Athletics hopeful Bartolo Colon will return from DL on Thursday

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Bartolo Colon landed on the disabled list earlier this month with a right groin strain, but the second-place Athletics hope to get the All-Star right-hander back as soon as he’s eligible this week.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Colon threw 38 pitches in a bullpen session this afternoon without incident. If all goes according to plan, the 40-year-old will return to face the Tigers on Thursday. Slusser speculates that Jesse Chavez could be an alternative if Colon can’t go, as the Athletics have already ruled out Brett Anderson as an option.

Colon was knocked around for five runs in back-to-back starts prior to going on the disabled list, but he still owns a fine 2.97 ERA over 154 1/3 innings this season. His 1.46 BB/9 is fifth-lowest among qualified starters.

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.