Rookie shortstop Andrelton Simmons was hitting .296 and playing great defense when he broke his finger sliding into second base on July 8, but it sounds like the Braves will have him back for the stretch run.
In fact barring a setback while rehabbing in the minors Simmons is on track to return as soon as this weekend, according to Mark Bowman of MLB.com.
In his absence the Braves acquired Paul Janish from the Reds and turned to him as their primary shortstop, but he’s hit just .191 in 49 games and there’s no doubt that once healthy Simmons will reclaim his starting job.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.