Tal’s Hill gets to stay

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A few months ago Astros owner Jim Crane suggested that the team may get rid of Tal’s Hill — that weird rise of land out on the warning track in center at Minute Maid Park — as well as the train that sits above the outfield.  Guess he changed his mind:

I guess anything, if it’s been around long enough, becomes a tradition. Even if it’s a dumb flair-for-the-sake-of-flair design element like a hill in the middle of an outfield.

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.