Derek Jeter has been cleared to play catch

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From Andy McCullough of the Newark Star-Ledger:

NEW YORK – Derek Jeter emerged from the Yankees dugout around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday, intent on completing his first on-field activity since an April examination revealed a second fracture in his left ankle. While his teammates took batting practice, Jeter played catch.

“I thought I would be back a long time ago,” Jeter said later in a chat with reporters. “I’m almost about out of patience. But I’m trying.”

The veteran shortstop is hoping to begin fielding grounders within the next few days and is on track to begin swinging a bat at some point next week. Jeter, who suffered a broken left ankle last October and cracked it again in mid-April, is currently aiming to return to the Yankees’ active roster shortly after the All-Star break.

Yankees shortstops have hit just .214/.288/.289 this season. Jeter batted .316/.362/.429 in 2012.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.