As expected Andrelton Simmons is off the disabled list and in the Braves’ lineup for tonight’s game after the rookie shortstop missed the past two months with a broken pinkie finger.
In his absence the Braves traded for Paul Janish from the Reds and turned to him as their primary shortstop. However, Janish hit just .188 in 53 games and there was never any doubt about Simmons immediately reclaiming the everyday job.
Prior to the July 8 injury Simmons hit .296 with three homers and a .788 OPS in 33 games while playing excellent defense at shortstop, so if healthy his return should provide a huge boost to the Braves down the stretch.
He went 8-for-25 with two homers on a brief minor league rehab assignment.
The Fernando Rodney Experience hasn’t been a good one for the Twins thus far. The veteran closer served up three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to the Yankees on Thursday afternoon, erasing a 4-1 lead and blowing his third save in five opportunities.
In the ninth, Didi Gregorius reached on a throwing error by Miguel Sano. Giancarlo Stanton then singled, and Gary Sanchez followed up with a walk-off three-run home run.
Rodney, 41, now sports a 6.75 ERA on the year. He inked a one-year, $4.5 million contract with the Twins back in December. The club has an option for next year worth $4.25 million. If things keep going the way they’re going, the Twins aren’t going to want to pick up that option.
The Twins may even want to think about moving Ryan Pressly or Addison Reed into the closer’s role, even if just temporarily. Pressly has been terrific, tossing 13 scoreless innings with 18 strikeouts. Reed has a 2.25 ERA with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings.