R.A. Dickey will make weekend start after MRI exam

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R.A. Dickey has been bothered by neck and back problems for most of the season, but an MRI exam showed no structural damage and the Blue Jays announced that he’s expected to take his normal turn in the rotation Saturday against the Mariners.

Toronto manager John Gibbons told John Lott of the National Post that Dickey has merely “a little inflammation.” However, while that definitely qualifies as positive news it doesn’t change the fact that Dickey has mostly struggled this year with a 4.50 ERA in 36 innings and the knuckleballer has admitted that the discomfort limits him on the mound at times.

Former number one pick Mark Appel DFA’d by the Phillies

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Life comes at you fast.

The Phillies have designated pitcher Mark Appel for assignment. Appel was the number one overall pick, taken by the Houston Astros, in the 2013 draft before being dealt to the Phillies in 2015. He was selected one slot ahead of Kris Bryant and 31 slots above Aaron Judge, by the way.

Appel, who is somehow already 26, posted a 5.27 ERA and 60/53 K/BB ratio over 82 Triple-A innings in 2017. He’s had a history of bone spurs and other ailments that have hindered his development.

It could still come together for Appel in a new location — the Phillies have seven days to trade or waive him — but at this point you can’t consider him a prospect.