Knebel. In 29 appearances spanning 27 innings with the Brewers, Feliz posted a 6.00 ERA with a 21/15 K/BB ratio.

The Royals have had bullpen issues of their own, so Feliz will try to provide some stability given his track record. It’s not clear yet if the Royals want to let Feliz get his feet wet at Triple-A or throw him right into the bullpen mix.

Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base upon return from DL

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.

Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.

In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).