Brandon Beachy playing catch comfortably from 90 feet, aiming to return around mid-June

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Braves right-hander Brandon Beachy is nearly five months removed from Tommy John elbow surgery. And everything has gone according to plan so far.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Beachy is playing catch regularly from a distance of 90 feet without experiencing any sort of lingering pain or discomfort in his right elbow and is aiming to return to the Atlanta starting rotation near the middle of June. We’d probably bet on early-to-mid July, but you can’t fault the 26-year-old for being optimistic.

Beachy had a league-leading 2.00 ERA and 0.96 WHIP through 81 innings in 2012 when he blew out his elbow during an interleague game with the Orioles. He’ll be a nice midseason addition for the 2013 Braves.

Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title

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The Marlins announced on Sunday that outfielder Giancarlo Stanton will defend his Home Run Derby title when the city of Miami host’s the All-Star Game festivities next month.

Stanton, 27, defeated Todd Frazier in the finals of last year’s Home Run Derby at Petco Park, hitting 20 home runs to Frazier’s 13. Stanton hit a total of 61 home runs in the Derby. This will be the third Home Run Derby in which Stanton has participated.

Stanton also went 1-for-3 with a solo home run to help the Marlins defeat the Cubs 4-2 on Sunday. He’s now batting .274/.357/.551 with 20 home runs and 49 RBI in 311 plate appearances.

Aaron Hicks to go on the disabled list with an oblique injury

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.

Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.

Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.