Ryan Braun finally cleared to resume swinging a bat

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Via Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Leftfielder Ryan Braun, on the disabled list the last two weeks with a right hand injury, is scheduled to swing the bat again Tuesday in Washington.

Braun had been shut down from baseball activities while trying to allow the injury time to heal.

“Today was about as good as it’s been for him from one day to another, so that’s encouraging,” manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday. “We’ll see where he is.”

Braun has nerve issues in that injured thumb, so the Brewers are going to play this as safely as possible. Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl have been splitting most of the available playing time in left field.

Braun was batting .304/.380/.509 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 57 games before hitting the shelf on June 9. A potential Biogenesis-related suspension will continue to loom heavily over his rehab program.

Video: Phillies rookies dance to “Greased Lightning”

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As per tradition, towards the end of the regular season, veterans on baseball’s various clubs haze the rookies by making them dress up and do something a bit embarrassing. That used to include things like making rookies dress up like women and carry pink backpacks, but Major League Baseball banned that practice, so veterans had to get marginally more creative.

The Phillies had their rookies — including Rhys Hoskins, J.P. Crawford, and Nick Williams — dress up like characters in Grease and perform “Greased Lightning” at their hotel in Atlanta on Friday night. Not only did the Phils’ vets and other members of the crew get a free show, but so did employees of the hotel and nearby hotel patrons.

Video with sound is not currently allowed to be embedded, so click here for that.

As MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki explains, Hoskins was the inspiration for the gag as he has earned the nickname “Rhys Lightning.” (Rhys, for the uninitiated, rhymes with “Grease.”) Hoskins said, “You always hear about team chemistry. I think stuff like that let’s you get to know guys on a different level, when you’re not at the field. You just become more personable with people. The better relationships you have, there’s a different level of playing for each other. And I think that’s usually a sign of a good team.”

The Twins also had some fun at the rookies’ expense:

Video: Aaron Judge hits 47th, 48th homers, now one shy of tying Mark McGwire’s rookie record

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge went yard twice in Sunday afternoon’s 9-5 loss to the Blue Jays, bringing his season total up to 48. That leaves him just one home run shy of tying the single-season rookie record set by Mark McGwire with the Athletics in 1987.

After Sunday’s performance, Judge is hitting .281/.416/.610 with 48 home runs, 105 RBI, and 122 runs scored in 651 plate appearances. He has the AL Rookie of the Year Award on lock and is neck-and-neck with the Astros’ Jose Altuve, Chris Sale of the Red Sox, and the Indians’ Corey Kluber in the AL MVP Award race.